Monday, August 16, 2010

Traveling solo, aka Eat Pray Love

 I grew up a solo traveler. As the oldest of 6, my itchy feet had as much to do with traveling as getting away from the noise of a big family. It was nothing for me to hit the road in my Ford Pinto and drive across Iowa, then ultimately to my home in Denver. Solo road trips continued into my adult years, although the Pinto is long gone, replaced by an SUV or a plane ticket as now I've segued into the international travels, including a recent amazing trip to Thailand.
"Buddha World" on the Island of Koh Samui in Thailand, Photo Diana Rowe
The book and film, "Eat, Pray, Love" has increased the acceptability of solo travel for women. But in all my solo travels, I really never felt alone. Part of the adventure of traveling is meeting other people, whether it's the locals or other travelers. Traveling on my own has opened up those possibilities even more. After all, when I'm traveling with my friends or family, my focus is on them, not always what's out there.

My visit to Thailand earlier this year included a stop on the island of Koh Samui. I actually was with a small group (2 other writers), but when they took off to do a several mile hike in the 100 plus degree heat, I passed. Instead I headed out on my own to the beach, rolled my towel out and proceeded to catch some island rays. While reclining, a group of young women (I believe from China) took an interest in me, probably because I was an American. They asked to take my picture, and each took turns posing with me for a picture. I then turned my camera on them. They didn't speak English; I didn't speak Chinese, but it was a fun moment with sign language and laughter. If I had been with a group or my family, I may have missed this opportunity.
Three women I met when sunning on the beach on an island near Koh Samui. Photo: Diana Rowe
Actually, solo travel is the inspiration of this blog,, because whether we're wearing our heels or flip-flops, when women travel, it opens up the world just a little wider.
Read more about Solo travel is increasingly popular among women

What's your favorite memory of solo travel? Comment below -- and comments are always welcome!

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