I'm participating in Ginger/Ramble Ramble's Bring Back the Words prompt for week 16. Yes, I said week 16. It took me 16 weeks to get myself together and start participating.
This week's prompt is this:
Do you/have you traveled solo? What do you like about it? What don’t you like? What makes it so different from traveling with other people?
So. Traveling solo doesn't happen often for me, a member of a really close family of 17 members. Why would I need to travel solo with that many possible companions? Especially when 13 of us like to cram ourselves in a 3 bedroom house each year for vacation, or how we grew up camping in a pop-up camper where space is at a premium. So, traveling solo is a rarity for sure.
I think my first solo traveling was a short flight on my way home from that cramped 13-people-in-a-3-bedroom-house vacation. I couldn't stay as long as the rest of the fam so I flew home by myself after I had rode down with someone else. Sure, it was nice to fly solo, but it was just over an hour flight which is one of those flights that you feel like starts descending as soon as you reach cruising altitude. But I did enjoy it, I did. No one to argue with over which way to go in the airport to find our gate, or no one to roll their eyes at me when I inevitably start walking the wrong way every time. I walked the wrong way, did a little u-turnage and walked back the way I was supposed to go with nary an eye a-rollin'. So, that was nice. But, I don't really consider that traveling solo per say.
I did that exact same scenario the next year as well while 32 weeks pregnant. Basically the same results with a few added kicks in the stomach area.
The next closest solo traveling I did was to last year's Blathering. (Wah. This year's Blathering starts today an I'm not there and I could have DRIVEN there. Not that work would let me have any days at the beginning of the month off anyways (accounting busy time), so I'll blame it on that.) But even that couldn't really be considered traveling solo. I ended up meeting a fellow Blathering member at the airport and we sat together on the plane and chatted the whole time. Not that I didn't enjoy it (I did! I did!) but it is immensely different than traveling solo. No Kindle-ing. No crossword puzzling. No napping. Which, I didn't go on that trip to be alone anyways, so all that was 100% okay with me. I really liked my traveling mate.
And then once I got to New Orleans, I met up with my roomie/across the hall roomie and never left their sides. Again, not really very solo. But I LOVED meeting those girls and I am dying to see them again. So, in this case, the things I liked about NOT traveling solo were this:
- Having someone to grab a beer with in the airport without looking like a lone lush.
- Guaranteeing a good seat neighbor on the plane.
- The whole safety aspect of having a couple people to walk around the iffy streets of New Orleans with.
And then this year I felt like a real grown-up when I got to go on my very first business trip to NYC.
I flew up with my coworkers, and sat next to one of them on the plane where we chatted the whole way so no solo traveling here either. But then we got to NYC and checked into our hotel and went up to our rooms to put our things down and that's when it hit me: this was my very first hotel room to MYSELF.
I plopped down on the bed and messed up BOTH sides of the bed, looked out the window for as long as I wanted without someone else trying to look or questioning what I was looking at (nothing but scaffolding! But it's scaffolding in NYC and I'm in my own hotel room and I can look for as long as I want to!). It was glorious. Glorious, glorious, glorious.
So during the day we worked or sight-saw (is there a past tense of sight-see?) and then in the evenings - the glorious, glorious evenings - I'd come up to my room and watch TV or not. Play Candy Crush or not. Read my Kindle or not. Not have to worry about turning out the light so someone else could go to sleep earlier. And y'all. (Oops, I mean 'you guys'. I'm talking about NYC here, no y'alls allowed.) I loved it. Had I ever lived by myself I'm thinking it would have been like this.
The things I miss when traveling solo: having someone to go get me a Dr. Pepper when I'm already in jammies and don't want to get dressed to go find the vending machine, non-selfie vacation pictures, among other things. And this little girl.
I constantly think how much she would/wouldn't like whatever we were doing. And of course my husband. Especially when I'm in a place he's never been either.
But that's about the extent of my solo traveling. What about you? Do you prefer to leave those pesky family members at home and explore by yourself? Discuss.