I decided to go on a 5 day Mexican holiday by myself. I had not been to Mexico before and I thought this would be a nice break from my hectic work schedule, home, and my last hurrah before the baby comes.
This is not the first time I’ve traveled solo. In fact, most of my travels have been solo. I prefer it that way. It’s not to say I haven’t had some amazing travel experiences or memories while traveling with other people, but I’m going to be honest…I am my own best companion. I see what I want when I want, if I don’t want to do anything I don’t feel guilty, if I want to spend $100 for lunch I dont have to worry about my traveling companions moaning about the cost, and if I want to only spend $5 I don’t have to worry about being coerced into spending money I didn’t intend to spend.
Also, I haven’t met anyone I would rather spend more time with than myself:) Joking of course or not.
I don’t have a problem with traveling solo but why do others? On this trip I was often and annoyingly asked “table for 2?” when there was clearly one person standing in front of them. People bravely dared to ask “why are you traveling alone”? Clearly none of their business, but I spilled out my canned response. And since I was in Mexico I also got the “you are JUST 1 persons?” I taught English for a brief spell and while I didn’t want to come off condescending, (and my English is terrible at times) I often felt the need to correct their English since I felt they made being solo such a shitty plight. “Yes, just 1 person (without the s).”
Traveling solo is gutsy. Navigating foreign terrain takes confidence (and I am not the most confident). Perhaps people don’t have it in them to make such moves and subconsciously their own insecurities are projected onto me.
Maybe they have some preconceived notions about women travelers? Damsel in distress, lonely woman on the verge of suicide, jilted at the alter or some point later on down the road? Who knows what was in their minds.
Despite all the unneccesary attention, I highly recommend traveling solo. It’s a great time to reflect, spend much needed time with yourself and just listen and observe. I think in life we spend too much time talking and doing and not enough time listening and observing.
I hear people say they want to get away all the time but they don’t have anyone to go with. Why are you waiting for someone else? Get up off your ass and go! Stop waiting for other people.
Yes, people will ask you 5 million questions about why you are traveling alone, people will stare, and people absolutely will treat you differently, but I can honestly say that the experience and opportunity far outweigh other peoples insecurities or preconcieved notions about solo travelers.
Just a few departing words for the people I encountered in Mexico:
Dear waitress, don’t feel sorry for me because I am only “1 persons for dinner.” That’s the way I want it. And no! Please don’t jokingly offer to sit down with me at my table.
Dear time share guy, NO! I don’t want a VIP breakfast where you join me. I came alone to be alone and Not have a companion for breakfast. I left mine at home, on purpose.
Dear Bellman…oh why YES I am married. Surprised? I can see you almost lost your lunch. You want to know, you are dying to know…Why would a married woman travel alone? Because I can and I want to. Not only can I leave the house without my husband, I can also drive and work too. Amazing isn’t it. A modern day independent woman.
The solo traveler appears to be an enigma. I hoped to navigate under the radar but traveling solo actually gained more attention that I wanted.
Por favor. No Mas. Leave me alone.
The Solo Traveler