What’s The Big Deal With Traveling Alone Anyway?
Now that I’ve turned over a new leaf in my life, embarking on a life that’s more suited for me, I’ve been bitten with the travel
bug tarantula. I’ve never been to the windy city, once I got word Colorado has some Morrocan-esque sand dunes I’ve been a fiend, and I haven’t been overseas in ages. My passport has been yearning for some new stamps.
There’s only one problem. I’m afraid to travel alone! So much so, that I’ve resulting to tossing my travel plans to the wayside, thinking I need to schedule my plans around my friends and family members.
I keep having thoughts of the Mexican drug cartel snatching me up, dirty ‘ol men trying to take advantage of me, as I’m asking for some directions, or that cute boy that slips some crack-cocaine in my bag and I don’t make it through customs [spending a few months in a Thai jail like Bridget Jones]… I have an overactive imagination, don’t I?!?!
But is traveling alone that bad? I’ve been seeing more women, especially black women, continuing to add stamps to their passport, sans a traveling buddy. I want to be her! Get up when I want, eat when I want, get into whatever I want. Fear stops today! I’m going full throttle with my travel plans. Here’s the rule of thumb I’m going to allow to lead my future journeys:
GET THE HELL OVER IT: First, and foremost, I’ll have to keep reminding myself that the chances of something happening to me, while on vacation, aren’t any higher than something happening to me in my own neighborhood. Of course there’s the possibility, but as long as I stick to my basic instinct, I’m sure I’ll be fine!
START LOCAL: To prepare myself, with the travel tricks-of-the-trade, I’ll do a weekend getaway locally. I’m in Sacramento, so I’ll spend a weekend in Lake Tahoe or drive up the 101 and stop at a cute bed in breakfast joint.WHEN GOING BIG, GO REALLY BIG: When I do start planning for bigger, out of the country trips, I’ll be sure to stick to big cities and leave the cute desolate destinations for another group trip. The bustle of the city is sure to keep me busy and will suppress my fears.
LEAVE BEHIND SOME BREADCRUMBS: At each destination, I’ll check in with a close family member who will step in and play detective if I go missing; a job that usually defaults to my mama!
NO PHONE DEPENDENCIES: Have you ever seen someone so deep into their phone, they’re about to get hit crossing the street?!?!? That was probably me! Sometimes social media has the tendency to suck you all the way in, but staying aware of your immediate surrounding while traveling is vital to having a safe and comfortable trip. So, I’ll keep my smartphone at a comfortable distance. Besides, social media will still be in the same place after the trip [or at least until there’s a wifi connection]!
REPOSITIONING MY ‘TUDE: Instead of always obsessing about the fact that I’m alone, when I’m feeling the slightest bit lonely, I’ll have to keep reminding myself that spending time alone is merely spending time with yourself. I’m sure the process will be therapeutic!
So, next up on my 2015 travel bucket list:
1) Tavertine Natural Hot Springs (Bridgeport, CA)
2) Drive up the 101 coastline with a brief stop at Redwood National Park for the day.
3) Lastly, I’m headed to the Dominican Republic to lay like a bum on the beach… My reservations will be complete this week!
September has a lot in store for me. I’m turning 31 this month, plus I’m headed to the Las Vegas Jazz Festival with a few friends to blow off some much needed steam. Despite fear crashing my ‘invite only’ solo-travel party, I’ve a got a lot to be thankful for and I will not let myself or my travel bucket list down!