Why I Kept My Solo Travel a Secret

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I’m taking a break from recapping my trip to the Azores Islands and Lisbon (Part 1 here and Part 2 here) and from overloading you with pictures to talk about solo travel and why I chose to kept this trip largely secret from friends and yes, even my family. You might remember in my first post about the trip that I mentioned that not very many people knew about the trip beforehand, and it was never mentioned on the blog or on social media until I had already landed. “Why keep something so exciting a secret?” you might be asking.

I booked this trip months ago – actually, not long after I came back in October from my trip to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. I was itching for another travel experience and I hate not having anything lined up. I also knew that I was committed to going to Nepal this year, probably by myself, so I reasoned that it would be a good idea to test out how I feel about solo travel before going on a long trip in a more challenging country. After all, I have traveled in the U.S. by myself but never overseas, and I didn’t know if I would like it. Of course, I talked to my husband, A.J., about it, but literally told no one else for a very, very long time. Not even my best friend knew at first. Why?

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After I stopped freaking out about all the salespeople in the souqs. Before I stopped sweating (which was a week later when I returned to America).

As I touched on in a previous post, the negative comments that I received about terrorism and the treatment of women in the Middle East, however unfounded they were for the countries I was visiting, affected me much more than I could possibly have realized at the time. When I arrived, I found myself jumping at everything and unable to relax. My experiences in my first couple of days gave me no reason whatsoever to feel threatened, but the opinions and comments I had received had colored my expectations negatively. Did those thoughts and fears come from a place of concern and love for me? Yes, probably. But the result was that cultural differences started to feel like threats even when I was meant no harm. After talking to my best friend (who was traveling with me), I realized that I was letting the opinions and concerns I had heard determine how I perceived where I was. After I realized that, I was able to calm down, but the last thing I wanted was for that to happen again.

I love my parents, but my mom is…a bit of a worrier. She’s a mom, after all.  All I could picture was long emails and Facebook messages begging me not to hike alone, imploring me not to go at all, and phone calls to AJ asking if he was really ok with this. I envisioned myself tentatively looking around every tree and jumping at every sound on my hikes, or nervously clutching my bag while walking the streets of Lisbon to avoid pickpockets. So, I decided to avoid the situation entirely. I called my parents and told them I was leaving while sitting in the airport in Boston, waiting for my flight to the Azores with about an hour left til takeoff. Now, I will give them credit – they were very cool about it on the phone. But my mother did begin to panic once I was gone (“Don’t you get any ideas about traveling by yourself to Africa because that is NOT HAPPENING”) and so I felt vindicated in my decision (sorry Mom, it’s true).

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Look at all the people NOT pickpocketing me in Lisbon. (Jacket: KUHL)

Here’s the thing. Female solo travel is not widely accepted in a lot of places. It is certainly not as common in the U.S. as it is in Europe, and it is really uncommon where I live here in the South. I knew my parents would be worried out of their minds, and, after all of the negative comments and opinions I got when I mentioned my trip to the Middle East, I honestly just didn’t really want to deal with it because I wasn’t confident that I could. Yes, I knew there would be some people who would be very positive and excited for me, but I also knew there would be a lot of “You’re CRAZY to travel by yourself!” or “I would be SO scared to go alone!” That just makes me scared. Although some of you may have no idea what I’m talking about, may not think traveling alone is a big deal at all and might not understand why I was worried about people’s perceptions, unfortunately, my worries often turned out to be accurate. The people I did tell ahead of time (mostly no more than a few weeks before I left) often reinforced why I didn’t want to spread the word in the first place. The conversation frequently went something like this:

Them: “Oh, you’re going on a trip? Cool! Who are you going with?”

Me: “I’m going by myself”

Them: “By YOURSELF? What does A.J. have to say about that/A.J. is letting you go alone?”

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that probably 75% of the people I spoke to about this trip asked me first what my husband thought about me going alone. There was no “Wow, why did you pick Portugal? What are you going to see? That’s so exciting!” Just “What does your husband think?”

I try not to get overly uppity about this kind of thing, but you guys – my husband doesn’t “let” me do anything. He’s not my keeper. He doesn’t give me permission to do anything, just as I don’t give him permission to do anything. We value each other’s opinions and of course ask for them in a situation like this, but ultimately, we trust each other’s judgement. And honestly? It made me feel incredibly small and unimportant and it deeply shook my confidence when people asked me that question, especially when they asked it first. Intentional or not (and it often came from other women, so it was likely not intentional at all), the question implies, at least to me, “You can’t make decisions by yourself. You need your husband’s approval. This is a bad idea.”  Maybe that’s being overly sensitive, but that’s how I felt when I heard it.

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Why would I want to be afraid in someplace as beautiful as this?

All this tough talk sounds pretty good, right? Like “Yeah, I don’t need no man! I can travel alone! Woo!” The problem is, as I’ve already told you, I’m not fearless. Not at all. So all of the comments from my friends and family made out of worry and fear (I don’t really get negative comments here on the blog very often – thank you for that!), while they come from a good place of genuine concern and caring, only serve to inhibit me and diminish my experiences when I travel. I am not at the point yet where I feel powerful enough to brush them off and ignore them. I’m not a superhero. I worry tremendously and suffer from crippling anxiety. Those comments affect me deeply and personally, even though I wish they didn’t.

Deep down, I did worry that maybe this trip was a bad idea, so people reinforcing that tiny notion (whether on purpose or not) was not going to be helpful to me and make my trip successful. Confidence is key to keeping you safe anywhere you are, and I struggle enough with my confidence as it is. When I’m home in the U.S., I don’t walk the streets fearing that 99% of men are looking to harm me. Why? Because they’re not. And while there are certainly countries where solo female travel is more dangerous than in others, in most places, the situation is the same: most people want to help you, not hurt you. I’ve encountered nothing but kindness on any of my trips, and many of them have been taken with “only” another female friend. I needed to remember that, not the fact that most people in my life thought it was a bad idea for me to go.

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Peace in the world. Peace in my brain.

Ultimately, this trip was about proving to myself that I was more powerful than the voices and doubt in my own head. And maybe it’s selfish, but the last thing I wanted to worry about were the thoughts and doubts in the minds of others. I’d like to think that now that I’ve made it back from my first trip in one piece (and with a working phone after all), the people around me will be more confident in my ongoing survival. The good news is that, as you’ve seen from my posts so far, the trip was an amazing, empowering experience! I returned home with more confidence in my ability to take care of myself and problem solve than I’ve ever had. So while I can’t say that I’ll always tell all of my secrets, I know now that I’m one step closer to relying on my own intuition and opinions to help me navigate the world and one step further from fretting about everything I hear. That, my friends, is something to talk about.

