It is intriguing to many that I travel alone.
I went on my first International trip with Lto Mexico in 2008. Yes, I’m a bit of a late bloomer in the travel department but once I caught on, I couldn’t let go.
I travel alone for many reasons, some personal and others practical. L. supports me no matter what – I am, therefore, truly blessed.
My first solo trip was a product of being inspired from my friend Catie who promptly hopped a plane to Paris after being let go from her job. She gave me the pros and cons of the traveling solo and I couldn’t be more intrigued. When I decided to go, I knew I wanted it to be in the off season because at the time, I didn’t have a job. So, I started searching. I knew L. would be unavailable due to his academic schedule and I hadn’t quite made too many friends in this new city yet.
I decided to travel alone. And no amount of fear or cynicism on the part of others was going to stop me.
It turns out, that was one of the best decisions I ever made. If you read my blog semi-regularly, you surely note reference to my time in Italy . It made that much of an impact on my life.
Now comes a second opportunity to experience the sheer liberation and reward of traveling alone.
I wish I could say everyone in my life is supportive, but as with any decision you make, there are always those who do not support it.
The question I receive most frequently is “why didn’t you invite L. to go?” Initially, I’m taken aback. While I expect criticism, I cannot say I am prepared to handle it. I want to cry, quite frankly, because I immediately feel guilty for this gift that I give myself on a semi-regular basis. It takes me a moment to regain my composure and remember my purpose is my own and the concern of only the people I love.
I choose not to make the inquirer feel uncomfortable with talk of his student status and the challenges that come along with that. Instead, I reply “Because he knows me, and traveling alone is something I treasure… when he graduates, we already have plans for a trip together and I couldn’t be more excited”.
My point is this: there is no reason that a woman should not travel alone if she wants to. A relationship should never feel like a burden. I understand that the security of your significant other comes into play you should never intentionally threaten that security. However, if your significant other can understand your motive- whether it be an effort to discover yourself or for sheer adventure, there is no reason you should feel bad about it. We must remind ourselves why we engage in relationships- that is, to enhance our own lives, not compromise them.
Life is yours for the taking. If that means that a week trip to a country you were always curious about, go for it! I promise you an opportunity for growth you never thought possible.
“I think it is wonderful that you are doing this,” L. says, “You inspire others”.
And for that, I am truly grateful.