"I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more." - Thomas Jefferson
I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago a year ago. I was reminded when I logged into Facebook this morning, and the app invited me to reminisce on memories from the past. I bought tickets to see Trevor Noah live at the Chicago Theatre, and decided I would drive out the night before and explore the city on Saturday.
I ended up waiting until the very last minute to book my hotel, and made a list of all the places I wanted to visit. As I told friends and family that I was going to Chicago to see Trevor Noah’s show and to explore the city, the most common question was:
“Who are you going with?”
I guess there was some cause for concern, as my phone died early on during my first day in Chicago. But I wasn't concerned for myself, as I relied on my watch to tell the time, people around me for directions, and my camera to capture the memories.
As I was wandering around Chicago, I headed to the Art Institute. I noticed someone had written the words "what are you" near where I was walking. I enjoyed street artists. I took in the architecture. I made my way alone throughout the city, never doubting myself.
This was my first completely solo trip. Before then, I had driven alone to meet up with people or roadtripped with friends to a common destination, so I was really excited to go on this independent trip. I guess you could say that this trip to Chicago was my "gateway drug" to more solo adventures. Last fall, I traveled to England by myself, and am planning on making more (solo) trips in the future.
I see no problem in doing things alone; when you are completely comfortable with yourself and are able to be decisive and enjoy life on your own, that is true independence. There is a joy in sharing experiences with others, but there is also a satisfaction in enjoying experiences by yourself. What are you scared of when it comes to traveling alone? It can be an eye-opening experience. It can help you become more comfortable with your own company. It can show you the world, without anyone holding you back.