LEAVE A COMMENT: How do you feel about solo travel? Have you ever gone on a trip (domestic or international) alone?

79 thoughts on “Why I Kept My Solo Travel a Secret

  1. This is a really good post. I’m glad to see you look at it from all sides. I would get upset as well if the first thing people asked me when I traveled alone was what my boyfriend thought about it and is he letting me. The thing is, if it actually were up to him, I wouldn’t be traveling anywhere. 😀 He’s scared of planes and terrorists and he’s a much bigger worrier than I am.
    But on to my experience. My first trip alone was 2 weeks in Paris on business. I arrived on Sunday in jeans and sport shoes only to learn my baggage did not arrive with me. No clothes, no make-up (just the underwear in my bag which is always there when I travel). I was also located in a Muslim quarter so that did not help with my basically white upbringing (there aren’t many people of any color in Croatia). I had a complete collapse that day, first time alone, no business clothes for the presentation on MOnday and young men in the hood pushing each other towards me while on the street.
    So I cried, and then I went on with my obligations the next day. Everyone at the company I was giving the presentation was very nice and understanding, I went to the city after work to buy some clothes for the next day and when I returned. my baggage arrived. After that, I realized that I was in a family type of neighborhood and young men are the same world over. In a week, I traveled all over Paris and learned to navigate their metro system like a pro.
    Now, Paris is the city I love with all my heart. I was there a month after the bombings and alone for 2 days while waiting for a friend to arrive and still feeling fine with everything.
    So, my point is – fear is a normal reaction to a new situation. But it’s also a reaction you need to deal with and work through.
    Honestly though, traveling alone or with my now trusted traveling companion is so much better than traveling with my boyfriend. 😀 He’s just not the type for it.

    P.S. I can’t wait to hear when are you coming to Croatia. 🙂 Whether alone or not. Although here you won’t be really alone. 😉

    1. This story is amazing, Ines!! What a tough situation. I can totally see why Paris would hold such a special place in your heart after your overcame those obstacles and persevered! That is sort of how I feel about Portugal at the moment 🙂

      AJ definitely is a little more skeptical of travel than I am and he doesn’t quite have the wide range of geographic interests that I do. That said, he really wants to visit Croatia! He has known me long enough to know that I am a very diligent researched, and I think he also understands that I have a lot of my own anxieties and fears and I’m not a careless person. I do appreciate that he trusts me to make my own decisions, and we’re great travel partners – as long as we’re going someplace he wants to go, haha!

      You will be the first to know when I am coming to Croatia! It’s very high on my list and I would love to go sooner rather than later.

  2. As a feminist married to a feminist I totally agree that neither of us gives each other permission to travel – we just go! And we don’t check in with each other all the time either. I like it that when I’m away I can devote myself entirely to new experiences without trying to calculate time zones in order to let my husband know I’m OK. Our policy is, I’m having a hoot and if I’m not, I’ll get in touch to let you know about it. I much prefer travelling with my husband as he’s such fun and good at bargaining (whereas I’m good at patiently standing in queues and working out what we need to see when) but I never let the fact he can’t accompany me stop me from going somewhere. I travelled solo in Israel a few years ago and went on a tour of the West Bank – I was genuinely scared to go but I forced myself and it was amazing to find that Palestinians are just as welcoming (and peace seeking) as the Israelis I’d met. Stay fearless Danielle!

    1. Oh Lisa, I absolutely love you (and Graham)! I love what you said about not worrying about checking in. I wish that was my situation. Due to the aforementioned worrying (especially on the part of my parents), I get really stressed out if I don’t have WiFi access and can’t reach them because I know they’re flipping out. I don’t necessarily speak to AJ on the phone (or via Skype) every day while I’m gone, but I do always let him know that I’m alive. That will change when I go to Nepal, though!

      I understand completely what you’re saying about preferring to travel with Graham. I don’t know that I necessarily prefer to travel with someone versus travel solo or vice versa, but I see the pros and cons to each. There were definitely points on this trip where I wished that I had someone to experience a funny or strange moment with, but there were also times when I was so glad I was alone so that I didn’t have to worry about how anyone else was feeling. I see both sides! Thank you for your endless support – I hope we get to meet up soon!

  3. Just when I think I cannot think any more highly of you, you go and write a piece like this! I love all of this – not telling anyone so you’re not negatively affected, discussing your fears but doing shit anyway and maybe THIS country has a problem with women traveling alone when people are asking you if you received permission from your owner…um, I mean husband. 🙂
    I’m so inspired by your travel and mostly because you ARE afraid and you do it anyway. I hope you never lose this part of you because it’s amazing!
    And, if you need a travel buddy for Africa, just call…

    1. YES!!! Isn’t that so funny? I thought it was very ironic that so many people here in the U.S. have issues with how other countries treat their women, but yet here, the first question was whether or not my husband was “allowing” me to go. Interesting, right?

      Don’t worry, I will probably never stop being scared of random things and I will definitely never be afraid of traveling, so there is plenty more where this came from! I’m thinking Africa in 2017…

  4. Sometimes you just have to go and do something that scares you and that scares others, but that you know, deep down, that you can do. And sometimes, you need to do that in quiet. I have no problem with solo travel. My problem is that I just want my husband to be able to enjoy it with me. And I have a hard time spending that kind of money on myself, but that is my personal hang up!

    1. I can definitely understand that! There were times on this trip where I thought “AJ would really like this” or “OMG that was hilarious, AJ would have died,” but the thing is, he doesn’t have the same passion for travel that I do. I always ask him if he wants to go on XYZ trip with me, and if he does, then I bring him along, but if he doesn’t, I go with a friend or by myself. I think it would be different if he wanted to go everywhere, but he doesn’t, so I don’t feel terribly guilty about it.

      As for the money situation, I get that, too! We have personal money that we’re each allowed to spend on whatever we want – he buys parts for his car, I buy plane tickets. That makes it easy to not feel guilty!

