When Solo Travel Becomes Second Nature

I have so many self-taken photos of me, it's kind of embarrassing.

As I prepare for my upcoming trip–which involves, among other things, researching the best beignets in New Orleans and how to best reach Tulum from Cozumel–I come to an oddly calm realization.  I’m doing all of these things all by myself…and that’s absolutely fine with me.  In fact, the solo nature of this trip wasn’t even a consideration when I planned it.

When did I become this person?

I think my first true solo trip (that wasn’t a road trip to a music festival) was in 2005.  I went to Martha’s Vineyard for three weeks for a summer writing program.  I cried when my husband–then not even my husband yet–dropped me off at the airport.  I cried a lot.  Not so much because I was going to miss him, but because I was scared.

Future solo trips were scary too.  I was even nervous to visit Walt Disney World by myself last Spring.  When I was looking into the Bermuda cruise I took in October, one of my main considerations was ‘will I enjoy doing this by myself?’  But something happened between then and now, because that wasn’t even a thought I had when planning this next trip.

When planning this next trip, I researched hotel costs and flight times.  I thought about things I wanted to do in the port towns and which part of New Orleans I wanted to stay in.  I tried to determine if this trip would be the best use of my time and money.  But at no point did I wonder if I’d enjoy doing these things on my own.  Of course I would.  It took me almost 32 years, but finally solo travel has become second nature.

I’d love to hear from other solo travelers out there.  Was it hard for you to start traveling on your own?  If so, what changed?  Do you remember the moment, the trip, the point in your life when solo travel became simply travel?

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