August 19, 2016

On Traveling Solo

I haven't posted in a bit because I was travelling out on the west coast. I had an amazing time at Seawheeze half marathon (more on that later) and fell in love with Vancouver, British Columbia. Who wants to move to the pacific northwest with me, haha? Taking the whole trip solo was a really great experience. I've done plenty of longer weekend solo trips including 2 last month, but this was the first time in a while that I was travelling solo for a full week.  

Of course everywhere I went people were asking who I was travelling with and were a little surprised when I said I was out here alone.  I'm assuming the feelings are the same ones I was having. People are scared of being lonely, feeling unsafe, or looking like they don't have anybody-similar to taking yourself out to dinner alone.  I have some social anxiety which makes it a little understandable for me but still, people are constantly on their phones and rarely just sitting anytime they are on public transit or waiting for someone. The beginning of the trip during my couple days in Seattle was still a little stressful for me. I had some things going on in my personal life still messing with my head and was feeling a little insecure about being out on my own. 

Obviously I had friends.acquaintances, and November Project people I met up with in Seattle and Vancouver so it wasn't like I was in a completely foreign place with no one. Still, there were a few days where the world was my oyster, and I had hours and hours to fill. I was also having a stressful feeling those first few days like "what am I doing here?" & "why am I spending all this money when I'm a broke graduate student?". There was also the big question of "What in the world do I want to do, today?" 

Eventually post-race in Vancouver, I spent a lot of time outdoors and with the amazing views that Vancouver has to offer and reached a really nice place of zen that I had not found in a while. It was a very centering experience and has helped solidify for me some things that I was feeling anxious about. I am an awesome person and settling for anything in life is not worth it. I may be paying off this trip for months, but it was freaking worth it. My saying that I always tell people is that I'll never have time and money all at once, so if I want to travel-I'm going to make it work. That has been my feeling really since the amazing experience I had flying across the country to go run Hood to Coast in Oregon 2 years ago this month. Flying solo and being able to stay in hostels or Airbnbs nowadays also helps keep things cheaper! 

Top of Quarry Rock in Vancouver, BC
Also travelling solo became really relaxing. My day didn't have to be jam-packed scheduled with things. I didn't have to worry about someone else's schedule or figuring out what they wanted to do. If I wanted to grab a coffee and pastry and leisurely window-shop for a couple hours, cool. If I wanted to check out this art museum that I really wanted to go to it was great. I didn't worry about if others were bored or how long to spend at each piece-I took my time.  Another perk was that pretty much any restaurant or place that had a bar meant not waiting for a table!  I got okay with sitting at a bar and grabbing a beer to watch the Olympics at night. I love planning, but I spent a lot of time living in the moment and letting the day take me where it would. Jumping into plans I was just invited to turned out to be the best times of the trip.  

As far as for Seawheeze I was in a Facebook group, and there were many "orphans" or people who were coming out solo for the race that connected and posted about meeting up for dinner or activities. I ended up meeting a fellow Baltimore runner lady for dinner after connecting on the Facebook group!

While travelling with family and friends is great, I really recommend that everyone travels solo even for just a weekend. I would also like to thank Google Maps and Starbucks free wifi for making navigating an unfamiliar place easy for a lady with a terrible sense of direction like myself. I saw an amazing part of the country and met some awesome people.  Now the hard part is being back in the real world with school, work, and stress and trying to keep this little piece of zen inside me. 

This quote at the top of Grouse Grind has become my mantra for the trip and beyond!

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as Nicole and Amanda.

Have you ever traveled solo? Have you ever taken a solo race-cation? 


  1. My sister and I went to Seattle last fall and loved the Northwest! We'd like to go back. I think I'd be ok traveling alone but after a day or 2 I'd miss my family! Glad you had such a nice trip.

    1. Yeah it was just a nice peaceful break for me because I'm always so busy! I love the Northwest too.

  2. This whole trip just seemed so amazing. I can't wait to hear all about Seawheeze and the rest of your travels! I need to get out to the PNW/Vancouver one of these days. The pictures blew me away.

  3. I've traveled alone a few times and really enjoy it. While I probably prefer making memories with friends/family, it is nice to be able to exactly what you want when you want. It is peaceful! I'm glad you had a good trip!

  4. I'm so happy you had a great trip; I LOVE the PNW. I have 100 places I want to go, and consider going solo, then it comes down to the fact I spend 95% of my time alone and don't really want to spend money to spend more time by myself...even if it seems like the only way I'll be able to travel this fall.

  5. I have never been to Seattle nor Vancouver. That view looks breathtaking. I have traveled by myself to races but have always met up with someone while there.I bet your trip was very peaceful!

  6. I travel solo often for work and really like it because it gives me a break from planning, schedules and I can do what ever I want. I have never travelled solo for 100% pleasure but I would like it. I do get nervous about my safety, so always chose a big hotel and take a picture of the street name of where the hotel is located so it is easier to find my way home.

  7. Looks like an amazing trip! I haven't traveled alone but I think it would be kind of fun to just be completely on your own schedule!

  8. Sounds like an AMAZING trip! So happy for you. The only time I've traveled alone was for "work" purposes (aka my job in college with KIND). We had free time to roam around the city but I wish I had more. I foresee solo trips in my future! Maybe to Vancouver because that is climbing up my list ha

  9. This trip sounds ahhmazing! so happy you enjoyed it! One of these days, i'll go somewhere solo!

  10. I really really want to do Seawheeze! I've never been to Vancouver and want to go so badly. Good for you for making it work. Traveling is always worth it!! And going alone sounds heavenly. I had a few solo work trips years ago, one of which was to Seattle, and I had the best time ever just walking the city.

  11. Until I started to connect with other runners most my trips both running and otherwise were done solo. I enjoy it for the most part but definitely feel there are some things I rather do with people but I encourage anyone to trek out on their own at least once!

  12. I love traveling alone too! I like your outlook on being in the moment. Money is always going to be an issue in life, but making traveling work somehow takes stress away. I try to travel every 6 months otherwise i go crazy!