  5. I agree with Allie. I think you made the right decision and it sounds like you had one of the best trips of your life. I’m happy you did because you deserve that. I think it’s important to do what makes you happy and if traveling makes you happy than do it. You are inspirational because instead of saying “I’m nervous/scared/whatever” to travel by myself…you just do.

    1. Thanks, Hollie! There are lots of things I am nervous about or scared to do, which is exactly why I don’t let myself give in to those things anymore. I really missed out on a lot in life when I did! I figure the only way to (maybe) conquer my fears is to confront them head on.

  6. I love traveling solo and did it many times. Life’s too short to wait for companions sometimes, ya know?

    *Eye rolls* at the questions about getting your husband’s permission to travel. It’s really offensive. No one asks a guy if he got permission from his wife. As a test, I just know asked my husband for permission to go to Boston. He looked puzzled, said yes and then asked why on earth I was asking him permission.

    1. AMEN!! The way I see it, I want to go everywhere. It’s not always possible to find a travel companion at short notice or for a “rough” trip, and I don’t want to let that hold me back! More importantly, it’s not always possible to find the right travel buddy – someone who aligns with your interests and travel style. That’s so critical to having a great time!

      HAHAHA I am trying to imagine what AJ would do if I asked his permission to do something. I typically say something along the lines of “I’m thinking about doing XYZ. How do you feel about that?”

  7. Yes, yes, yes! And great comments already!

    As Lisa told her dad before we were married when she talked about a trip she was taking and he said “and you’re letting her do this? are you making sure to budget her money? .. etc” And I think my jaw hung open for a few seconds in disbelief before Lisa chimed in with “I’m a woman of the 80s, I don’t ask him for permission, we discuss things as equals and are adult enough to make our own choices and respect the other person.”

    And that held true in the 90s, 2000s and today 🙂 And no matter what there is ALWAYS someone there to say “what does your husband think”. Well, her husband thinks she’s a grown-ass woman capable of making her own choices!

    Of course, because of who we are most times we are together … because that is simply our favorite part of life.

    The other side you mention is that all of these “well meaning” concerns are really not that helpful. When I was in college there were parts of Boston and NYC where you were told that you simply did not go (did my friends and I go there? of course!). Now? You pretty much can’t afford to go to those areas! haha – point is that not only are fears often unfounded but that areas change over time, and that the most important thing is that you are aware, alert and trust in yourself and your instincts. Not fearful, but mindful. Because, as you note, the commenters note, and I have found, while people can sometimes suck … mostly people are awesome!

    One final memory – for Lisa’s 30th birthday we took an ‘immersion cruise’ (small boat) down the west coast of Mexico, where there were loads of opportunities to spend time in the local areas. But as expected, most stuff was very touristy – and we worked hard to stray from those things. One place we went to (Zihuatanejo before it became trendy) we were warned about crime and theft and rapists (oh my!) … and yet all we found was a quiet fishing village that was full of amazing people that remains one of our vacation highlights two decades later.

    One of our older son’s best friends had the opportunity through her advisor (she’s a freshman at SUNY Stonybrook) to go to Mozambique for January. And because her mom is also a ‘seize the opportunity’ person (we are good friends with her as well), she was completely “YAAS” about Roni going, and we were terribly excited when we heard as well … but at the school play we kept overhearing in discussion the usual stuff – woman traveling alone, “what religion are they?” and on and on. She said none of it bugged her, which is great. But I understand how it can – none of us is without fear.

    1. Oh, I just love this entire comment – especially the fact that you used the word “YAASSS” at the end!” You’re the best. I couldn’t help but laugh at Lisa’s dad asking if you were budgeting her money. OMG! I am definitely the budgeter in my marriage and that is just hysterical. I think you make an important point about places changing over time, too! I feel like so many people’s perceptions of other countries or cities are based on what they see in the media or have heard a long time ago. For example, 25 years ago, NYC was considered very dangerous. Now, it’s not, but many people who have never visited there might still have that idea based on the perpetual notion that it USED to be dangerous. To me, the only way to know is to find out for myself, while taking the appropriate precautions, of course! Mostly, people are wonderful, though. I don’t want to think of the world any other way.

  8. I 100% love/agree/support this post! As a female that is beginning to travel and would love to travel all over the world, I too am getting push back about things that ‘could’ happen. Unfortunately bad things do happen in this world, however I am not going to let the fear of something that may or may not happen rule my life. I am going to rule my life and live it to the fullest. I could get in a car accident at anytime, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop driving a car…
    I love reading about all your travels and adventures! Keep doing your thing!!

    1. Exactly, Fritz! I agree 100%! The way I can see it, bad things could happen at home, too. I mean, let’s be honest – we have mass murders in the U.S. on a fairly regular basis, and that doesn’t stop us from going to malls, schools, movie theaters, marathons… you get the point. Why should it stop us from visiting other countries? More power to you for expanding your travels! Thank you so much for your support!

  9. Totally understand where you’re coming from, even if I can’t 100% relate. I’ve traveled domestically by myself many times. I also flew to Europe by myself and had a short amount of time in Europe by myself before meeting up with friends (at 21, it was a little scary, but not for the threat of terrorism like we have now). My parents also express concern, whenever I travel, and wherever, even if it’s with someone. Makes sense that you kept it to yourself. Now, that said, I would not have had the balls to travel alone like you did recently, and especially hike alone. Heck, I won’t even run on the 40+ mile paved (and wooded) trail near our house during weekdays because I’m afraid of getting attacked. Anyway, just my thoughts. Keep doing what makes you happy!

    1. I totally understand how you feel. I ran on that path you’re talking about by myself when I was there a few years ago! I think there are many terrible things that happen in the world, but from my perspective, they don’t happen often enough for me to justify letting them completely determine my actions. There are too many places I want to see and too many things I want to do! That said, a little common sense and proactivity goes a long way towards keeping yourself safe, and I definitely think that stuff is important. Like you said – each person should do what makes them happy! Miss you, girl!

  10. OMG YES THIS. SO MUCH THIS. When I was engaged, suddenly it was “what does HE think about that?” when it came to starting my own business or traveling alone, or gasp, with another friend without him. I was TOTALLY unprepared for the fact that as a girlfriend/single woman, I was treated like an adult, and when I was engaged, it was like I suddenly needed approval.

