Traveling Alone

Have you ever traveled alone? Not just for one night, or near home. But really, really traveled alone? I must confess that I never had. Except in July, the summer before last. For one week. On a plane. Several thousand miles away. From my husband and my three kids. And it was an experience.

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The trip did not originate as a solo adventure. But circumstances arise, and rather than cancel – I decided to brave it alone on my own. It was a place that I was familiar with, where I was born and had visited many times during my childhood – and lots of nostalgia was in store. Here’s what I learned.

I learned that no matter how strong I am and how much I cherish my time alone, I really crave my connections to those I love. Experiences with them far outweigh similar experiences on my own.

I learned that however difficult things may become, life is always better overall with the community of my family and friends. I needed to be in the isolation of this vacation by myself to see that.

I learned that sometimes, extended time alone allows you the space to contemplate yourself, your life, those around you and what is truly meaningful to you.

I learned that I like having time off that allows me to not have to take care of others. To read magazines and books on the beach without getting food, sunscreen, towels for kids, husband, and all.

I also learned that however valuable that time alone may be, that ultimately I miss all of the loves in my life far more that I need that time off from taking care of them. I miss asking them how their day was. I miss telling them what happened in my day. I miss trying to teach a valuable lesson about values and character based on some experience I had. I miss their hugs and their kisses and their reassurance. I miss giving them reassurance. I recommend traveling alone, especially if you never have. To learn whatever you may learn from the experience.

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