Growing up as the eldest of seven children, privacy and time alone were things that I learned to do without before I ever knew the importance of either. So getting away and creating my own space started as soon as I got my driver’s license and a car.
Fast forward a decade or so later, and I have made a hobby out of traveling alone. Maybe it started when I was younger when I would go to the movies alone. I understood that it could be considered strange then because we were in an age group that thrived on social interacting. And when my friends got together and hung out, I was there with them, but if at any point I wanted to do something and didn’t want to wait on friends, I had no problem doing it alone. Now the same thing applies when I plan on visiting the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC on Friday night; I can simply wake up on Saturday morning and do it. The only planning needed is the quickest route to take.
However, after coming from one of this impromptu trips a friend of mine asked me, “You don’t think it’s a bit weird that you randomly leave the state for weekend vacations… alone?” Until he asked that question, in that tone, I hadn’t given it any thought.
First of all, if that was the ONLY way that I ever did anything, that would be strange. I spend 95% of leisure time with family and/or friends. The other 5% are the times that I catch a midday movie on my off day alone or have a day’s trip to somewhere I’ve never been. No one I know have any real interest in visiting the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, so I already know that going to be a solo trip. No group itinerary, no family voting of where to eat, no one who has already read everything to know about the attraction and talk about it the entire time. I can go, get what I want to get from it, and it’s over just as quickly as I can get back to my bed. Now when the family puts together family vacation, I’ll go. My cousins are in talks of a summer cruise, I may go. A few friends may get together and catch a movie later on, and I’ll be there. but if at any moment, I want to do any of these things, I have absolutely no problem doing them alone.
More than being weird, I feel as though this has more of a selfish nature when it comes to me personally. I have no problem admitting it, because I believe admitting you have a problem is the first step to fixing it 🙂 (sarcasm). I can be a bit of a stickler, so rather than annoy everyone I’m around about getting to the correct theater on time so that we can get concessions and good seats, I’d rather just go alone when it’s a movie that I really really want to see. So it’s more of the attitude behind traveling alone, than the actual act. So my reasoning doesn’t make me weird, it makes me a bit selfish… maybe! In high school when we had group projects, I would do the entire project to make ensure that all of it would be done promptly and correctly. That’s the same attitude that puts me on the road alone.
So if you know someone that travels alone on a regular basis, they may in fact be a drug mule; but they may just a very picky side and peculiar tastes that they don’t want to risk external opinions with. I don’t know many other people like that, but I know I’m not the only one, so if you come across one, hopefully you now have another perspective on possibly understanding them.