    I think some people approached it with curiosity and didn’t mean to be weird, but I think it speaks volumes about the expectations people have of married life… that you’re literally glued at the hip and all decisions that really don’t impact that other person (and sorry, solo travel really doesn’t, much like traveling for work really doesn’t..it’s a conversation, not a permission thing). I went to Europe by myself over Christmas and nobody asked me what my boyfriend thought about it. Some asked if he was going, but nobody asked “well, what does he think about you going alone” (a very pointed question!)

    Loved this and glad you had a fabulous trip!

    1. I think you touched on something very important, which is the notion that people lose their identity as individuals when they get married, at least in the eyes of society. While I did get a few questions about all my traveling when AJ and I were just dating, it was definitely a lower level than what I hear now. I do value his opinion and obviously care what he thinks, but our conversations are more like “I’m thinking about doing XYZ. How do you feel about that?” and they come from both sides. Neither of us wants to live in a world where we have to ask the other one for approval to do anything!

  11. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable traveling overseas alone, as I have no sense of direction or languages other than English and I think I’d be too nervous on those fronts, but I don’t mind travelling alone domestically. In fact, I got over my fear of flying by flying solo (and missing my first flight so I had to figure out a back-up plan alone). I still dislike flying, but I’m not scared to do it anymore. 🙂
    I love reading about your adventures and so appreciate your honesty about the mental/emotional side to it! You inspire me (a random stranger/reader) by making your dreams reality!

    1. Those are totally valid concerns, Tammy! I actually have a terrible sense of direction, too, and AJ makes fun of me about it all the time. Surprisingly, I found that I was a LOT better at finding my way around on my trip – maybe because I had no other choice! As far as the language goes, that is a tough one. I speak decent Spanish and I spent about 10 weeks practicing Portuguese before this trip, but that definitely makes things more complicated. I have found that a few key phrases go a long way, and in most places, you are able to find either someone who speaks some English or figure out a way to communicate!

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support! It means more to me than you know!

  12. As I mentioned previously, I have done quite a bit of traveling on my own. I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity to begin working through those thought based fears – because what keeps us safe is being able to listen to our intuition about places and people – and often that loud fear voice drowns out our intuition. I was only a very few places where I felt nervous and I listened to that feeling and was extra alert. Ironically, after living in Galway, when I returned home I noticed I was feeling nervous in my city here because of perceived dangers in ‘bad parts of town’ and less likely to veer off the sidewalk when out walking.
    The challenges of solo travel for me are not in fear of the strangers, but are about paying attention. It’s easy to get off the plane, take the train to city center, find your hotel – get settled and determine your plan for that day – head out the door and then 20 minutes later realize you don’t remember where your hotel is, what the exact name of the street is and sometimes, when traveling a lot – what the name of this hotel is! Having another brain around to help remember some of those details can be really useful 🙂 I think the cognitive demand of negotiating in a non-english speaking/signed country is what leads to this, as I never have this issue in the states/UK/Ireland 🙂
    Anyway – you’re doing great! Keep going!

    1. First of all, I am absolutely in love with Galway and am so jealous of you right now! Second, I can’t agree more about our fears sometimes drowning out our intuition. There was a time when I would have thought my fear WAS my intuition, but my trip to the UAE and Oman made me realize that that is not the case at all.

      Third – oh gosh, I can so relate to what you are saying! I got lost many times trying to get back to my hostels on this trip for exactly the reasons you described! The streets changed names constantly, everything sort of looked the same sometimes. I started looking for big landmarks (like statues or brightly colored buildings) and working my way back from those, which was a big help. The struggle is real!

  13. I agree with your decision to not tell many people about your travels and think you did the right thing. My parents are also worriers and typically I do a lot of things then tell them about it later (I ran a marathon and they had no clue until I called them on the car ride home. Seriously). Travelling is stressful enough for a big trip without having to deal with others worrying or saying things. Plus there’s issues and risks of things like people breaking into homes, etc, if you live alone. Bad things can happen anywhere including here in the US, you have to be aware of surroundings and try to stay safe no matter where you are.

    1. Hahaha I love that, Amy! That’s definitely something I would do (run a marathon without telling people until later). And I completely agree – when I lived by myself, I was constantly worried about someone breaking in, even though I lived in a very safe area. There are risks wherever you are! Just because you’re in a different country with a different language doesn’t mean it’s inherently more dangerous.

  14. I can totally resonate with this story! I went to India last year alone to get my yoga teacher training and my mom cried for DAYS after I told her I was going. Everyone else asked how my boyfriend (now fiance) felt about the trip- he was the one who encouraged me to go and even bought my ticket! I hate that fear keeps people from travelling or experiencing amazing countires because they feel like they won’t be safe because of what media says. I only had very positive experience while in India and can’t wait to go back! (I’ve had scarier experiences in Philly haha) I wish more women felt comfortable travelling on their own, I felt so free and not tied down to what someone else wanted to do.

    I also laugh at people when they ask if someone “let” me go on a trip. Um, no. I can make my own decisions in that regard, even if I am with someone! My fiance is on the military and I can tell you right now, there will be times when he can’t come on trips and times when he can. I do not want to miss out on adventures just because he’s away! (And thankfully he very much agrees)

    I agree with keeping things until the last minute from parents 😉 otherwise you can give them weeks or months to worry!

    1. Oh my gosh, Natasha! I love this so much! I think my parents would kidnap me and hold me hostage if I told them I was going to India. I’m so glad to hear that you had a positive experience there! I feel like people generally either have a great experience or a terrible one – there doesn’t seem to be much in between when it comes to India. I hope to find out for myself one day!

      I’m sort of in the same boat with my husband – he has half as much vacation time as I do, so he just can’t go on as many trips. Honestly, he probably wouldn’t want to anyway! Like you, I’m lucky that he agrees that that shouldn’t hold me back from doing what I want to do and seeing what I want to see.

  15. It is too bad you felt you had to keep your trip a secret, but after reading your blog I understand why you did it. It’s such a shame that people still have double standards with regard to women and travel. No one would think twice about a man traveling solo. And: many women are much more savvy travelers than some men! Good for you for going and making the most of your trip, in spite of a few glitches.

    I’ve traveled alone for years, including internationally. I spent a week in Costa Rica by myself and had a great time on the beach and in the rainforest. Nothing like being able to make all your own decisions about what to do each day and not having to worry about meeting your travel companion’s expectations. That said, I uaully prefer to travel with others, as I enjoy sharing the experience. But sometimes you’ve just got to get away by yourself, and that’s awesome too!

