10 Ways To Enjoy Traveling Alone

A recent solo, five day trek across four states by car left me with a new understanding. This understanding did not culminate in a – never before experienced – deep enlightenment, rather it culminated in a realization of what I truly value. This came about by simply being present to, not all, but most moments. Magnifying pieces of time that were finite, one sunset, one foggy morning, one hail storm – thankfully only one hail storm.

These steps should help imprint a solo trip right onto your heart and soul and create meaning and awe in simple, teeny – tiny slices of time.

1) Drive – Significant miles, as in 1,345 miles for moi, across New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada before turning back toward Los Angeles. If you enjoy driving like I do, the miles will encourage a hypnotic trance that allows for all of life’s junk to just fade away.

2) Pause – This refers to stopping along the way and the style I chose was to avoid truck stops and gift shops and instead pull over in areas where the landscape rocked my soul. One note, watch for ants in Arizona. I was stung/bitten by some python anaconda viper boa ant that had my foot on fire for hours – talk about pause.

3) Chill – Bring a cooler and fill it with healthy food and drinks and skip the fast food along the way. To share specifically, I carried peanut butter, bagels, apples, and trail mix as well as iced tea, coffee, and water. Picnicking is more appealing when you pack goodies so I included chocolate chip cookies and banana bread as well as some favorite candy. It is much more relaxing to stare across a magnificent landscape than a busy McDonald’s at lunch rush.

4) Read – Books are a boon when traveling alone and I had a delicious one along. I ended one evening in a rain/hail storm by reading for hours and it was sublimely cozy.

5) Sing – This is one category where I part company with most solo travelers. I decided to do my five days in silence. No radio or music of any kind. I checked out of news and media with the exception of stopping and posting to the On A Dime website. I found that the silence went from a bit intimidating to a relief, however, I did engage in a bit of loud a cappella singing with the windows down. The music choice is purely subjective so if it enhances your trip then by all means, include it but if silence is enticing, go for it.

6) Write – If you enjoy keeping a journal, immerse yourself now. Consider a scrapbook with notes, mementoes, and photos. Artistic sketches and/or watercolors are also nice and don’t worry about how your art/words will appear to others, this can be just for you.

7) Watch – One morning, leaving the Grand Canyon after camping alone, I debated about where to stop for coffee when the location was suddenly right before me. A huge meadow with wildflowers. I popped out my stove (see gear) and quickly made coffee while watching the wildflowers open as the sun hit them. Another stop had me enjoying baby birds as the mother flew back and forth, bringing them food.

8) Unplug – As mentioned above, checking out of social media or even taking big blocks of time away can bring about a peace and renewal. I fall victim to thinking I am somehow unfeeling or irresponsible if I step away from news and current events and yet I know that truly the world moves right on whether I am actively in the mix or not and maybe being in the mix also means physically soaking ourselves in what came before Macintosh.

9) Reduce – This refers to your packing, your daily routine, and your place in the world. Pack lightly, eat simply, and grab the realization that not a whole lot matters beyond where you are headed and what you will pull from  the cooler for your next meal which can occur whenever the heck you get hungry, not when it’s time. As for your place in the world, revel in the fact that you are not your job, you are not your hobby, and you are not your opinion. You are only this teeny, tiny, stunningly wonderful traveler upon a new uncharted territory that is open to your visit.

10) Play – Yes, play. Claim any interpretation of this that pleases you. Splash in a creek, photograph flowers, partake in yoga on a mountain, sip herbal tea in the forest, or simply do nothing. As long as you are leaving no trace, your experience of the places you visit is yours to define. If taking a guided tour is a pleasing break from being alone, then do it or if staying solo and meditating for hours rocks your soul, then carve out the time for that. This is your play time and in this world of hard work and struggle, play time should be more highly valued. Start a trend.

Don’t wait, begin immediately. Even if it’s a weekend or a day or an hour, take some moments and call them your own. Getting better acquainted with the joyful, creative you, will be something you’ll never regret.

*Safety? See our articles on traveling and feel free to “like”/share on Facebook and/or Tweet. Grateful.

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2 thoughts on “10 Ways To Enjoy Traveling Alone”

  1. What an exceptional post! I agree 100%. You really hit upon what’s important here. Experiencing the joy of adventure should be all about disconnecting, simple pleasures, and finding your own brand of harmless enjoyment. Well done and well said. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you Adam for the feedback, it is highly valued. Traveling alone encourages a myriad of emotions but at the end of the day, I was left with peace and exhale. So glad to know there are kindred out there and always love to hear of other travelers’ experiences. Grateful. 🙂

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