Choose Your Own Adventure

In just six weeks, I'm hopping on a plane and heading out west to camp with family in Kelowna, then spend a few glorious days all by my lonesome in Vancouver. I am over the moon excited for this (as I am for every trip), but some people find travelling alone intimidating. And since I'm married, some think it's just downright weird. But, while I love travelling with my partner and totally get that people want to share the experience with someone, there's something deliciously wonderful about venturing out own your own.

Solo explorations in Kugluktuk, Nunavut
One of the great things about having someone special in your life is that it keeps your identity in check. It sometimes feels like this person is proof that you exist. "Yeah, Michelle? She's real. I see her every freaking day." And when you're on your own for a day, a week, or months, it can be scary not to have someone there to share in your triumphs (climbing Mount Pacaya) or sorrows (sprinting to make your connecting flight only to sit on the tarmac for an hour). You sometimes feel a bit disconnected from reality when the person who's always around just isn't.

Taking a break from house building near Antigua, Guatemala
But here's the awesome part. You get to do whatever the hell YOU want to do for the entire trip. You never have to compromise a visit to a museum to take a nap at the hotel, or avoid the beach because your partner could give vampires a run for their money when it comes to sun sensitivity.

The other great thing is that it forces you to come out of your shell and seek out new experiences and people. Would I have spent hours (literally) exploring the frozen tundra of Nunavut on foot if I had gone with Chris? Learned from local Inuit women how to cut into animal hide?  Taken full advantage of my "All you can drink" ticket at El Muro and danced the salsa with near-strangers? No, probably not. All of those things are pretty far out of my comfort zone ordinarily. But when you're alone in a strange place, you're already so far out of your comfort zone suddenly doing those things doesn't seem like such a big leap.

Weekly water fight while house building near Antigua, Guatemala
So whether you're single, in a relationship, married, whatever, don't feel like you can't travel alone. Take that first leap and the others will follow. And, trust me, you'll have some pretty awesome stories to bring back home.

So, would you travel alone or have you already? I'd love to hear your thoughts!