    1. That’s a great point, Sandy! I think because of the dangers that are somewhat inherent with women traveling alone, we often are more conscientious and savvy. Of course, that’s not always the case, but it’s a shame that such a double standard exists. I think the negativity is a huge barrier to many women traveling alone. It’s hard not to let it get into your head!

      I completely understand what you mean about preferring to being able to share the experience of traveling with others. There were times on my trip when I felt that way, too! I came away from the experience basically thinking that if I want to go somewhere and I can find the right person to go with, great! I’d love to have a buddy. If I can’t? That’s ok, too. I’m more than happy to go on my own. There are pros and cons to each!

  16. I am a solo-woman traveler as well! I have taken many in-state solo trips as well as one big international trip by myself. It was very fun, scary, but I felt very accomplished when I got back. Now, I’m not as afraid to do stuff by myself. If I really want to go somewhere or do something, and I can’t find a companion, I’ll still do it. I do love have a travel buddy and experiencing life with someone else (like my boyfriend, we go on a lot of adventures together), but I don’t feel like I have to wait for anyone to do something with. And I like that. A lot of people wont do ANYTHING by themselves, even go to a restaurant. I used to be like that, but love that I have gotten over that.

    1. I completely understand what you’re saying, Whitney! I agree 100%. I really love having people to share experiences with, but it would never hold me back from going somewhere on my own. There is definitely something to be said for being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want! I think there are pros and cons to both types of travel. I’m like you – I used to be unable to do anything alone. That seems crazy to me now!

  17. I love this post and I totally agree with you. I remember when my best friend traveled to Europe by herself many years ago, ran the London Marathon, and visited the sights. I couldn’t figure out why she would go by herself, not because I was worried about her safety, but because she didn’t have anyone to share the experience with. You on the other hand, even though you were alone, were able to share your experiences with all of us, and I truly appreciate this! I am seeing the world through your eyes (I hope to see some of it through my own some day), and I’m loving it! Thank you!

    1. I can definitely understand that! Traveling alone is quite different in that regard as sometimes there is no one to share the experience with. That said – to me, it’s definitely better than not having the experience at all! And like you said, I can word vomit all my stories all over the blog to y’all, so it’s like you were right there with me 🙂

  18. I love this post. Thirty years ago people used to ask my mom if her husband “let” her go on trips by herself – and she laughed at them. But it also pissed her off a little. Not having a husband, I don’t often get asked weird questions about permission, but I completely understand not wanting to invite everyone’s fear & criticism to rain on your parade. Thanks for the travel stories, please keep them coming!

    1. Yeah, it’s both funny and annoying all at the same time! I can’t even imagine how much harder it was 30 years ago and what kind of comments your mom must have gotten. It takes a tough person to fight through that!

  19. Spending the past 3.5 year single means anytime I travel I do it alone. There are some places I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable (I’m in desperate need of a beach vacay, but I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable hitting up Mexico alone) but I’ve traveled all over the US and Canada and have never felt unsafe. I’d also absolutely go to Europe, as travel/backpacking is so common there.

    1. If you need a beach vacay, there are plenty of places (in both Mexico and the Caribbean) that are totally safe! I think travel and backpacking are becoming more commonplace in a lot of different places (for example, we saw a ton of backpackers in Argentina).

  20. I think it’s called projecting-they are afraid, so they can’t understand why you would not worry. Wait til you get pregnant and hear all the horror stories! good on you for going on a trip solo.

    1. That totally makes sense, Bobbi! I cannot even imagine what being pregnant would be like. It terrifies me on many levels. Maybe I’ll take a solo trip for the entire duration of any future pregnancy 🙂

  21. I have travelled alone to visit family and friends and even drove myself and everything I owned to KS at 19 and got the same reactions you describe. I am not afraid to take long road trips by myself infact I prefer it so I can stop when I want and listen to my music and nkg the radio lol. Glad you are safe love and miss you!

    1. I do think it is a little bit different to travel somewhere and have friends or family waiting for you at the destination rather than going somewhere where you know no one, but for a lot of people, you’re right – that would be scary. To me, getting to the destination alone is not the hard part – it’s doing everything once I get there! Love and miss you too.

  22. I love traveling alone, but do not get to do it very often now that I have kids. I love following my own agenda and find it absolutely relaxing. Now I do my solo runs for my alone time.

    My favorite trip was driving back from Officer’s Basic Course by myself from Texas to Washington, DC. It confused me why everyone was so worried about me traveling solo. I made sure my car was I travel shape and no one bothered me. I met some interesting people when I stopped for meals and sleep.

    1. I love a good solo road trip! I did the drive back and forth from South Carolina to Oklahoma multiple times back in the summer of 2014, and I always thought it was fun. I never felt unsafe or worried at all! It just wasn’t a big deal. This is what cell phones are for!

      1. When I did that it was before cell phones were common (1993). I still did not feel unsafe. In fact there was this one couple that tried to fix me up with their sun when I ate at a Cracker Barrel, LOL. They were impressed that I was going to be working at Walter Reed.

        1. Hahaha that’s too funny! Cell phones and the internet are great, but it is hard to feel like you can never escape, and it’s also a struggle to know you HAVE to check in. Sometimes, I don’t want to!

  23. I’ve only traveled alone in the US … unless you count Semester at Sea … I went there not knowing anyone but before we docked at our first country, I had made friends with a group of some great people and we roamed the different countries together.
    Now that I am married and have kids, I don’t go anywhere alone (by choice). My husband is a home body but I’m not and I take the kids on various adventures all the time without another adult around … which freaks my husband out. He’s a worrier. Because he’s a worrier I don’t tell him where we’re going until the day of so I don’t have to hear his (unfounded) paranoia.
    I feel like people’s paranoia solely stems from the media and it’s too easy to get caught up in that. I’m not sure how to say this eloquently, but the less people experience for themselves, the less they understand in the world. You can watch the news, read a book, hear stories but unless you have personally experienced something, you’ll never know it’s truth.
    I love reading about your travel adventures and can’t wait for more!

    1. I think it is awesome that you take your kids on adventures, Jenny! I have another friend who is like that as well. I think it’s so important for kids to see their country and the world and gain perspective on life outside of their own little bubble. I love that you don’t tell your husband where you’re going until the day of. That’s totally something I would do (obviously)!

