On Traveling Alone

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A lot of people hate to do this. My parents hate it, my sister hates it, and most of my best friends hate it. I do not hate this and in fact, I think it is wonderful. In my twenty years on this earth, one of the most refreshing things that I have learned is how great it is to travel – especially when I’m by myself.

I have had multiple conversations with my sister about this subject. She absolutely detests the idea of going on an adventure far from home without anyone. She wants to share memories and take pictures. I prefer to tell stories on my own terms when I’m already home.

There is just something about learning a city, exploring the nooks and crannies of it, without being held back. I can sleep where I want to and eat where I want to and relish in the independence that comes from being in a city where there is literally not a soul that knows me. I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself because without companions, nobody will know I embarrassed myself. Trust me, this has happened. Multiple times.

There was one particular instance where I was alone in Boston and I had to pee so badly. I was about to go into the Suffolk law building but I saw the sign that said that ID was required just as some lady was coming out of the doors. There was no way to hide that I was about to go into the building but suddenly changed my mind.

“Are you lost?” she asked me.

Mind you, I am an awkward person. I have a dry sense of humor that doesn’t work on strangers and when I’m not using it, I just kind of… stammer. By this point, I had realized that there was no way to just turn around.

“Um, no.” I said. I tried to think of something on the spot. “I was just looking for a building that… looks like this.”

Have you ever seen the Suffolk Law Building? Trust me. There isn’t one that looks like that.

“Oh.” She wrinkled her nose. I’m pretty sure she knew I was lying and I hate being caught in a lie. “Can I help you find anything?”

I sighed. She was walking now, and I was walking with her, and the whole thing was just hellaciously uncomfortable.  “I’m actually looking for somewhere to pee where I don’t have to pay,” I muttered.

She looked annoyed all of the sudden, as if I had said something to purposely upset her. I lost her at the next walk sign.

See? Embarrassing things happen. But nobody would’ve known that story if I hadn’t told all of you, right?

I feel like I’m really off track at the moment. The point is, traveling alone is wonderful. There’s nothing like getting to an airport and leaving, just you and a suitcase and your dreams.

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