Flying Solo

Flying Solo

Today I began our great adventure, solo.  I am off to Singapore and will meet the LOCAVORista in Vietnam after Christmas.   We travel solo often, but starting this off alone felt different.  As I stepped into the airport I felt really alone.  This anxiety is because we are stepping into a world of unkowns; we don’t know what the future holds, we have no routine, or plans.  We have no idea what we will see, feel, and smell, yet to begin it’s me, not we.  I have never done a trip like this with someone else, but I have never enjoyed doing it solo.

Leaving Minneapolis brought back memories of the day I decided I didn’t want to travel alone anymore.  As my legs dangled from the sailboat I was travling the the Galapagos in, I was watched the sunset and wanted to share the experience.  There were nine people on the boat, 3 couples, an Italian brother and sister, and me.  As the sunset over the open water I realized this was a memory I wanted to share.  It was beautiful, but without someone else there, nobody else could reflect on the grandeur in years future.  I wanted someone to share the memories with, to be able to look at photos with and laugh at the misadventures and revel in the adventures.

The sunset I watched while sailing the Galapagos

Prior to setting foot on the catamaran I had spent four weeks creating memories climbing mountains and wandering Ecuador.  Much of the time I was with other people, but nobody that would look at photos years from now and have any clue what was going on.  It’s like the cliché vacation slides of friends, people are only so interested, without being there and using all five senses, it just isn’t the same.  There is something to be said for traveling companions, old friends, and shared memories.

The nice part about traveling alone is setting your own agenda.  Feel like staying in the hostel and watching music videos all day?  You can.  There is never a negotiation, tradeoffs, or frustration.  Also, there is never interests other than yours that cause you to see things you wouldn’t seek out, there isn’t a sounding board when the taxi driver screws you, or someone to agree with you that the hostel manager is creepy.

If LOCAVORista hadn’t come to Peru, nobody would have believed me that there was a foosball phenom who had to stand on a chair to play, but beat all comers.  Each time he won he would raise his hands and shout “campeon del mundo” as though he had won the world cup.

I have done months on the road solo, traveled with people I met in hostels, and met friends along the way.  Having been there, done that, I recommend you find a traveling partner that shares your same general interests, has a similar traveling style, and that you won’t get sick of.  Finding such a partner isn’t easy, it is equivalent to finding a spouse, but it enhances travel and makes experiences more memorable.

Remember when we went piranha fishing in the amazon? Oh right, I was by myself...

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» Terry Anderson :
Dec 27, 2010

Watching my daughter, LOCAVORista, bounce through security waving and blowing kisses, made it much easier to wave goodbye and smile. Coming home to read Flying Solo was one more reminder her Dad and I needed that you are the pair for this adventure!

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.


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