      I completely agree that the paranoia stems largely from the media. If all you watch is the talking heads on TV, the world seems like a very scary place. After all, they pretty much only cover the bad stuff. Until you go out and see for yourself what the world is like, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the fear. It’s a shame, because the fear-mongering just perpetuates the cycle even further.

  24. Danielle…the following words REALLY resonated with me “….but you guys – my husband doesn’t “let” me do anything. He’s not my keeper. He doesn’t give me permission to do anything, just as I don’t give him permission to do anything. We value each other’s opinions and of course ask for them in a situation like this, but ultimately, we trust each other’s judgement. ”

    This is an area that I kind of struggle with in my current relationship. Typically, I will ask “do you mind if…?” or “is it okay….?”. My boyfriend pretty much always give the same response, “girlfriend, you do not NEED my permission”. I guess it is all a matter of perspective and as you said, you and AJ still discuss what your plans are…but you are not seeking his permission. I am not seeking my bf’s permission, or approval…but more like discussing to make sure the plans will all work (since we do not currently live together). Make sense?!

    Sounds like you had an awesome adventure. Way to be brave!!

    1. Aimee, that’s really interesting. It definitely makes sense, but what I find interesting about it is that your boyfriend is telling you that you don’t need to ask and you still do 😀 When AJ and I talk about big things like this, whether it’s a trip or, in his case, talking about doing some event with his car, the conversation tends to go something like “I’m thinking about doing XYZ. How do you feel/what do you think about that?” I like to bounce ideas off of him because he thinks of things that I don’t and vice versa. But we both know that if we’re individually committed to the idea, it’s probably going to happen no matter what. There is a limit, of course. If he was absolutely, resolutely opposed to me going to some particular location for a VALID reason (not just that it “seems” dangerous or he doesn’t know where it is or something) then I would probably not go. We have the kind of relationship whether we don’t say “no” to each other very often, so when we do, it’s normally for a very good reason.

  25. Just for the record…when people asked me how AJ felt about it, I laughed! I said “AJ knows Danielle is going to do what she wants….he knew that from the beginning and is very supportive.” Even though I am no where near the traveler you are, Daddy never tried to stop me from going places without him, nor I stop him. ( I just wouldn’t let you go with him as a little kid…lol) Think of the road trips we did back and forth from Cuba Lake for many years by train, car, plane, RV just you, me and Drew. I am proud of how you did with the whole trip and you were right not to tell me until you were just getting on the plane! I still don’t want you going some places alone, but once a mom, always a mom. Love you!

    1. “once a mom, always a mom. ”

      With my older son in college at NYU … I definitely share that! They will always be my babies even as both of them tower over me (and I’m 6’1″!) and are both fully adults now …

    2. Yeah, I don’t think I surprise AJ very often at this point. I’ve been traveling our entire relationship and he doesn’t really know me any other way. I don’t think either of us would want to be in a relationship where we had to ask the other person for permission to do anything. I still wish you had let me go to the Amazon with dad, but I’ll get over it 🙂 Love you too

  26. I loved this post Danielle. You know that movie Inception with Leo DiCaprio? I always feel like I’m going along fine until someone plants a crazy idea in my head…and then I totally fixate on it. Second-guessing my instincts about any given situation never bodes well for me. I’m not a religious person, but I do have general faith in the goodness of humanity and the notion that we are incredibly resilient.

    I’m in Paris with my daughter right now. While I’m not traveling alone, I have never been to Paris before and speak only a handful of French words. We were supposed to travel with my dad’s wife (who is a travel agent and a very well-seasoned traveler, as you might guess)…but through a crazy turn of events, it ended up being just the two of us. I went from being in tourist mode — following her lead and letting her book tours and activities — to realizing I had to step up and figure shit out. I am completely out of my comfort zone, but I think it’s a good thing.

    I’m not opposed to traveling alone but it definitely gives me pause; I have a shit sense of direction and get turned around very easily. But there is something to be said for doing things on my own schedule. I find that very appealing.

    1. Wow, Brea! That’s so cool! I hope you are having an amazing time in Paris with your daughter. I tend to be the one who plans trips and all of the activities, but I also have relied a lot on tours for that and have not allowed for much spontaneity. On this trip, I wanted to see how I felt each day and kind of “go where the wind took me,” as it were. Letting go of some of the control was a big step outside of my comfort zone for me!

      I too have a terrible sense of direction, but I found that I did much better when on my own than I did, say, when AJ and I were in Argentina. It seems like I’m not as attentive to anything when I’m with others because I know I can rely on them. That’s not to say I never got lost on this trip, but I was able to figure it out on my own eventually. It is awesome to be able to do things on your own schedule, for sure! I hope you guys are having a great trip!

  27. I *love* traveling by myself. And I have had some amazing experiences as a result. Now that my kid is a teenager, we travel together (we’re both out of school in the summer while my husband has to work) and it’s great fun too. I get the “are you sure it’s safe?” stuff too, like I’m intentionally bringing my kid somewhere dangerous. Um, we’re going to, you know, other cities. Not Mars. I also completely agree with the (albeit unintentional) disrespect when someone asks whether my husband approves. Go, have fun, and enjoy the experience!

    1. Oh my gosh, Melissa! I relate so much to this! Sometimes people act like I have a death wish or I’m just totally clueless for traveling alone. It’s like, do you really think I would intentionally put myself in a situation I knew to be dangerous or unsafe? What about my life makes you think that’s the case?! It’s crazy! SO, I totally feel you on that. I love that you are taking your kid with you – traveling is so important in helping kids see the world and burst out of their bubbles. Amazing!

  28. I think this is so cool, thanks for sharing your thought process! Reading your blog (and coming out of a recent breakup) has prompted me to start thinking about solo travel 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! I am sorry to hear about your recent breakup. I’ve got to say that this is the perfect time to grab a hold of life and do what you want to do with it – whatever that is! The sky is the limit. Solo travel is amazingly empowering and I think it would be well worth a try. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions!

  29. “I try not to get overly uppity about this kind of thing, but you guys – my husband doesn’t “let” me do anything. He’s not my keeper. He doesn’t give me permission to do anything, just as I don’t give him permission to do anything.”
    This. Just this.
    My friend and I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, just the two of us. We got the same questions and comments – I can’t believe your husbands let you go, what does your husband think of you going without him, etc. And we said just what you said – they didn’t “let” us go. We didn’t ask permission. We are grown women who can think for ourselves.
    So, good for you! I’m sure it was a fantastic experience!

