Day 306: The Man and the Lone Traveler; ‘Pursue’

Today is my last (physical) day in the office, and then two personal days to complete the week (and the paycheck, hahah). This was waiting for me when I got in this morning.

Last Day

I do love the people I work with. They’ve got a great dark sense of humor. This is the team I work parallel to; they do the real main support and me and the rest of my team, we’re just the front lines, the ones who go out to the stores, so we get all the glory. It’s a shame really, wish I could give them a bigger shout out for all they do. I like the people I work with. (For, well, that’s a different story.)

So Friday I leave for Canada on my own, and aside from two nights where I will be meeting up with some old friends and a group walking food tour of Old Montreal, I will primarily be doing everything on my own. I’m very used to being a single traveler nowadays, though honestly I never thought I wanted to be one, or thought I would be. There are still so many trips I wish I could take with a special someone. I’ve done Vegas with friends, Vegas with family, but never Vegas with, you know, her. Or Aruba. I’m pretty sure that one I’ll specially reserve still though. No point going there by yourself.

The first couple times you do it, the first few nights there can sometimes be this tug of Solivagantwar between wanting to go out and just staying in your room where it’s safe and comfortable. The first few nights with this job when I was traveling to stores I’d just order insane amounts of Chinese delivery or pizza. Then I started slowly and gradually going out. First to chain restaurants, simple places where lone business travelers could find company by proxy in the shared chaos. And then to the more quiet, independent, noticeable places where a single diner could actually stick out.

There are definitely a few pros to traveling on your own. It gives you an unparalleled feeling of power and agency. There is nothing you’re doing that you don’t want to do. For the obsessive-compulsive planner (such as myself) it’s so much easier to have your entire trip planned out two, or even three weeks out, down to the day and time (which I have). For the free spirit, there’s no other accommodation or negotiation to answer the call of every whim. It also forces you to be more engaged and focused on your destination. When it is just you and a blank slate trip in a brand new city, you really have to create your own story. There is no safety blanket, no other who you can abdicate power and authority to. You are your own destiny’s author. So guess who’s fault it is if you have a terrible trip. I’ve put my ear closer to the ground than ever before and really had to find what it was I wanted to find, what I wanted to get out of every trip, every opportunity. I think it makes me a more responsible, aware, and excited traveler.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way trying to convince people solo travel is better than accompanied travel. I’m not even trying to compare the two. What I am trying to do is convince those people who have always been on the fence about taking that trip and whose only sole reason for not going is because they don’t have someone to go with, to go. No one has to be convinced more than once about going on a trip with people. Everyone speaks of the joy of traveling with company. But solo travel shouldn’t be something intimidating, or hell, only for seasoned travelers. Newbies, rookie travelers, and the uninitiated should find the comfort and confidence to do it too.

I think the biggest, and sometimes funniest, obstacle to traveling alone is the constant need to contextualize yourself to curious minds. The person checking you in will ask you if you need one key or two, expecting you to say your travel partner is just late arriving. Eating AloneAlmost every pre-booked excursion or activity you try to go on will default to two adults. You’ll never have to worry about reservations at restaurants, though I would please encourage you to avoid the comfort of sitting at the bar and actually own the experience of dining by yourself at a table. Your waiter will do a double-take and try to figure out if they need to pour water into the second glass in front of you. I used to like to mess with people when this happened. At resorts when I was traveling as an agent to do a site inspection or familiarization trip, I would weave sob stories of being an abandoned groom whose bride-to-be left him at the altar, but the honeymoon deposit was non-refundable. At restaurants I would eagerly sit upright and tell my waiter I was there for a blind date who would inevitably never show up. I think it’s interesting that for as much as people don’t want to travel alone, they don’t want to think others would either. Hahah.

I’m too excited and too eager to take this trip to have to sit by the wayside and wait for someone to go with. There are enough adventures out there for a solo traveler to pursue that can fill one’s life with stories and interest while you move ever closer to finding the person you’ll travel with for the rest of your life. You have to remember that this is the time that they are out there making stories and experiences to share with you as well. Don’t be the one to bring nothing to the table. For anyone who might be hesitant or unsure of solo travel, take it from someone who’s spent the past two years now doing it, it can open up a whole new world. Maybe in the future I’ll do a solo traveler guide, but really, all you need is the drive. So if I could sell you the emotions and the motivation, I would.

Day 306

Man: 273 Loneliness: 33

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19 thoughts on “Day 306: The Man and the Lone Traveler; ‘Pursue’

  1. This resonated with me. I am traveling by myself to Costa Rica this summer. Haven’t really traveled out of country since marrying. Almost decided not to go and then told myself I was worth the adventure. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have only ever in all my life lived on my own for two years before I met John and although I did not go away on holiday due ti insufficient funds 😉 One thing I did notice during that time was how many couples actually looked miserable together, sat eat not talking, or worse still on their mobiles.

    I actually felt like I belonged to some elite club being on my own. Too many people settle for anyone rather than the real one to be with. I would rather be on my own.

    Your desk made me smile too, like you I made good friends at work, we all said we would keep in touch but never did.

    I’m so excited for you stepping out of your comfort zone, he who dares wins. You’re never alone with all of us following you 😃😬🙄 I for one am looking forward to reading of your experiences….. not too much food though eh 🤢

    Onwards and upwards 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. I think everything, from travel to dining to just spending evenings at leisure, are best spent in the pleasure of good company. Even if that means the pleasure of one’s company until the right person comes along, it’s better than to be miserable and surrounded. Hahah.

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    • Unless soulmates are a real thing and I actually find mine, there’s no way that this trip would have been exactly as it was paced, scheduled, and actually executed if I was with someone else. But then, I don’t want someone who’ll match it. I want someone who’ll make it better. Kind of like you and Scrubs. Speaking of which, I’m just catching up on everything here, but wanted to say congrats! And I’ll say it again when I reach that post on your blog. So happy for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Thanks! And yeah, that’s what we should strive for I think. I see too many people thinking things are as good as they’re going to get when they’re just… fine. They can be better than fine! I promise! They can be great! I’m rambling now thinking about people I know, but I’m glad you’re taking your Time Out; I did and it definitely helped me!

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  3. Pingback: Author Interview – Katie Salidas – “The Immortalis”, “Olde Town Pack”, “Little Werewolf” & RONE Award Winning “Chronicles of the Uprising” (Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance & Horror) | tooful

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