I recently traveled to Pittsburgh, PA on business and realized how seldom I travel solo anymore. For almost a decade, I traveled alone regularly.

Now mind you, I didn’t often venture too far. Except for a solo trip to Canada, all my ventures were domestic travel. Obviously, the pandemic changed the traveling landscape for a while and the camper rage of 2020 continues to be ablaze.

In fact, a couple of my gearhead buddies talked about buying RVs and traveling extensively with their spouses / significant others but were shut down by their better halves. I laughed because road tripping is one of my favorite things to do. Those ladies don’t know what they’re missing.

When a close(ish) travel opportunity showed up in my feed last week, I decided to investigate it.   Athens, Texas is a quaint town boasting botanical gardens, historical sites—and wait for it—my favorite: unique artisan retail shopping for the discerning day tripper.

I pondered whether I should go alone or invite someone to tag along and ultimately decided I would go solo. The drive is only 90 minutes, and with no one in the shotgun position, I leave and return on my clock at my leisure; impromptu detours are totally acceptable. Stopping at bookshop cafes and sipping coffee at a sidewalk table while perusing my latest read—yes and yes!

While some may not understand the need, nay desire, for explorative solitude, I crave it. Being alone in strange new places gives me the time and space to be myself, work out some things, and forget about others.

As the temperatures begin to decline later in the year, I intend to start traveling a little farther. I’ve lived in Texas for thirty-five years and have yet to see it all, and now I have the time and the solo-tude to make it happen. As I put the puzzle pieces of my life back together to start anew, I am giving myself permission to go solo whenever and wherever I want.

Traveling alone requires no chit-chat or small talk as you pass each mile marker, however, acknowledging the sites with the occasional “ooh” and “ahh” is always acceptable, even when you don’t go it alone.

Besides, solo tripping should make for some adventurous blog articles, right?

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