Solo Travel: worth trying
On a recent flight, I came across an article by Sarah Hepola about traveling solo in Spirit, the Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine. This passage made me smile:
“I hate traveling alone,” he told me. “There’s never anyone to share the view.”
It’s a common complaint. People inevitably equate solo travel with loneliness. And they’re not wrong. But those same people don’t realize what a powerful motivator loneliness can be.... Loneliness pushes you to meet new people. Bartenders are usually a safe bet, especially when they’re female...One time I walked into a bar in Baltimore with nothing but a paperback book and left three hours later with three e-mail addresses, five dinner recommendations, and a newfound mastery of Beer Pong. It all started with a single question to the straight-talking Northeastern proprietress: “What can you tell me about the crab cakes?”
So true. I've had similar experiences. Rick Steeves maintains that the more money you spend while traveling, the more distance you put between yourself and the locals. It also seems that the more people you bring with you, the more insulated you are from meeting new people, including the locals that give a place the color you came to experience in the first place. I enjoy traveling with a friend, but I also relish the types of experiences Sarah mentions above - if only it was easier to have the courage and confidence to travel solo more often.