Recommended: Travel solo for self renewal
This is the second in a series entitled “Recommended: Travel Solo in …” Every author will share one of their favorite places, ways, modes, gear… for solo travel. “Recommended: Travel Solo for Self Renewal is by Gwen McCauley, a Life Transition Coach, coach trainer & retreat facilitator passionate about travel. Read more at www.ouicoach.com.
I’ve traveled solo for over 35 years. Sometimes it is a joy to travel with others, but I’ve finally admitted that my best trips, my deepest memories, come from when I’ve journeyed solo.
- Who am I?
- What makes me tick?
- What blindspots do I live with that I can only discover by interacting with the world free of all my usual supports?
- Who/what do I miss most from my stay-at-home life?
- How am I more resilient than I ever thought possible?
- What prejudices do I have that I’ve never noticed before?
These many questions and more flow through me constantly when I travel on my own, regardless of how exotic the trip is or how many challenges I experience en route.
Some of my treasured solo travel memories
- Rushing across the tarmac on an inky-black, sultry Azores night after nearly missing my flight to Lisbon after a refueling stop. I had gone to the bar where an older gentleman was busy buying me coffee & liqueurs. Only much later did I realize I was being hustled, and that airport PA announcers can severely bastardize one’s name!
- Standing on a street corner in Yellowknife, NWT realizing that I was the only white face to be seen. In that moment of standing amidst those many First Nations faces, I realized that this was their true home, as far back as history goes; ‘home’ in a way that was completely different than I would ever experience it.
- Slipping into St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church on Trafalgar Square, London on my birthday to discover that an Evensong service had just begun. I sat there filled with joy at this spontaneous concert that, for me, was acknowledgment that my presence on planet earth mattered. Sublime.
- Following a glorious rainbow on the 45-min trip back from Monchique to my Algarve, Portugal hotel. At times it was a complete arch across the sky. When I pulled into my hotel parking lot, the rainbow ended in the ocean just a few feet offshore. What a reminder of the glories that surround us when we open our eyes.
These and many more stories help to renew and refresh me daily. They are always close to hand on tough days. And they inspire me to take time for myself; time when I can renew and refresh; time when I can discover myself anew.
I am a Life Transition Coach, coach trainer & retreat facilitator passionate about travel. Join me for a retreat in Portugal if you seek a safe, supportive place to try your solo travel wings or to confirm your love of discovering the world on your own terms. www.ouicoach.com – www.gwenmccauley.ca – www.myalgarve.wordpress.com
©Gwen McCauley, 2009