“Why are you traveling alone? Where’s your friends? Don’t you have a man? Aren’t you scared? Should you be taking your child so far by yourself?”
Goodness people. Get a grip!
These are just a few questions I’m often asked because the concept of booking one seat on a flight to a destination with enough sleeping space for one while visiting no one or no thing in particular is a new one to many.
Traveling is my therapy.
Especially when a beach is involved.
Besides travels with my daughter, I’ve not been many places with many others. It’s not that my friends don’t travel. They do; a lot. It’s just not easy coordinating our available vacation days with careers and families to also consider. It’s most definitely a travel goal to do a trip outside the Midwest with a crew of homegirls or maybe even extending that to significant others and THEN MAAAAAYBE children.:)
And while I make quick trips to Kansas City a few times a year to visit my family and to eastern Illinois to visit my sister in college, I don’t count that as “travel.” Sure those are trips out of my city and I enjoy them, but it’s not vacation, if ya nahmean.
Here’s my solo travel through pics…
–Barbados 2015…solo, then again in 2018 with my then-1.5 year old daughter, Bailey
-San Diego, March 2016 (in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy with Bailey) and Los Angeles , October 2016 (with a four month old Bailey)
–San Juan, July 2017…solo (but the kid joined me because we also went to Houston for family and NY to see my bff)
And currently, I’m in the Tampa / St. Petersburg area even though I was just here this past January with Bailey for my birthday.
I’m not here in Tampa for any particular reason besides the beach. That’s reason enough for me.
I spent my entire first full day at one beach, then paused for the rain to eat lunch and shop a bit before riding out to another. Day two was much of the same and for that I’m pleased (well not about the rain, but it gives me a reason to leave for a moment or sit in my car and wait on UberEats to deliver a meal).
When I talk of solo travel, I’m referring to destinations I travel for no real purpose and with few plans to meet up with someone I know. Often I know no one in the city to which I’ve flown. Some may think this is unsafe, but I’ve got my big girl panties on. I don’t have to know someone everywhere I go. It’s ok to explore different locations. Alone.
I also do it for independence. Gotta be honest, more so now than ever my senses are heightened as far as being aware of my surroundings especially when alone. Cops and cop callers have gone rouge. I don’t let it take away my fun but I do sideeye many nosy, staring people, assuming the worst of their intentions. But there is still joy in the independence of hopping on a plane and making your own itinerary with as much or as little to keep you entertained.
Wake when you want.
Eat when you want.
Make moves when. You. Want.
Some think loneliness will set in. And it may. But isn’t this also possible on that one weekend you’re free and wanna hang out but no one is available?
We have to learn to enjoy being by ourselves. Try it first in your own city. Go to the movies alone. Eat out alone. Love on you without checking for someone else to confirm you’re having a good time.
Travel tip (and more are posted here):
When I come across gems like the Airbnb I’m staying in now, I save it to my wishlist. You can categorize them by cities. So then when I get ready to travel, I already have a group of places to consider staying!
And don’t be afraid of staying in a private room within someone’s home. Just thoroughly read the reviews and choose neighborhoods wisely. When my cousin and I traveled to Europe for a week, we spent hours reading about Paris Arrondissements to ensure we were making the best choices seeing as 2/3 of our Airbnb’s were private rooms within a home or apartment. If the bathroom isn’t private, just pack Clorox wipes or ask the host if the bathroom cleaner can be kept in a handy spot. I’m currently wiping down the toilet before every use for my own germophobe satisfaction.