As a former Connecticut Chevy Girl I had the opportunity to spend an entire day traveling solo to the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. Alone with just my thoughts, this Baby Boomer experienced the freedom of being able to stop the car at any photo opportunity that caught my eye.
Bucket List Destinations
What travel destinations are on your Bucket List?
For many Generation X and Millennials, becoming firmly established in a career means that you had to travel solo out of necessity.
Not everyone gets to enjoy the perks of business travel. Perhaps as a Baby Boomer you have some particular travel destinations on your bucket list that you can’t find anyone to visit with you. Maybe you or your spouse have conflicting career schedules and you’re hesitant as a women to travel solo during the holidays to visit loved ones, your kids, grandkids or friends. Here’s some ideas to persuade you to travel alone.
Consider Traveling Solo
When you like to to travel and your significant other doesn’t, traveling solo may be something worth trying. If you’re adventurous enough, traveling alone is an exciting concept and something worth considering.
Sometimes traveling solo is just as enjoyable, perhaps even more so, than traveling with a group of family or friends. People travel alone for a myriad of reasons. Traveling solo does have its downside, but life is short, so let’s look at the pros and cons.
My other half is a homebody. When I was younger I always wanted a career as an airline stewardess and wanted to see the world. In my mind’s eye, I can remember thinking that when I was done seeing the world, I’d find someplace else to go!
One of the great things about traveling by yourself is the flexibility. You can be flexible in planning your itinerary, schedules, how extravagant or frugal a trip you’d like it to be. Setting the pace of your excursion will be your own decision without having to worry about what others want to do. There are no restrictions, no boundaries and you can enjoy your trip as you see fit. The pressure of finding common ground or bonding with others is eliminated. Oftentimes when traveling with a partner or buddies, you’ll feel like you have to appease everyone’s preferences and come to a happy medium ~ the choice of what to pack, accommodations, what to see and what to do; what time and where to eat. You may decide to backpack, stay in an elder hostel or a luxurious hotel. Traveling solo gives you the flexibility to spend your money and maximize your time as only you see fit.
Although I’ve been married over 30 years, I like to call myself my husband’s “second wife.” His “first wife” never would have traveled by herself. Many people who’ve traveled solo will say they’ve benefited and gained a greater sense of self and adventure. Solo travelers are more willing and able to see and explore new things in the world than they would have been able to if traveling with companions.
Consider it an esteem-building and confidence-building adventure where you’ll be making decisions, meeting new people and learning about the society and culture that you are visiting.
Be prepared to keep your guard up and also expect a few discomforts and challenges when you’re traveling alone. Have you ever seen someone dining alone in a restaurant? That person usually always has a paperback book or newspaper as a dining partner. Whether away on business for the first time, or for pleasure, most people feel self-conscious in restaurants or eating establishments. One way to overcome the discomfort of eating alone is to strike up a conversation with the waitstaff or another solo diner. Talking-up the locals can also open whole new horizons and make your trip interesting.Feeling melancholy and lonely as a solo traveler for a few days of your trip is a common experience but will quickly pass. As soon as you get used to being on your own you’ll delight in the sensuality of the sights, tastes, smell and sounds of your destination.
Whether on a daytrip or extended vacation, you’ll definitely need to be cautious of your surroundings as a solo traveler. Pay attention to the people around you and what is occurring. Seasoned veteran solo travelers heed the old adage “expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.” Depending on your destination, map out your routes in advance to avoid getting lost. Add a GPS app to your smartphone or iPhone. It’s also wise to bring your medication with you in the event of an accident. Abide by your instincts and stay only in places that you believe are safe.
All that being said and done, everyone should experience traveling alone at least once in their lifetime. Yes, use discretion, go with your gut feelings and when you look back, you’ll be able to say “I did it my way.”
Girl Taking Photos courtesy of lockstockb of stock.xchng.
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