Traveling Solo…

 

        

For the most part, I think it’s safe to say that many people travel with someone;  friends,companions,family,etc. However, I just celebrated my birthday by taking a mini-excursion to a beautiful place about 45 minutes from where I live. Understandably, you may be wondering, why my trip was so close by? Well, considering where I live, 45 minutes can take you surprisingly far enough to feel like you’ve actually gone some place. You see, my whole objective was to do something different; something I’ve never done before in commemoration of my very special day. Thankfully, God blessed me with another year to explore and enjoy. For this, I am forever grateful!

Mind you, I’ve gone to catch a movie by myself, gone to breakfast by myself, even attended a concert by myself in the past. I can almost see you, the reader, scratching your head in puzzlement as to why I’ve done all these things solo. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of people to call on at the drop of a hat when I want to do something. Everyone is always busy with other things. I’ve concluded that if I wait for any one of these people to be available, I may never go anywhere. So, I took the plunge and went on a solo ‘get-away! Can I tell you? I had the best time! Of course, it would have been nice to have someone along to laugh with, dine with, and help me snap photos to capture all the surrounding beauty, but in my case, this was not an option. And it’s not a bad thing! Being alone, forced me to reach out and assert myself with perfect strangers.

Upon my arrival at this lavish hotel, I was checked in by the same wonderful customer service person by the name of Will, who made my reservation by phone. It was nice to put a face to the voice. The most refreshing thing was that Will was just as pleasant, helpful and professional in person, as he was when he initially took my reservation. He allowed me to get settled in my room. Once I re-emerged, Will was kind enough to show me around the grounds and took several photos of me out by the water and in the beautiful hotel lobby. He may not know it, but he helped me break the ice as far as asserting myself on this solo journey. As a result, I felt welcome, comfortable and special. If only this kind of outstanding customer service existed everywhere!

I had dinner in the lovely dining area of the hotel where I immediately observed a group of ladies across the room. I could tell they were definitely celebrating a special occasion as they were festively audible while doing so. From my cozy, quiet table for one, I was able to glean that it was definitely someone’s birthday in this group, but I couldn’t decipher which one. I made a promise to myself right then and there, that I was going to go over an introduce myself and find out who’s birthday it was. I braved the voice in my head telling me to sit back down and not embarrass myself. I confidently walked over, introduced myself, and inquired as to who the ‘birthday girl’ was. The lady of the hour was a beautiful mature woman that was celebrating her 76th year. She looked absolutely fantastic and I told her so! She quickly and fun-lovingly stated that she obviously had many more years on her than I did. I playfully returned that it was also my birthday and that the years were coming on much more quickly than I would like! We all just laughed and laughed. This group of ladies thought it was so awesome that I would walk over and do that! Inside my head I was thinking, “mission accomplished.” I had successfully asserted myself!

I was pleasantly surprised by the graciousness of others who had also chosen to escape to this paradise-like place in celebration of something. The next morning, I stepped out onto the private patio of my room and looked to my right. There was a sweet woman 2 doors down sitting on her patio absorbing the bright morning sun and listening to the latest tune that the birds were more than happy to sing her. We briefly introduced ourselves and shared the purpose of our stay at this marvelous place. She was there celebrating her 46th wedding anniversary with her husband. I congratulated her and disclosed that I was there celebrating my birthday. She asked me which birthday I was celebrating? I felt no invasive nature intention behind the question; only genuine interest and sincerity. So, I couldn’t help but concede my age to her. I also asked her if she would mind snapping a photo of me on the patio being that I was alone. This woman was so wonderful and was more than happy to do so. We chatted briefly about the beauty of the day, then said our goodbyes as I set off to take a walk around the grounds.

Honestly, I have no regrets about this adventure….well, except for one. I just wish I would’ve planned better and scheduled my celebration for more than just 1 day and one night. I left there definitely needing more of the peace and tranquility that surrounds that lovely place. I’m already thinking of where my next excursion will be. I think I will definitely venture further out. Maybe I’ll fly some place, now that I’ve conquered the sometimes daunting task of ‘traveling solo’. Any suggestions? What are some places you think would be great to travel to? Where would you suggest for someone traveling alone? Or maybe you don’t recommend traveling alone? Aside from the obvious, do you, the reader, feel there are any advantages/disadvantages of traveling alone? If so, what are they? Please share your thoughts, whether you are in favor of traveling ‘solo’ or not.

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images/The Inn on the Lake Photo Gallery

 

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Levi Thetford
    Jun 13, 2014 @ 05:42:58

    Sylvia, thanks for sharing this. I’m still in San Diego with my wife at the La Costa Spa and Resort just outside SD. I almost would need to email you instead of blog it but it has been wonderful in every aspect. I may write a post about it. Glad you had a fun-time.

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  2. D'aller Naturel
    Jun 14, 2014 @ 13:41:47

    I have traveled solo before due to work, but never on purpose for fun (I spend so much time away from my fam working that pleasure trips are typically reserved for family and maybe friends). I have gone to the movies by myself, had dinner by myself, etc. I’d say the only downside to traveling solo is taking pictures. I’m a notorious self-proclaimed selfie extraordinaire lol, but those can miss the beauty of the area. I’m told Europe is one of the best areas to travel through solo as a lot of people do this in general. It wouldn’t be an awkward scenario striking up conversations with complete strangers.

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    • sporterhall
      Jun 14, 2014 @ 17:25:05

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, traveling solo on purpose was definitely different for me. But it was good for me because it put me in a position to reach out to perfect strangers to shoot pictures of me in my surroundings. Pics coming soon. It would be great though if it was more of a normal thing to to travel solo here as it is in Europe. Hopefully, I will get to travel there some day…. maybe solo, maybe not…..:)

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