I travel solo for the company.

Senior's group on a tour.

Laurie (on left) and Skip, two of my tablemates on the Cape Cod Central Railroad.

Jeanette was my third tablemate.

drinks on patio in cape cod

I met Jim at the Beach and had drinks with him on the terrace at the Ocean Edge Resort

I travel solo because of people like Skip, Jeanette and Laurie. Because of Jim. And because of Brad. I travel solo for the company I find along the way.

Lunch on the Cape Cod Central Railroad
First on my agenda for day 2 in the Cape was a scenic ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. As a single, they were trying to figure out whether space allowed them to give me a single table. I fixed that quickly. I wanted to meet people and I couldn’t have met three more interesting, dynamic, opinionated women than Skip, Jeanette and Laurie from Martha’s Vineyard.

The energy of each of these women was unique and electrifying. Skip was larger than life. Caution had long been thrown to the wind — she lives life on her terms. When I asked her what Martha’s Vineyard is like, to the horror of Jeanette she said “we all drink and fornicate”. She was teasing of course and quickly elaborated.

Jeanette, though much quieter, is in some ways more adventurous. She has been traveling on her own (and with groups) since her husband passed away in the 90s. Of her upcoming trip to Spain she declared, “I’m looking forward to the tappas bars.” That’s where the free food is.

Laurie, who was the coordinator of this group of 27 women from the Edgartown Council on Aging has a calm strength. One of her ambitions is to ride a bike across America. Her enthusiasm for her work is obvious.

The four of us talked and laughed. We had the loudest table in the car I’m sure. Oh, and we did have time to look at the scenery, listen to the commentary and enjoy the fabulous food. It’s one thing for me to like the chowder but for the women from Martha’s Vineyard to say that it was a really good says something. The train ride is well worthwhile. Make sure you ask to be seated with others.

Are you a local?
From the train station in Hyannis I went to the north side of the Cape to Dennis.

Driving along route 6A near Brewster, I took a random left and found a beach on my first attempt. I wandered a bit then went up to Jim and asked if he was a local.

This, I find, is the best opening line. If you want to speak with anyone just ask this question. If the answer is yes, you’ll get insider information on the place. If no, you ask where they’re from. It doesn’t matter which direction things take, a conversation usually ensues.

This is how I ended up at the fabulous Ocean Edge Resort having a drink with Jim.

His answer was no. He’s from West Massachusetts and was on the Cape to paint a person’s house. It wasn’t long before he was telling me about a few highlights including the Ocean Edge Resort which was, at one time, the Nickerson Estate. It’s a luxury location with “million dollar view” as Jim said. We had margaritas on the terrace, chatted about life on a large scale and then parted.

After drinks and before going to the Cape Playhouse that evening, I did a little antiquing. There are many shops and galleries along this section of 6A. At one of them I met Brad.  We spoke a bit about his store and the history of it and I soon learned that he is a recent widower. With a shared understanding of loss, we sat and chatted for a while.

I don’t meet people at this pace every day that I travel solo but it happens often enough to be able to say that I travel solo for the company.

  • Tracy Antonioli

    Honestly, I prefer to travel solo (even when I don’t have to) for this very reason. It is so much easier to meet people as a solo. Meeting people is the #2 reason I love solo travel! (Number one is, of course, being able to do whatever I want!)

  • Peggy McPartland

    I love the question “are you a local?” What a great conversation starter. And it doesn’t matter whether they are or not. I love traveling alone and meet the most interesting people. This will give me one more way to! Thanks! :)

  • http://www.farawayeyes.org Scott Hartman

    Though I began to travel solo almost by default – friends were busy with careers :) – in the end, the people I meet are one of the most unexpected pleasures of that Way.

    Two people (or more) can be so tangled/entwined in and with each other, that many people – who might have otherwise approached me, or me them – are left out.

    Nice piece . . .

  • Liz

    a wonderful story .. I love to travel but am yet to *GO ALONE .. though I’m working on it !

  • http://solofriendly.com Gray

    I love the title of this piece. It’s so TRUE! :-) You meet the most interesting people when you travel alone.