Romance and Myself – The Problem With Solo Travel No One Really Likes to Talk About

A few years ago I was working on a show for the Travel Channel that had me traveling all around the US and even some international. It was a pretty sweet gig aside from the fact that I wasn’t in a place in my life where I could handle the sociopaths in the industry the way I know to handle them now, but I digress. They’re not the point of this post.

One of my shoots was in Arizona and it ended just before a long weekend. I decided to delay my return to New York and venture up to the Grand Canyon to well, see the Grand Canyon! When I told a co-worker that I was sticking around Arizona after the shoot for some Grand Canyoning he looked at me and said, ‘Oh, so you’re meeting up with friends out there?’ I told him that I’d be checking it out by myself. He thought that was SOOO weird. His face was that of ‘Who DOES that?’

Here’s the thing, I have mentioned before in this blog that I have missed out on life experiences because I was waiting on others. If I waited for other people to be available or to be ready when I’m ready, I would have never seen the Grand Canyon. I would have never seen a lot of things. This is the main reason why I Solo Travel.

I’ve been on many, many trips alone. The advantages of Solo Travel are great – I can do what I want, go where I want, sleep in when I want, stay where I want, eat what I want, leave when I want… you get the point. There’s never a need for compromise and it relieves me of a lot of stress and tension. I have been able to really know myself through solo travel and my self-awareness and self-love is at a place that I don’t think anyone can achieve unless they have that type of alone time to appreciate the solace. Solo travel has also been the best way for me to get over heartbreak and I reccommend it to anyone who needs healing of the heart. BUT solo travel also comes with a price.

Now that I’m older with a lot of solo trips under my belt, I am finding each trip to be more and more difficult. I recently when on a trip to Indonesia that I swear felt a honeymoon with myself. I tend to gravitate towards romantic things and activities. I can’t help it, it’s what I like. And this is where it becomes a problem.

I see all of these beautiful things and world wonders and I have no one to turn to in that moment. There’s no shared experience to look back on. I don’t know how many times I think of a magical moment I’ve had and I wish I could call someone and say, ‘Hey, remember that time…’ They’re all in my head and no matter how many photos I take or stories I tell, no one will understand that moment. No one but me, and there is a feeling of loss there.

I belong in the world. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But, there is also no doubt in my mind that I don’t belong in the world – alone. Can I survive on my own? Yes. Will I survive on my own? Yes. But here is what I know about myself – despite my resting bitch face and tough exterior, I am a nurturing person at heart who wants to share these moments with someone who wants to share these moments with me as well.

I won’t ever stop traveling. Whether alone, or with someone – it is my passion. It is what makes me feel most alive. I just know now that I have a hole to fill within my aliveness. The journey continues…