You can't have the same experiences you get while traveling solo if you go as part of a pair. So says Elizabeth Gilbert, in a recent CNN travel piece on Eat, Pray, Love, the book she wrote that came out as a movie this past weekend.
Anyone who has traveled solo knows this. Traveling solo compels a traveler to open up more. See more. Explore more.
And be distracted less by conversations that could, and should, have been held at home because they weren't about the place being visited.
Not that Miller waited for the okay to travel on her own. She's been doing it for years.
Still, she's often amazed by how concerned people are about her individual choices, whether to travel solo, get married or have children. Or not. When she was in her 30's she was told she better find a husband quickly before she was "too old and ugly." Charming.
(In this person's viewpoint, is getting a husband essential because it's not possible for a woman to be happy without a husband? Or to support herself alone? Or to be "normal" without a man? I'm always curious about the reasoning these people use.)
Miller says she gains confidence from solo travel, thriving on its challenges. Solo travel is a lifestyle choice, she says. Her life. Her choice.
Gilbert's book was all about getting out of a marriage and finding herself by traveling alone for an extended period. But plenty of women within marriages travel on their own too. And many go for a few weeks at a time.
The CNN story interviewed Beth Whitman, a married traveler who has written books on solo travel and has a travel website. CNN caught the author just before she was leaving for a trip to Papua New Guinea. Alone.
Another solo traveler interviewed for the story says she used to dread dining solo in a restaurant but has found she's gotten quite okay with it. (See other posts on solo travelers dining solo)
More than anything, what the CNN story does is drive me crazy. Because it's been awhile since I've had a solo travel adventure and now I find myself pacing and champing at the bit.
Where am I going next??!Photo: Ellen Perlman. From solo trip to Sooke Harbor, Vancouver Island. Peaceful. Quiet. Beautiful.