What Is It About Traveling Alone That Makes You Smile

Satellite image of Hilton Head Island, South C...

Satellite image of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a while since I posted on the blog. I have been working on too many things and constantly think that I have neglected what I enjoy doing and that is writing and sharing my thoughts to those of you who really enjoy traveling.

Recently, I was on the phone with a friend and explained how much fun I had while visiting Hilton Head, South Carolina on my own. The person on the other end of the phone said, ” Oh I am so sorry you had to travel on your own. I imagine it was not much fun.”

I never thought of traveling alone as a sign that I needed sympathy but none the less it seems to me I would like to write about how much fun it can be to travel on your own. First things first always leave an itinerary of where you are and where you are staying. It is the same for camping alone or biking or hiking alone. Needless to say there was a movie recently that put it into perspective how you can get stuck and if no one knows where you are. Well just fill in the blanks you get the idea.

So you are going solo. The positives are so many I do not know where to start. Well it is easy to not have to wait for someone while you are getting ready to leave for your trip. Booking is the same as anywhere else. Find the best price for  your ticket. Rent a car. Double check with the hotel, bed and breakfast, timeshare what ever you are doing and be on your way.

One of the most liberating things about opening up the door to your room is if there are three bedrooms like the condo I stayed in you can stay in all three or just pick one. You can go shopping for food or go out to eat and there is no bargaining of where you should go. You just do it.

Places to see? Be adventurous. I was at the Marriott Surfwatch. They have a few amazing pools. Its amazing how many people just swim up to you and start a conversation. I met a great family and enjoyed wine and cheese with them and then went on my own. I walked on the beach. After a long afternoon I headed out to dinner.

Sit at the bar and enjoy dinner. I met more people who were from all over the country and they were more than willing to share their favorite places to go and visit and eat. I decided after hearing about Charleston I would take a ride and enjoy the day.

It was a quick two hour drive and it was a beautiful drive. Once I arrived in Charleston I did a quick tour of the Southern Museum and looked at the Confederate Soldiers uniforms and other artifacts. Being from the North I was interested in seeing their perspective. Well we all know how that war ended.

I walked through their slave market and it was sobering thinking about all the lives of the individuals at that time. The market now is filled with artists and shops not unlike any other tourist area.

I headed back to Hilton Head and had a great time while I was there. I realized by the fourth day I was saying hello to the furniture and announcing that I was home. It struck me that maybe I needed to connect with some other people and enjoy socializing. Well it did not take long. There are plenty of people who are willing to entertain you if you are open to meeting people.

I am far from shy so it was easy to just sit and talk to people. We covered a tremendous amount of ground and I was content. The subject of Savannah came up so I decided to go to Mrs. Wilkes and have lunch. Oh you do not know who Mrs. Wilkes is? Well I want to tell you that I have been there many times before. She was an amazing woman. Sadly, she passed away last year. However, her family still carries on the tradition. It is the best of the best in Southern cooking. I went to Paula Deans after Mrs. Wilkes and there is no comparison. Its like comparing your best recipe to an imitation. No offense to anyone who thought Paula Dean was the only way to go.

See the secret of finding good eats is asking the locals where to go for a good meal. They will search their memory banks and tell you about some local great blah blah place. Stop them and ask,”Where do you like to go?” Best food found that way and inexpensive.

So the moral of this blog is if you want to travel alone. Do it. Do not let anyone or anything stop you. I love to travel with my son, friends and who ever. The best time you can have is traveling alone. It helps set the reset button on getting to know yourself again. You do not have to travel far. Take a day trip. Walk in the woods. Go to the beach. Go to the lake. Unplug and just hang out in your backyard. Spend some quality time with yourself. Work on healing yourself and learn to like yourself. You are all you have. You may meet tons of people but when they walk away you are left with you. Enjoy your travels and enjoy your life. Denise

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