I Trip Alone
10 Observations when Traveling Solo
Have you ever traveled alone on the road? Rocking a road trip solo can launch you into rebel status instantly. Here are a few realities when traveling alone in the US on four wheels. (or two wheels if you are super cool)
Table for One Please:
All my life I associated dining alone with loser status until I moved to a new state by myself & I grew up. If you’re going to rock a vagabond, gypsy, rebel or wild soul status it begins with finding a new level of comfort that isn’t the normal for most. This is where you have to step aside from the people who have to “be seen” in a certain way in public out of fear of how things look. Fly that freak flag because traveling alone is all about living a mysterious order of freedom, free from the norm.
I am a Yoga Instructor named Danica Patrick:
I tread a 7 hour road trip several times a year to visit my family. It never takes me 7 hours. In fact my best time is 5.75 hours. (Don’t think I can’t beat that either.) However, change the trip around and put me on the road without a human waiting at the pin on the other side of the map and the vibe is completely different. Instantly I am high fivin’ all the 90 year old grandmas that clog the road on their unleaded retirement gas tank. Not having an agenda is like giving yourself an instant certification as Zen master. The road has two lanes; the left lane for an agenda & the right lane for road tripping solo. Find your speed & travel at no one else’s.
I Could Eat My Hand:
I am so smitten with the collective sounds of the road that I forget to eat. The way the wind demands to take my stress and carry it away, the sound of mammoth size trucks hammering around me carrying the aliveness of a city and even the sound of eerie silence when the windows are rolled up; just me and my breath. This seductive affair, however, leaves my stomach last in line. I find there are only two hunger gears when on the road; neutral & I am going to eat my hand. When traveling alone, there’s no one there to feed you so pack the snacks road rebel.
Zero F*cks Mentality:
If you’re going to write your own story, you’ll have to shed a lot of rules and authority from your life on many different levels. The road is a prime space to practice the evolution of your Self. Just remember, no one knows you here. Let’s not wait for the perfect anything (moment, person and scenario) and let loose. Live bigger with less f*cks is the map to freedom. Get some inspiration HERE.
Toilet Standards Drop:
When not on the road I find myself sometimes headed to bladder infection-ville because my standards are so high, but suddenly on the road Port-a-Potty’s now have a class of their own. In a recent stay I even dabbled with a compost toilet without walls or a door. Being on the road can put things in perspective; don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep calm bathroom on.
Jesus is Real, Hell is Real:
When you forgo a plane ride, driving in a car lets you taste new cities and states. Sometimes you don’t even have to stop; the billboards along the highway speak volumes. Every time I drive on I-65 I know exactly where I am when I see this famous sign that has been there for years. One side displays “Hell is Real” and the other side displays “Jesus is Real”. It’s a jungle out there. You know what’s real? Religion.
Starbucks is the Old Faithful:
Traveling alone sometimes feels like an old romance novel. I’m filled to the brim of lust for the unknown. I want to run my fingers along all the curves of the streets & be swept away. The reality is you can’t always have your head in the clouds. Every state has its dark alleys and who are you to know when Exit 316 will take you to the world’s scariest rest stop. Give me a corporate regulated Starbucks and I’m almost guaranteed a clean bathroom & a safe place to stretch my bones. When in doubt, just find that green goddess to regroup.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” ~Erol Ozan
The Steam will Rise:
At some point in every trip I either lose my shit and/or loneliness creeps in. It’s really just a bi-product of being human. One of the best travel writers, Don George, wrote in his latest book The Way of Wanderlust :
"Traveling stretches your mental clothes.”
It’s true and if there’s going to be a stretch, there first must be a pull. Don’t fret if you get lost or a couple of tears hit your cheek because you realize you’re far from shore without a net. Just remember this; you got this. Don’t push those feelings away. Welcome them, breathe them in & let them be because they have a purpose. If you don’t lose your way at some point, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Cheap Sleeps & Over Thinking:
A couple of weeks ago in North Carolina I left an Airbnb stay and headed out 2 hours north. After soaking up obscene amounts of vitamin D on a beach, I remembered I had no place to stay that night. With the super powers of a cell phone, I thought it really wasn’t a big deal. I became a super sleuth trying to find the best deals for a cheap stay. Checking a hotel’s website would be a rookie move, so there I went on a surfing ride. After hopscotching amazing websites like Couchsurfing, Airbnb and Trivago, I came back to the same hotel I’d passed by 30 minutes prior. In the end, I saved $9 that evening. Guess what buttercup, sometimes you win and sometimes you will pretty much break even. Don’t think too hard on the road. When it needs to be, just let it be.
Leave Your Footprint (or a claw mark):
You take in many things when road tripping; the scenery, cultures, the surroundings & the people. Don’t forget to give back along the way. Talk to the locals, share your stories, give kind words and offer a piece of your wisdom to random situations. Connection comes in many flavors & sizes, don’t miss out on a way to put yourself out there. Through The Pyro Project, I created a custom deck of affirmation cards and every time I leave a space, I leave a card behind. As you make your way around the unknown, find a way to leave your mark and give some love & attention back to your fellow humans. It’s a thirsty world out there and the world needs a dose of you.