• diaryofamousefanfamily

I'm Going Solo

My family is my life and I am so fortunate that we have been able to travel together. I enjoyed driving around the Southwest and exploring with my husband and son. My husband and I have traveled all over the world, from New Zealand to Paris. I love every (almost) every second of traveling with him. Going back to when I was a kid, I even can appreciate my sister making me lay on the floor board of the car because she wanted the backseat all to herself during our summer vacations. We traveled with neighbors who were more like family. The kids took turns in the back of the truck (there was a cap on it) riding to Florida. Those trips would not have been possible without friends and family. However, there is no shame, and as a matter of fact, there can be a lot of joy, in traveling to Disney, or anywhere, alone.

So much time was taken into designing each window on Main Street, U.S.A. Take time to enjoy the workmanship and imagination!

Now let me preface this by saying that I am not one who minds being alone. Because my husband is in the military and my son is in activities, I have my share of alone time. I will go to restaurants and the movies by myself. I prefer to shop alone (although retail therapy with girlfriends can feel really good). I am comfortable with me, myself and I. If you are not so comfortable with just yourself as a travel companion, let me give you some reasons to seriously consider it.

For starters, it is really easy to fly alone. You don't have to pay to make sure your seats are all together. You don't have to wait for everyone to make it through security. You can sleep on the flight without needing to entertain or socialize with your fellow companions. Check out a bargain flight and go for it!https://www.southwest.com/?clk=GNAVHO

When you don't have to make a decision as a group, you are free to explore. Your traveling companions may be a little cranky if you choose to spend 2 hours on Main Street in Walt Disney World just looking at the windows and enjoying the secrets they have to offer (many of the names you see were contributors to Disney in some way). Pay attention to the lights as you walk down Main Street - the style changes to indicate the passage of time from gas lamps to electric! You may not take the time to notice if you are rushing to get to get to the next Fast Pass. You can also sit on a bench eating ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and just people watch. You won't be disappointed.

Want a confidence booster? Book a trip to a place you've never been and problem solve on your own. There is no better feeling than navigating the pitfalls of travel, from a delayed flight to getting lost (is there such thing any more with GPS?) and figuring it all out. When you come home you realize you did not rely on anyone but yourself and your own ability to take care of yourself. You can literally conquer the world!!

The crowds at Rockefeller Plaza at Christmas can be a nightmare. It's a lot easier to navigate them when you are traveling solo.

Work on a bucket list. Want to go to Kathmandu and your friends refuse to get on a plane? Nothing is stopping YOU from going. It doesn't even have to be an exotic location. Does your family hate the city but you've always wanted to see Rockefeller Plaza at Christmas? It's a lot easier to navigate the city by yourself during a crowded time of year.

I think the most important part of traveling alone is the way it opens you up to new opportunities to expand yourself. I was at a Travel Expo in Philadelphia (by myself) and had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by Andrew McCarthy. Not only is he a great actor (ok, I crushed hard on Blaine), he is a world traveler and has written extensively on the subject. He was articulate and funny and what he had to say was so insightful. He talked about the value of traveling in general and also traveling alone. Some of his stories were heartfelt like when he spoke about his family and some of his tales made me laugh. However, he left me with the affirmation of how important travel is. It makes you a better citizen. It makes you more compassionate. And solo travel is important because it makes you leave your comfort zone. If you are interested in self help, solo travel is like taking a crash course. I was not able to get out of my comfort zone, though, and get in line to get my picture taken with him.

I would love to hear from you. Have you traveled alone? What's holding you back? If you have, what was your favorite part or your biggest obstacle?

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