Are you afraid to travel alone? Do you think you’ll be the odd-person-out if you go anywhere “significant” by yourself?
Most people are fine about going to the grocery store or shopping alone. Those are considered pretty insignificant outings. But when it comes to dining out, visiting places, events or traveling alone, the brakes get slammed on if you don’t have a spouse, partner or buddy along!
Dendrobates oophaga (formerly: pumilio) – Red & Blue Poison Dart Frog with tadpoles”, Copyright by Lyrae Perry 1994
The tadpoles of this poison dart frog are never left alone. High in the rainforest, mom transports the babies on her back, moving them from one bromeliad “pond” to another frequently every day as a protection from predators until they are big enough to make it on their own. This dedicated mom’s coloring and pattern warn predators that she’s poisonous. Fully grown, these rainforest gems are less than 1/2″ long.
I don’t know what the numbers are, but I’m pretty sure they are BIG when it comes to people who are averse to vacationing alone. Some people won’t even go to a party or visit a local park by themselves, safety issues aside. Why should any of us feel so paralyzed about being somewhere as a single? There’s no shame in being alone on a trip—and who’s to say that you’d be the only one?
Okay….there are a few things that are better with a buddy…like ballroom dance lessons! But I did that on my own too and didn’t die from the experience…LOL
Anyway, back to traveling alone…
My husband would not travel and hated crowds, didn’t fly, swim or want to do anything that inconvenienced his routine. Well, I was NOT going to live like a hermit my whole life and I wanted to see the world, so it was do it alone, or don’t do it. Sure, I had to get over the uncomfortable feelings of being a single around buddies, partners and couples on trips and outings. But, guess what? It wasn’t all that difficult.
How did I do it?
Simple. I stopped thinking about me as though I was under everyone’s microscope. I realized that those other people were busy enjoying themselves. They really were not looking at me and thinking…”Wow, she’s alone, she must be a real loser”. LOL When I first started traveling alone, all the angst was just me thinking I wasn’t good enough. It took some time, but I figured out that other people couldn’t care less.
I relaxed a little bit at a time, and started making conversations where I could and found my balance in the situation. I figured out how to have fun and enjoy what I was doing. I routinely take myself to the movies and have traveled far and wide by myself for many years. Truth be told: I LIKE IT! I really do.
Traveling Alone Lesson # 1 – Shine the spotlight on what you’re doing, and not on you, and you’ll be fine!
There are benefits to traveling alone too. I really wasn’t going to share my little secrets, but what the hell…
I find that there’s always room at a table for one more. I get to ride in the single front seat of special vehicles a lot of the time—much better view! Tour guides, drivers and others look out for you too. I can come and go as I please, stay as late as I want, and I don’t have to consider anyone else’s preferences or dislikes. It’s really nice to be able to see and do all the things that I want to do. I’m not a loner by any means, but I can have just as much fun meeting new people as traveling with friends.
When you’re married you’ve got to be considerate and share just about everything. Sharing is a big part about being married, and it’s great if your partner likes doing the same things you do, or if they can let you go do what you like while they do something else. But if they don’t like the same things and insist that you do everything together, you certainly do NOT want to be on an excursion with them because they will be miserable and you will be too.
Traveling Alone Lesson # 2 –We all have different ideas about what’s fun and what’s not. Don’t drag people along on trips or force them to do things they don’t like. A trip is supposed to be fun and nobody should be uncomfortable.
If you’re a single traveler on one of my trips, believe me, you won’t feel alone…or be alone. You’re going to be busy and having fun. If you bring your spouse, partner or buddy and they are not into the art, that’s fine too! There will be things they can go do while you are busy painting with the class. I’ve got all that covered!