As the weather warms and thoughts of summer begin to beckon me somewhere...with an "anywhere but here" kind of mentality, I start my annual battle of the mind about traveling alone. It's not insecurity, mind you. I have traveled a lot on business, but that's always a planned destination with purpose. Not much time to wander beyond the absolutes. A couple of my usual travel companions are tied into family jaunts in the next few months so I thought this might be the season I break out, and hopefully break free of "couple mania"... constant reminders of how great it was to travel with THE one I miss! What's worked for some of you? Have you traveled alone to somewhere exciting by yourself? Any suggestions, ideas?
I've been crazy about travel since I was a kid. Visiting London and Paris as soon as I could scrape together enough money from my first real job just made me want more. When DH and I met in 1997 and started traveling together, it was truly a match made in heaven. We visited over a dozen countries together and last year's trip to Iceland was one of our best. I've also been fortunate to travel on business to London, Zurich, Munich, Delhi, Bangalore and Brussels- some multiple times.
It's definitely going to be different without DH- not part of a couple but not with business colleagues either. I'm going to do it, though. Last month we traveled to Myrtle Beach for my mother's funeral and, since DH's acute myeloid leukemia had weakened him so badly, I did all the driving (20 hours one way, with 2 overnights) and also dealt with DH and his wheel chair. Most of my family is still in the Carolinas and I'll head there at Christmas. There will be bittersweet memories but loving family at the end.
We were supposed to return to Iceland this past August but DH was too sick and my mother also had terminal cancer. I'd planned to go to Australia and NZ after DH died but decided business class airfares were too crazy for my budget (sorry, I've been spoiled by long-hauls in Business Class). Instead I booked a cruise in April from Panama City through the Canal to Costa Rica on UnCruise, which uses small ships (under 100 passengers) and is focused on nature. DH was happy for him when I told him about it. Yes, you pay through the nose as a single, but this was what I wanted to do. It's also a good middle ground. I'll have company when I want it but not 100% of the time. I've got 3 days on my own in San Jose at the end of the cruise.
I really want to sprinkle some of DH's ashes in the places we loved most. Edinburgh and Reykjavik would be at the top of the list. I know people all over the US and some parts of the world and would structure future trips around seeing them- not necessarily staying with them, just being able to visit and talk over dinner and coffee so I have human contact. I'm going to miss talking with DH about what I/we were seeing- he knew European history very well and I could usually fake my way through the local language so we were a great team. I've also toyed with the idea of just parking myself in one city in Europe at an airbnb place for a month. What a way to polish my French or my German!
India is the great question mark. I LOVED it as a business traveler but really need to have company on that one even though I have a friend in Delhi. I'll probably need a good tour there.
An update on this- I seem to be making up for the travel I didn't do while DH was ill last year.
My favorite Aunt (only 5 years older than I am, married mom's youngest brother) e-mailed and said she was taking a tour to India and Nepal in March of 2018. I researched the tour and put down a deposit less than 24 hours later. Perfect! I think I have enough miles to redeem for the airfare.
In May I'm going to a meeting of my professional society in Toronto. Haven't been to one since I retired 3 years ago but I love Toronto and registration for the meeting (which includes continental breakfasts, cocktail receptions and a couple of other meals) is free to retired members.
I booked the B&B where DH and I used to stay in Hermann, MO for September. It will be weird without him but I can still do long bike rides on the Katy Trail, which I always did myself because DH had stopped bicycling years before we met. I may tour the wineries although that seems to be a "couples" thing. The B&B has a wonderful gourmet dinner that you can enjoy for an extra charge but I've never seen someone there as a single- all couples. I think I'll skip that.
Finally- this morning I booked a trip back to Ohio in October for a 50-year grade school reunion.
I just hope the planes run on time. That's always my major concern.
Good for you Athena! I have done some traveling alone - mainly to places that my husband and I had traveled to before. I found that eating at outside cafes was more enjoyable than sitting in a restaurant alone. I went to Sedona, a place Jerry and I enjoyed spending our anniversaries. The first year was difficult as I frequented many of the places we had gone to before but the next time I went I visited different areas that were more of my interest and I had more fun. I have come to a time now when I want to try traveling with women's groups. Please keep us updated.
I will! Forgot to mention that over Christmas I put over 2,500 miles on the car in 9 days, going from the Midwest to the Carolinas, where the rest of my family has settled in various places. DH and I had made the trip many times together. It wasn't bad at all retracing those steps. A friend from HS who's been divorced for a couple of decades travels all over and said that, because he's alone, he tends to strike up great conversations with the people around him. I'm a bit of an introvert, but I'm trying to adapt his perspective.
I'm just watching for any answers you get. I'm anxious to get out of here for a bit also. But am nervous. He was always with me.
I read this quote from the Dalai Lama: "Once a year go someplace you've never been before." I would like to make it a goal to do this. It doesn't have to be someplace far away...but someplace I haven't been before...or, that I might have been many, many years ago and would like to see it with fresh eyes...
If I were to go someplace, Fly somewhere, who would hold my hand as we take of ? LOL He always held my hand at take off, then I would crochet once were on the way.
I am only 5 mos out from losing my husband of 42 yrs. We were pretty much attached at the hip once we both retired. We were not huge travelers but did enjoy road trips. In June I am going to take my first trip alone. Flying a small twin turbo prop to visit my younger son and family. I have not flown anywhere in 20 yrs so this will be a little adventure. The whole TSA thing did not even exist last time I flew! The airport/travel thing will be stressful but at least I will have familiar people on the other end. I am looking at this as a test of how adventurous I will be on my own. Wish I had someone to travel with but I can do this!!
I hope you have a great trip in June. As for the TSA, I hate what they do to us at the airport. Since we always flew to see our son, I would tell myself, " Seeing my son is worth all of the abuse the TSA dishes out " ...
I hope you have a great time ! :-)
Traveling for the first time solo in 22 years! TSA didn't even exist then. Not sure what I am about to encounter but if I do not do this I will never be able to go anywhere. John wouldn't want that. Still too many years of life left in me....I hope, lol.
Have you gone on your trip yet ? How was it ?