Friday, January 11, 2013

Three Advantages of Solo Travel

I never considered traveling alone until I actually did it. I was so driven to visit New York that I took a leap of faith and went by myself. If you haven’t already taken a trip alone, then maybe if I tell you the three things I learned from my solo trip I can convince you.

You Might Get Special Treatment

During my solo trip to NYC, I think I received a few perks because of my solitary status. Well, and my ability to handle cold weather. A Garment District shopping tour that I purchased was refunded in full because everyone else cancelled because it was “too cold.” The tour company was wonderful and offered me my money back AND scheduled two private appointments for me with Linda Richards, a coat designer, and Elizabeth Gillette, an accessories designer known for her beautiful scarves. Everyone was so gracious and sweet to me. I felt like The Duchess with all the personal attention. 

Later I got a great seat on Broadway to see Mama Mia.  I just popped into the theater one day and the ticket agent asked me twice if I was alone and when I said yes, he said, “Oh, well, I can get you a good seat for little money.” And, that’s what he did. I sat smack dab in the center with a great view for only $60. I could see the cast members’ pores from my seat.  It’s easier to give special accommodations to one person rather than a few.
"My" theater on Broadway

It Gives You Freedom to Do What You Want

One evening I was trying to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which unfortunately was closed, but I kept walking and somehow landed at the Museum of Arts and Design. I figured why not, so I went in. The exhibits were so creative, so imaginative that I couldn’t believe some of it was real. I actually saw a dress knitted out of money. I saw another sculpture made out of wire racks.  I don’t know if there was anyone in my life at the time that would have been as thrilled as I was at finding such an unexpected treat. The good thing is that it didn’t matter. I was free to explore.

 It Can Be a Revelation

I almost missed going to New York because my friends weren’t on board.  When the opportunity arose everything about it was ideal except that they didn’t want to go. The flight was affordable, the hotel was a steal, and I had the vacation time.  Yet without my friends, I started to second guess myself: "maybe it isn't that big of a deal to go to New York."  "Will New York really be fun alone?" But the more I reflected on it, eventually the truth emerged: I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to take advantage at that moment.  That trip was one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had.  While I was there I realized how much I relied on my friends for approval. That trip was the catalyst toward building my confidence and identity separate from my friends.  I began to need them less for validation, less for contentment, and less for acceptance.

Have you taken a trip alone? Tell me about it. Are you thinking of taking a solo trip, but on the fence? Talk to me about. Or, read this great article on traveling solo.  

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