Flying Solo

With special thanks to Slice of Life for inspiring writers and giving us space and voice

Slice of Life Day 1 of 31:  Journeys

A few weeks before our trip to San Antonio, Texas in February 2022, my travel buddy realized she would be unable to make the trip with me.  Having traveled to Rockport, Massachusetts together back in October 2021, we had carefully curated a list of our future trip destinations before we ever got home from that trip, and San Antonio was among the choices for our next getaway. 

Motif #1, Rockport, Massachusetts which always looks like a painting even in photos

We’d spent weeks before our trip sharing packing hacks, like putting our foundation in a contact lens case, and looking at excursions and tours to book in advance based on the weather forecast. Her review of On Clouds as her best walking  shoes for traveling had prompted me to shed my $15 clearance rack non-tie Merrells that had taken me all over Europe in 2019 and purchase a pair of non-tie tidewater blue On Clouds.  

Holding up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France in a pair of $15 Clearance Merrells, June 2019
On Clouds in Tidewater Blue, new travel shoes in 2022

Don’t worry about me, Ginger, I texted, I’m the free spirit who ventured over to Germany all alone back in 2019, I replied after she broke the news.  If anyone should be apologizing, I figured, it should be me – – for keeping the plans and going without her.  The truth is, I might have backed out if the trip had been refundable – but it wasn’t, and I’m always too cheap to purchase the cancellation insurance. – or worse, take the hit and give up the trip. I was really going to miss her, but future trips together depended on her sitting this one out.

And my trip to Germany?  Yes, I had taken a solo journey there and back, but I’d met up with a group of teachers there who were all, like me, in training to take a group of students on a European tour.  So while I’d made the Germany trip alone, I’d had folks waiting at the destination to explore and learn with me.  There’d be no group waiting to go exploring and share meals with me in San Antonio.  

I attended EF Tours training in Berlin, Germany in May 2019, flying there and back alone.

I made a few attempts to offer the extra room in the VRBO, but by that time, my friends had already made other plans for the school break and my husband had to work. Quite honestly, I didn’t figure too many others would want to travel with me.  I keep odd hours.  I rise at 5:00 a.m. to write and blog, and I like to get out to explore early.  LIkewise, I retire early – – I like to begin winding down around 7:00 p.m. so I can be asleep at 9:00 – my firm bedtime.  If I don’t get proper sleep, I’m worse than a cantankerous toddler.  Although I wasn’t sure whether I would be a great candidate for journeying alone, I knew that this would be a better alternative than trapping some poor soul thinking they were going on a vacation into an itinerary that may have had them scrambling for a return flight home the very next day.  

Surely there were more lessons to be learned in addition to purchasing cancellation insurance, wearing non-tie walking shoes with good support, and putting makeup in a contact lens case. And I knew there was far more listening (my 2022 One Little Word) to be done. 

I decided to make the trip alone and consider it an adventure in discovering whether it was possible – and I would blog not only what I experienced along the way, but what I learned on my travels, all the while looking forward to the time that Ginger and I could travel together again in the future. And this will be my Slice of Life blog theme for each day of March 2022:  journeys. 

Ginger (wearing lipstick like a proper Southern lady) and me (a lipstick rebel), whale watching with Cape Ann Whale Watching Tours off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts, October 2021

Isaiah 41:10 

Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.