On Flying Solo

7 June, 2024

That doesn’t happen often with me any more — I usually travel with my family these days.

But earlier in 2024, due to a death close to me, I had to rather suddenly head back to Canada for a week. Before that, I hadn’t travelled on my own since 2019. To be honest, I’m still not sure what to make of the experience.

When travelling solo, I’m a bit more nimble, a bit more flexible. I don’t need to worry about keeping strict schedules or worry about what someone else may have left behind.

I can also do what I want to do without having to enter into minor negotiations or to plan ahead. Like the time on my trip to Canada when I jumped into my rental car, hit the highway, and drove east for a couple of hours. Why? Mainly because the urge to do that gripped me one Tuesday morning and wouldn’t let go.

That said, when I am in that situation there’s an acute sense of aloneness. It’s a state in which there’s no one with whom to share thoughts and observations. No one to consult with when something invariably goes wrong. No one to share a new experience or an interesting sight or sound with.

That sounds a lot like loneliness, doesn’t it? But being in a state of aloneness can be liberating. It offers me space to turn within myself. To silently retreat. To woolgather. To enjoy my own company without (too much) guilt.

While I prefer to travel with my family (I really do!), I find that occasionally travelling solo is a great way to reconnect with myself.

Scott Nesbitt