The question most often asked is am I afraid of traveling alone. Even after hearing and reading about all the horror stories, my answer remains…..no.
Well, except for that time in Alaska when I was tent camping in “High bear alert” season. I got a little bit antsy that time.
I have never understood why someone should be afraid of being alone. Unless you are afraid of getting bored with your own company. But, I like me, I'm content to hold long conversations with myself, and I like letting my mind wonder around on it's own at times. You can't really do this if you're trying to keep someone else entertained.
A word about safety here: Never, ever do I text while driving. I only answer the phone when I have a hands-free device in place.
There are other advantages to traveling alone.
Driving. I love to drive, and there are very few (less than 5 actually) people I will willingly ride shotgun with. I don't care for most peoples driving and I like to be in control of my own destiny. Pilots of planes, Engineers on trains, and Captains on big boats, I don't mind. After all, they have to have a license to do these things, so I am trusting their training, and that they didn't have too many adult beverages with their last meal.
No arguing over what to listen to on the radio, or what CD’s to listen to. I listen to 70s on 7 on Sirius Radio, almost exclusively. Sometimes I go up a channel or down a channel to the 80s or the 60s. Thanks to an awesome gift from my son, I have music where ever I go. I actually do have rings on my fingers, but no bells on my toes, or a bone in my nose. (Who got this last sentence?)
Dining. No debate on where or when to eat. It depends entirely on when I get hungry, and what I am hungry for. This is a big plus if you are like me and not on a regular feeding schedule, and like a variety in your meals.
What’s for supper? Again, whatever I want, or feel like cooking, or not. I happen to like cereal for supper at times.
Unless I have the GPS device on, there is no one trying to tell me where to go, when to turn, what road to take, etc. I don’t mind getting a little lost, sometimes you find great stuff being lost. Like flea markets, interesting little places to eat, and you can see some really exciting people in some places too.
Pit stops. I stop when I need to, and at my age, this is more often than some people. I also stop for coffee, or snacks when I want to as well. I usually have no schedules to keep, and unless I am going somewhere specific, or have a rigid check in time, I am not in a hurry to get anywhere any more.
Are we there yet? I am, like any good wizard, am where I need to be, when I need to be there. (Thank you Gandalf for the quote)
No arguments on what to see or do any particular day. If I want to go see an attraction, I go. If I feel like staying in camp and reading, or writing, or just lounging, I do.
The only times I wish I had had someone along is when I miss a great picture. I have missed some really great shots because there is no place to stop and snap a picture. I really have stopped in the middle of the road and taken pictures. I don’t recommend this on a hill, or curve. And, if there is traffic behind you, some of the drivers just have no patience when it comes to preserving the beauty in front of them.
So, no, I am not afraid of traveling alone. I am a very safety conscious person, for the most part, and take steps to insure I am safe in my travels.
I stop only at well-lit places if traveling at night, although I rarely travel at night. In the day time, at clean, I stop at clean and well-kept places. When camping, I stay at KOA, Good Sam, National and State camp grounds. These are most often really dependable places to stay.
And I have weapons, bear spray, hornet spray, and other deterrents as well. I keep my keys handy at night, pressing the panic button on the Jeep key, causes an unholy racket which is almost guaranteed to chase away even the most dedicated problem.
So, you see, being alone isn’t a good reason not to travel, or see sights you have never seen. Some of are alone by choice, some not so much. I could chose to stay at home, where my safety is not really guaranteed anymore, or I can chose the freedom of going where, and when, I choose to go. But, I see more, experience more, and meet some interesting people, by choosing to travel alone.
To those who are alone, I say go, get out there. Go places you have never been, see the world outside your box. There are magnificent places waiting for those who dare to travel alone.