    1. It’s so frustrating! When I have traveled with my friends, people have often asked me why AJ didn’t go instead, but I didn’t get quite as much flack as going by myself. It’s like, maybe he didn’t want to go? Maybe he doesn’t have enough vacation time? Maybe I just wanted to do my own thing? All are true, in this case. I do love traveling with him and we travel very well together, but the fact is that there are some places I really want to go that he has no desire to visit. That’s not going to stop me, and he would never want it to! Good for you for traveling and thinking for yourself, too 🙂 It’s apparently somewhat uncommon!

  30. I travel the US to run marathons, and periodically my Dad will join me for a race, but most of the time I go solo. I do get annoyed with “who’s going with you?”being the first question I receive, and if I say no one, it immediately is countered with “alone? You’re Dad’s not going? What does he think about that?” I’m sure he’s thinking I’ll have a good time, drop him an email a few times, and come home with some stories to tell. My mom wonders where I get the courage and how I figured out how to travel on my own. Dad just gives me a hug and tells me to have fun. It’s the friends and coworkers who flip out. With the conversations I had about going solo to DC and NYC, you would have thought I would have been mugged and accosted at every turn. Demands to call when I land, when I arrive where I’m staying, updates throughout the day. I’m sorry, no. I don’t check in with my family even that much. I’m too busy experiencing new things. I can’t wait to travel outside of the country.

    1. You make such a great point about people asking you to check in all the time! That happens to me as well. I’m like uh… the last thing I want to be thinking about is making sure I have Wi-Fi access to be able to check in with random people. This was a big problem for my family, especially for my mom, when I first started traveling internationally because she didn’t realize that cell phone service doesn’t work the same way overseas as it does here in the US, and there isn’t unlimited free wi-fi everywhere you go. It’s a lot harder to check in! I’m so glad you are getting the chance to experience traveling alone in the US (AND running marathons) and I love that you travel with your Dad sometimes. I hope to go on a trip with my dad sometime soon!

  31. My first real solo trip was at the age of 19 when I backpacked through Europe for 4 months. (I had travelled “on my own” to Ireland but family always collected me on the other end.) It was probably one of the greatest decisions I ever made in my life. I cannot advocate solo travel enough. Not just because it’s a grand adventure, but because you learn so much about yourself.

    And if you need any help convincing T-Rex Mom that solo female travel in Africa is totally do-able, I’ve got your back 🙂

    1. That’s so awesome! I missed out on my chance to backpack and I regret that now. At the time, it didn’t seem possible thanks to time, money, and my own lack of confidence and life circumstances. I really wish I had studied abroad or gone backpacking! I agree with you, I don’t think simply flying/driving/taking a train by yourself and then being collected or meeting up with family or friends is the same thing as traveling along. Getting there is the easy part!

      Good to know you have my back on the Africa thing! I do think AJ wants to come on that trip, so perhaps it will be deemed acceptable 🙂

  32. This is really fascinating – and I agree with Bobbi that a lot of it is likely projecting their own fears/beliefs. I’ve done most of my international travels solo, but since I was single at the time, I didn’t have people asking me what my boyfriend thought. Instead, they were just SHOCKED that I would want to travel on my own if not forced to do so.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily gender-based, though. I think to a lot of people, the idea of traveling alone (or even going to a restaurant alone) is so foreign and strange that they can’t imagine why anyone would want to do it. But in reality, traveling alone is incredibly relaxing and freeing – you get to do everything YOU want to do and don’t have to concede to anyone else’s schedule. I’ve always found people I could ask for help if I needed it.

    I remember, though, what it was like to be scared of traveling/eating/etc alone. In 2008 when I first started traveling for business, I always got takeout if I wasn’t going to a group dinner, and was incredibly impressed that my boss was “brave” enough to go eat at a restaurant by himself. (Yes, in the United States.) Ha! I had to work up the nerve to go to dinner by myself, convinced that everyone would be wondering what was wrong with me that I was eating alone. But after breaking that boundary and then getting inspired by a female coworker who took a solo international vacation every November, I started branching out, and now I have to get used to traveling with someone else because I’m so used to going alone!

    I wrote a blog post a few years ago on how travel changes a person; would love to hear how you think it’s changed your life/perspectives? http://www.50by25.com/2011/02/how-travel-changes-you.html

    1. You’re totally right, Laura! I think a lot of people are just extremely uncomfortable doing things alone in the first place. I got used to eating alone thanks to traveling for work as well. I always worried people would think I was a loser, but then I realized literally no one cares. I don’t have any problem spending time by myself (I am fairly introverted and don’t crave a lot of communication in general), but I can see why people who really like talking to or being around others would have a hard time. I don’t know that I would say I prefer solo travel or traveling with my husband or a friend, it’s just different – better in some ways and not in others. Ultimately, my main takeaway from this trip was that if I want to go somewhere, I’m going to go – with a travel buddy or without! I can have a great time either way.

      I really loved your post – thank you for sharing it! I think the biggest way travel has changed my life is that it has made me less skeptical of people and less fearful overall. I still struggle with anxiety and fear, but not nearly the way I used to. My experiences traveling both in the U.S. and overseas have taught me that the vast majority of people are good, kind, and not that different from me. Travel has made me more compassionate and helped me to understand other ways of living without judging them. I’m so grateful that it has!

  33. I’ve never really considered solo travel, honestly. At this point in my life, I live away from a majority of my family and friends, so traveling is usually going to see them or going to see places with them. And I love going on adventures with them. As a strong introvert, I can see the appeal of adventuring on your own, although I’m not nearly good at making connections with strangers as you are, so I wonder if that would be a struggle. It makes sense to me why you’d keep it on the d/l from other people’s worries. I naturally lack a lot of the concern that most people have about harm that others can impose on a female alone and I often don’t even consider it until someone brings it up. Then, bam, new perspective, and not always one I like. I was told once that the best way for someone to not mess with you when you’re alone is to look like you shouldn’t be messed with – confident, purposeful, alert – and you won’t be. I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let being alone stop me from doing what I wanted to do with my life, and so far it hasn’t.

    Anyway, I think you’re a badass for doing what you do, and I’m thankful for the things you share because much of it I find helpful to consider in my own life.

