Traveling Solo the Smart Way

I’ve been thinking about some travel destinations for this summer. There’s the Erie Canal that has a wonderful bike path, quaint towns, B&B’s, and historic New York state sites. There’s the Mickelson Bike Trail in South Dakota, with some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Southern Illinois has the Tunnel Trail in the Shawnee National Forest. Then, of course, there are closer weekend trips I could take, but there is a problem. I’m single.

Last year, I didn’t get out of my comfort zone too much. I had a trip planned for Michigan, but that got derailed, and then I thought, do I really want to go up there, all by myself? Is that even safe? Where can single people go and not feel weird or the topic of a future Dateline episode?

I mean, there are millions of single people. Divorce isn’t exactly rare and unheard of. I should be bumping into single and divorced people everywhere I go, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. Instead, it seems like the whole world is married, especially at touristy locations. And, boy, I never realized how annoying married people are, until I got divorced. They’re so smug, and they talk about each other WAY too much.

Nobody wants to hear about your wife or husband, your plans, your weekend, your 33rd and half month anniversary, how wonderful your “hubby” is or whatever. Keep it between the two of you. You’re making the rest of us want to barf. It’s gross. Even when I was married, I thought it was gross.

On the other hand, everybody wants to hear a single person complain about their life because we’re so creative about it. Our memes are funny. We’re the Bad News Bears. Married people are Tom Brady. That says it all.

Single people are just so much nicer and likable. We’re open, and friendly. We’re like lost puppy dogs. Married people are anything but charming. They’re like barbed wire and moldy insoles to the rest of the world. Good thing they have each other, because nobody else wants to hang around them. But, back to the subject on hand – traveling solo.

After a little research, I’ve learned that the best and safest places to visit when you’re traveling solo are large cities. That makes sense. Nobody is going to go into shock if they see someone walking down a New York City sidewalk by themselves. Almost everybody is walking by themselves. The same goes for Chicago and other large cities. It’s mostly just people going back and forth to work.

I can picture myself visiting Chicago alone. Well, parts of Chicago, anyway. I’ve noticed the awesome bike path along the lakefront before on previous trips, and I wouldn’t feel like an unwanted clown taking the sights in. The idea of being there doesn’t intimidate me at all. All I have to do is look like a native Chicagoan, whatever that looks like. Hmm…

Art galleries and museums actually make more sense to visit alone, even if you are married. Just don’t let anyone know that you are. You’ll be more likable. I remember dragging my kids through the Abraham Presidential Museum years ago. My son complained that it was old junk. My husband said there was too much reading, and my daughter was on her phone, lovesick over some boy who is now a woman. Someday, I’ll go back by myself and truly enjoy it.

Movies and concerts, are also good places to visit alone. It’s dark, so nobody is going to notice anyway. Plus, they’re immersive, so you lose yourself in them.

So, this year, I’m going to pick places that I’d feel perfectly fine visiting by myself. I could meet up with some friends and family, too, but it’s not so bad to do things alone. At least I’m not completely unlikable like married people and Tom Brady.

You may also like...