9:30 am, Houston. Having one of those "poor me" moments while rushing to make the connection to Tucson. Why was I going to all this trouble, flying to join a bunch of strangers at a spa? All alone. I think about home and it seems so cozy and inviting. Typical day one for me. Just have to push through it. I have traveled solo dozens of times and have never regretted it. Yet I always have these first day doubts and crankiness.
I board the second flight and get absorbed in my magazines. Again, wondering who I will be spending the week with.
2:30 pm, lobby hotel. Most of the group has arrived and we introduce ourselves. Everyone seems nice and the guides are outgoing and friendly. Why wouldn't they be? Why was I nervous?
5:30-ish, hotel room. It's all good. Hiking through Sabino Canyon, I got to know Sharon from Brooklyn and our guide Nancy. The walk was energizing. The saguaro cacti are amazing. The cool desert weather is a nice change from freezing Washington. The group stretches after the brisk hike, something I never remember to do on my own. It feels great.
8-ish. Dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Now I've gotten to know Gigi and Karen and everyone else. Everyone is finding out the short story of one another's lives. Where they work, where they're from. My apprehension and discomfort have vanished. There was nothing to worry about. As usual. Why don't I ever believe, early on day one, that this will be so?
Photo: Ellen Perlman. Hiking in Sabino Canyon, Tucson.