Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Traveling Solo

I should probably mention that I’m writing this from a friend’s terrace (or maybe it’s a balcony), 17 stories high above a (unnamed) city.  And that I’m afraid of heights. So I’m kinda scared.  I used to be deathly afraid of heights.  Too-afraid-to-hang out-on-the-roof-of-my-building-on-a-nice-night, afraid.  Over the years my of heights has kept me from doing a lot of things that I really wanted to do.  Like skiing.  I’ve never been skiing because I’m afraid of the lifts.  Yes, I’m serious and I know that’s kinda pathetic but it is what it is.

I’ve been trying to get over it.  Fear, from my perspective, is a crappy motivator.  So when I have the opportunity to push myself  on the heights thing, I do.  Like today.  I’m working from my friend’s terrace.  Even though it’s freaking me out and I can’t completely concentrate.

I’m hoping that I’ll get used to it.  Or I won’t and in a few hours I’ll go back inside knowing that at least I tried (and got to enjoy today’s glorious weather).

Anyway, today is Wednesday and so that means I’m supposed to do a poll. And since I’ve been out of town for the past week or so I figured I’d work with that topic.

I’ve been taking solo vacations/traveling on my own since I was a teenager (kind of an awesome story, for another time). It seems natural to me.  It also seems natural to visit friends, with friends, with a boyfriend – I guess I don’t see one type of vacation as superior to another.  For the record, I was alone last week (borrowing a friend’s house by the ocean) and am visiting friends this week.

I’m always caught off guard when I have people question me after/before/during a trip, “you’re on your own?” as if flying and traveling solo were this awful thing. I have a cousin who, every time we speak, says, “I wish I could be more independent, like you” as if independence were a trait like height. I always respond the same way, “if you want to be independent be independent”. But I know she won’t.  She’s a woman in her 40s who’s never done a single thing on her own. Eat dinner in a restaurant, go to the movies, whatever…

There is a poll question here.  Somewhere. Oh yeah, what about you?  Traveling alone, do you do it?  Have you done it?  Would you?

Have you ever traveled solo?

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23 to “Traveling Solo”

  1. LuckyBroad says:

    One of my post divorce conquests was to from Florida to Massachusetts by myself. I accomplished this task, even though it made several of my loved ones nervous. It was liberating to do everything and go everywhere by myself. I have always loved traveling alone!
    I, too, have a fear of heights. Alas, I have not been doing as well with that one …

  2. Lan says:

    i returned from a week long cruise a few weeks ago with my boyfriend, who is now my exboyfriend. i always said that had i been alone on that ship, i would’ve been just as fine.

    i enjoy going to the movies alone and sitting at a nice restaurant, dining alone is so decadent and lovely.

    • Simone Grant says:

      First, I’m sorry. I’ve had THOSE trips (the ones that spell the end of the relationship). Damn do they suck.

      And I also love eating alone in a nice restaurant. I got used to it when I used to travel for work, and now…

  3. Terry says:

    If you like your own company – being alone is easy. I like interacting with people- and sometimes traveling with a person can be more trouble than not (face it- all of us get on someone’s nerve sometime).

  4. Traveling with someone is like carrying around a very, very, very heavy backpack. (Up in the Air.. rent it..)

  5. Jolene says:

    It’s on my list – to travel solo…and not just TO a destination where I meet up with others, because that I’ve done, but to take a solo vaca. I don’t have the guts yet…but it’s on my list!have fun!

  6. Sandyvs says:

    I’m always caught off guard when I have people question me after/before/during a trip, “you’re on your own?” as if flying and traveling solo were this awful thing. I have a cousin who, every time we speak, says, “I wish I could be more independent, like you” as if independence were a trait like height.

    Or, fear or heights?

    Some things are very easy for people to just slip into and they never can understand why others balk at the same idea.

    Since I used to have a cabin in the mountains, I became quite comfortable/happy making the 8 hour drive up there by myself, even though I have NO sense of direction. In fact, I would rather do long distance car rides by myself, for many obvious reasons. Now, though, it looks like I may go to another country by myself and even though I will do it, it will be a huge challenge for me. But I know it will be well worth it, and I anticipate it with a smile on my face. When life hands you a lemon, open a bottle of tequila!

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s a good point. I guess fear of being alone is a fear akin to a fear of heights – simple as that. Some of us have the attitude that we must conquer our fears. Others don’t.

  7. I’ve backpacked through Europe by myself…I’ve spent a week in vegas by myself…both were amazing!

    • Simone Grant says:

      There’s something liberating about roaming foreign countries on your own. And it’s such a fun way to meet new people – at least that’s what I found.

  8. LV says:

    I’ve done quite a bit of traveling on my own, including trips throughout Asia and South America. It’s actually quite easy — I always meet wonderful people along the way.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m quite envious. I’ve never been to Asia. Would love to go, though – alone or with someone, doesn’t matter. Maybe this year!

  9. Martin S says:

    I also get that question “you’re on your own” whenever I travel alone. It seems that people are bewildered when they catch you having a vacation on your own. It’s like asking “How come you are alone in this romantic scenery?” One perk of that question is its capacity to spark a conversation, enabling me to meet new people.

  10. Man-shopper says:

    Traveling alone is brilliant. I find that it’s therapeutic, it’s relaxing, and most of all, it’s liberating. I’ve also found that as a solo female traveler, concerned folk are always so warm, so welcoming, and constantly giving me things for free. Although I’m not particularly thrilled that it comes from pity, I can’t turn down free stuff!

  11. Amy says:

    Yes, absolutely. I’ve met some amazing people on my travels.

  12. trininista says:

    I travel solo all the time because most of my friends are married and have other commitments. I am the single sista on the go. But people always think it’s such a bad thing…my mother constantly thinks I am crazy. But I enjoy it and I am the type of person who will not let the lack of a travel buddy keep me back. I went to Paris alone and shocker…had an amazing time. Doing Italy this year and though I may have buddies, if I end up doing it alone, that would be okay too.

  13. Ann says:

    Sorry for the lag-time on this comment – I just got back from a vacation, speaking of them – but this post hit home with me. I’ll be living alone for the first time next year because I’m moving to Germany for ten months. I was recently attached (the releationship fell apart because I’m leaving), and at first I was really upset, but then I started to get excited that I’m going to get the chance to be truly on my own. I was already looking forward to travelling in Europe on my own, but didn’t realize how much I was depending on the relationship. Even though I would have been physically alone, mentally, I never would have been. Now I’m excited, and even though it will be a challenging new experience, I think I will get so much more out of my trip.

  14. Lena.FM says:

    I traveled solo many, many times. More than with somebody actually. Sometimes stupidly. Europe, Asia, and Memphis. La, la, la I am glad we agree on traveling better than on making out in public. :)