Traveling Alone

Planned Privacy

There came a point in my life when I wanted to travel more, and being stubbornly single, it meant solo adventures.  In reality, I cannot fathom what my excursions throughout all fifty states (see Forty-Nine from August 2012) would be like if they included another person in tow.  I confess, I am a go-where-I-want, see-what-I-want, do-what-I-want adventurer, so it makes sense that the bulk of my excursions were attended by a party of one.  I doubt I could even count on one hand a time when I wished someone was on my outings to see the scenery, settings, and sights I experienced.

I consider my solitude one of my greatest highlights of many of my travels. In fact, my journey to Death Valley National Park (see Every Kind of Desert from October 2021), my first trip to Yosemite National Park (see Vapor Trails from December 2011), and my looping of Lake Tahoe (see Circumnavigation from September 2013) all originated as an absolute private journey.  Getting away from it all may have been the intent, but the memories of these, plus the scents of sage (see The Mystery Of Sage from November 2014), the teases of winter in the high desert (see Ponies and Locomotives from January 2012), and the shroud of clouds at Donner Pass (see Donner Pass from August 2013) would have been lost in a crowd.

Lost In A Crowd

Even when I’ve travelled in the midst of mayhem, I can still find a way to savor my surroundings.  I landed in Washington, D.C. on the afternoon of July 4th – not my first time spending Independence Day in the U.S. capital (see Segue from February 2019) – and strolled the abandoned National Mall the next morning.  I packed myself into a crowded Legends Hall in Cooperstown for the showcase event of its baseball film festival, and likewise followed the crowds into Wrigley Field the following opening day (see Opening Day And The Best. Night. Ever. from September 2021).  I landed at LAX among the throngs of Rose-Bowl-bound fans on New Years Day, and once wove my way through the disgruntled cheese heads leaving Seattle after a controversial loss in 2012.

Somehow, I find my way every time to a place of comfort and quiet. Like the way my rental car knows how to hop onto the 405 and go its own way, I know how to find the quiet place, my own sense of solitude, whether it is on a stretch of road with no services for more than 100 miles (see The Idiot Tree from December 2011) or surrounded by strangers in the City of Brotherly Love (see The Vet from November 2011).  Besides being a committed isolationist, I like finding my own view from where I sit, even if I am surrounded.  I absorb the moment and recognize the nuances others might overlook.  I see and sense each location from my perspective, and while I am happy to share with you the experiences I enjoy and the inspiration I receive, I find exactly what I’m meant to see when travelling alone.

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