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Thoughts For Thursday: A Short Trip Alone…

July 28, 2011 · 18 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday, Travel

Wednesday was a historic day for me. For the first time EVER, I went out of town…alone.

Well, let me clarify. I did go out of town for work twice during my career, but I always traveled with others. This time, I spent the night in a hotel room alone, and did not have to meet up with a soul.

Of course, this trip was for a purpose. My daughter was at a basketball camp four hours from home, and I didn’t want to get up and drive at 6:00 am. So, my solution was to book a room and spend the night.

It actually was hard for me to leave the house, but just because I am pathetic. However, I got over it once I turned up the radio and started thinking about how I could eat dinner wherever I wanted!

I love driving, and the four hours were incredibly pleasant. Listening to any song I liked, or listening to nothing at all, was great. Driving alone gave me a chance to really look at the scenery and just enjoy different things that I may not have noticed otherwise. One day I think I would love to just hop in the car and drive, without any destination in mind.

Once I checked into the hotel (which was free because of points earned from previous stays), I got changed and decided to go walk through the huge cemetery across the street. Yes, that may seem strange, but I think it is genetic. My parents visited a lot of cemeteries, and I have always found them fascinating. (My favorite cemetery is in the middle of Boston.)

Anyway, as I walked around, people whipped past me on their bikes. I thought it was very strange that people were biking in a cemetery, and possibly even disrespectful. I followed where they were going and found that at the back of the cemetery, there was a path that connected to a beautiful nature trail next to a river. I walked/ran a couple miles and was so happy that I stumbled across something so pleasant and unexpected.

The rest of the evening very relaxing for me, at least until the baby in the next room started screaming. I realized then that there were probably many people that were forced to turn up their television sets when they were stuck in a room next to us when our kids were babies…

Overall I must say I learned a lot during this little adventure, such as:

*It is good to get out once in awhile on your own terms. I felt so totally relaxed just being away without an agenda or anything to worry about.

*You never know what a locale has to offer. I had no idea there was even a river near where I was staying, let alone an entire nature trail.

*Always pack food when traveling, even when it is just for yourself. When the family travels, I always make sure a cooler is packed. For myself, I waited until the very last minute to leave and left somewhat unprepared. My evening snack ended up being Yoo Hoo and peanuts.

*I don’t like Yoo Hoo.

I really enjoyed my night of relaxation, and I loved the free hot breakfast. I think I could even handle a break like this for several days. However, after long I think I would get pretty lonely.

Have you done much leisure travel alone? (Work does not count.) What did you think? Do you prefer traveling alone or with someone?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Dianna July 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

Sounds like a wonderful time! I’ve taken several trips where I traveled alone and then met up with someone. I LOVE to fly by myself – hours to do whatever I want and no one to ask me for snacks or to take them to the bathroom! A few years ago, I met my sis in South Beach and had an evening and night alone in a hotel. Enjoyed it except for when I let my parent’s get in my head about how safe the area might be…did manage to leave the hotel to walk to a really yummy deli for dinner and made it back alive! In fact, I could really use a getaway like that right about now…

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Kris July 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

You and I can take different flights to the same location and meet up!

That South Beach trip must have been wonderful.

So bummed I missed the storms last night though!

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Linda July 28, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’ve traveled alone several times and really enjoy it. I have ultimate control over what to do/what to eat; not negotiating involved, at all!

I think the first trip I took alone was a driving trip, too. I had just broken up with a BF and wanted to get away from everything, so I drove about five hours south to the Shawnee National Forest (southern Illinois) and went hiking, horseback riding, and spent a memorable afternoon sipping cocoa and journaling in front of a cozy fireplace in one of the beautiful old state park buildings.

Last year I went on a 10-day cruise of the Galapagos Islands by myself (and lucked into a completely solo cabin, despite only paying single fare since they couldn’t pair me with someone!), and this past spring I went on a 12-day trip to Spain by myself.

Yep, solo travel is awesome!

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I remember your Spain trip, and that sounded fantastic. I need to dig through your archives to see if there is anything about the Galapagos, my youngest son would really like to go there. I don’t live too far from Illinois, so I am going to look into that Shawnee National Forest too.

Thanks for the ideas!

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No Debt MBA July 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

I prefer traveling with my SO to traveling alone. It’s a lot more fun and I tend to get bored otherwise. Plus then you have someone to reminisce with.

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I definitely prefer traveling with my family, but I will admit, I enjoyed having just one night where I could do whatever the heck I wanted!

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Crystal @ BFS July 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I love road trips with others but dislike travelling alone. I am a socializer, so if there is nobody to socialize with, I get bored. I usually listen to audio books on solo drives to keep my mind busy…

That nature trail sounded awesome though. 🙂

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I am a socializer too, but I love driving alone, and always have. It has always been my escape. I guess it is my time to think and appreciate things I don’t normally get the chance to see. Driving is kind of my therapy.

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Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager July 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I haven’t traveled completely alone. Last fall I travelled to Prague to visit a friend of mine. Since he works full time I got to explore various historical sites and museums all by myself. It was pretty fun to go at my own pace and explore what I wanted and skip what I didn’t want to see.

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Oh my, going to Prague alone, that had to be interesting. It is so nice to be able to go where you want when you are traveling to a new place though. That is where it can be hard to travel with another family and such.

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krantcents July 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I never traveled alone for leisure! Years ago, I went with my son to law school and we stayed overnight. When I traveled for business, I found that traveling alone is no fun, in fact traveling for anything other than a vacation is not fun. Too many instances of a table for one or eating in the room.

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Krantcents- I have to admit, I really enjoyed eating my breakfast alone in the hotel lobby. It was interesting for me, but I am sure that traveling alone would lose its novelty pretty quickly. Since I haven’t been to many places, I find it kinda fun. Well, the one day I traveled alone in 43 years was fun… 🙂

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First Gen American July 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I’m learning to embrace and enjoy the alone time I have during my business trips. No, I don’t travel alone for fun. At this point in my life, I’m away from my family so much that I would feel guilty going somewhere without them. Plus I do like to see them too.

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm

First Gen, you do have to travel quite a bit, so I can see how you would have a totally different perspective. Especially when the kids are little, it is hard to leave. I knew I was picking up my daughter the next day, so it was just a mini adventure.

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Squirrelers July 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I’ve never done leisure travel alone – at least nothing more than daytrips, anyway. Never traveled overnight alone for leisure.

For business, however….LOTS of times. I’ve flown across the country late in the afternoon, let’s say on a Wednesday, and might meet up with someone on a Thursday. There have been a few trips where I met nobody I knew the entire time. Sometimes it’s nice to get away to a totally different environment…just not too often!

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Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I totally loved my trip. I couldn’t handle more than a few days, but I have often wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a hotel where I had never been before, with absolutely no plans. It was a lot of fun!

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mia October 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

hey you kris i think you know how to reply so
if you do it again i’ll definitely slap you ,you unknown creature now get lost.

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Kris October 17, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Sweet, I am going to get slapped and then get lost.

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