    What I really want to know is how you find all these awesome places I’ve never heard of to go. My list of travel destinations includes all the “traditional” ones – Hawaii, Australia, Italy, the UK, etc. – so I guess I’m not sure whether I want to spend time/money on places that aren’t “on the list” until I get the ones that are. Would love to hear your rho

    1. Thanks so much, Amy! I can certainly understand why living far from family and friends would cause you to prioritize traveling to see them over traveling along. I’ve lived away from my family and friends for about 11 years now, so I do understand. As far as my ability to make connections with people – well, I’m not as good at it as you think! I think the key for me is that I actually don’t need or crave connections, really. If I happen to make them, that’s great, but I’m also fine not talking to anyone for an entire day or week! It doesn’t really bother me at all. I’ve shed quite a bit of self-consciousness when it comes to talking to others, too. Even though it is hard for me, I ultimately push myself to remember something like “Hey, you’re in Lisbon. If you’re awkward, you will never see this person again, so it doesn’t matter.” That helps, haha!

      As far as how I come up with my locations, that’s a good question! I follow a lot of travel blogs, many travel accounts on Instagram, and I read tons of articles online about travel. I heard about the Azores on Buzzfeed, as a matter of fact! I saw a picture and knew I had to go. I am a little weird about the “traditional” travel destinations. They don’t appeal to me as much for some reason. I tend to be more attracted to places that are slightly more off the beaten path, and I’m not really sure why. Not to say Lisbon isn’t a major tourist destination, but it’s not London or Paris. Anyway, basically the answer to your question is that I follow a million travel accounts on social media, read a lot of books, and go from there 🙂

  34. That picture of you in the mountains is beautiful!
    I have flown overseas alone, to Abu Dhabi and Europe, but have always met friends when I get there. You are brave! And you ROCK!

    1. Thank you, Clarise! I don’t mind the traveling part – the hard part is what to do once I get to my destination! This was my first time really handling that on my own, not knowing anyone and not really having anything set up. You can do it, too! It’s so worth it!

  35. I’m really glad you wrote this post. I am getting ready to take my first big travel trip by myself. And I have been postponing finalizing details because I keep asking my boyfriend if he wants to go. He has spent months telling me “I don’t know” when I know it should have been a definite yes if he wanted to go. I understand because I’m going out west for an art workshop and will be occupied for most of the trip.

    But I am also realizing that he just may not be as much of a traveler as I want to be. I have held off planning big trips by myself because I do want him to be along with me. But I also do not want to die without seeing more of Italy, Romania, Scotland, etc. I think I’m going to start planning trips and seeing if he hops on board. If not, I’ll go by myself.

    I am also a bit anxious about flying. I’m trying to combat that.

    1. Dawn, that’s so exciting!! Your trip sounds amazing! I can relate to so much of what you are saying. AJ does enjoy traveling, but he is not nearly as passionate about it as I am and there are just some places he doesn’t care about going. I will wait to go with him to the places he DOES really want to see, but as for the others…I’m going with a friend or by myself! Life is too short to hope he changes his mind. That said, I do really understand where you are coming from and have felt that way many times over the years.

      Flying can be anxiety inducing for sure. AJ is actually afraid of flying! The rewards far outweigh the risks, though as I’m sure you’ll agree. Best of luck on your trip! Have a wonderful time!

  36. Funny- I think I read it differently than everyone else – I read “What does AJ think” as in- is AJ super jealous that you are going on these adventures without him simply because he does not have the vacation time. ….and not jealous in a bad way but just – I don’t know. I never thought it was about permission! We interpret what we read based on our own situations I guess. My husband travels without me- I travel without him and we travel together. If I say “Oh I am going to XYZ” – my family might say “is Simon going” and I would say “not this time”- and they might say “What does Simon think of that?!”…My response “hahahaha – he’s jealous of course!”. And then say “He’s saving his free time for XYZ”. Permission never even crossed my mind. If my friends and family ask- it is because they genuinely want to know what Simon thinks of the place I am going without him! So if I ask you what AJ thinks – it’s because I want to know why it wasn’t at the top of his list and what fun plans he might have! Happy Travels!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Bethany! I think that is a great point and some people may very well have meant that exact thing. That said, plenty of people asked “AJ is letting you go alone?!” which I don’t think is the same type of question. We do have an agreement that I won’t go anywhere without him that he really wants to go (currently New Zealand, Germany, Italy, and some others), so most of the time, he isn’t jealous! I’m glad for that – if the situation was reversed, I’d be super jealous of him and very cranky. Thanks again and happy travels to you as well!

  37. This is a nice sentiment. That being said, not everything has to be a statement. Nor does it mean that when people ask you questions, they mean anything nefarious or derogatory.
    Married Person: I’m traveling by myself!
    Me: Oh, you’re not going with your spouse?
    Married Person: No.
    Me: [Going by him/herself? Oh, ok. Whatever. Shrug.]
    Me: Cool. Where are you going?

    1. Thanks for your comment, V! I agree – I do not by any means think every comment was meant to be a statement or derogatory. I am sure a lot of them were totally innocent. That said, when someone asks me if my husband is “letting” me go, it’s hard not to feel like that is a rather pointed question. I personally wouldn’t think twice if someone told me they were going somewhere without their spouse, but not everyone feels that way. I’ve learned a lot about how people perceive travel (on all fronts) for sure!

  38. i live in texas and drive to oregon once a year. i don’t stay in hotels on the drives up there and back, but instead take naps in the back seat of my car. i go by myself. when i tell people, their first question is to ask if i’m flying, to which i say no and they almost always wrinkle their nose. then i explain that i can do all sorts of side trips and sightseeing along the way if i drive. i also have next to to restrictions whereas with flying you have LOADS of restrictions. then they ask who i’m taking with me and when i say no one they pretty much freak out and ask if i’m scared. uh, no. i’ve done this trip so many times. i can take care of myself, thanks. also, the one time i took someone with me on this trip, i wanted to kill him. he just annoyed the crap out of me the whole way. i just love to drive and i don’t like distractions from other people when i’m driving. so, yea, i get very similar reactions when i tell people i’m traveling solo. i have not, however, traveled overseas except for when i went to Korea for a US Army assignment.

    1. Wow, Sara! That is an epic drive! I bet there is a TON of amazing stuff to do along the way. I’ve taken quite a few long road trips by myself (12-18 hours) but none quite that long. I have napped in the back seat of my car plenty of times at rest stops so that sounds a-ok to me 🙂

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