Do you travel solo?  As a woman, sometimes we limit our own travel adventures because of our obligations to family (you know, those littles that live in our home) and friends. Traveling Grandmom challenges women to step out of their comfort zone and explore with solo travel adventures.

When Traveling Solo, your experience can include meeting up with a tour group, such as I did in Israel.

When Traveling Solo, your experience can include meeting up with a tour group, such as I did in Israel. Photo Credit: Diana Rowe / Traveling Grandmom

Why Solo Travel?

A CNN article, a few years back, says it all: “Women find world, selves with solo travel.” I couldn’t agree more. I believe the movie and the book “Eat Pray Love” empowered women to explore the world by themselves and outside their comfortable back yard. Even though that movie came out more than 10 years ago, I feel the get out and solo travel inspiration is still alive today.

Why do I love to travel? Let me count the ways! I’m inspired by the sheer adventure of traveling. To me, travel turns the world into bite-sized pieces, whether experiencing as a solo traveler or with others.

My inspirational solo journeys have occurred all over the world, but also a short drive from my Colorado home.  I discovered the Garden of the Gods for the first time in my Colorado backyard;  zip-lined through the treetops of Thailand; swinging on a hammock in Puerto Rico; motorcycling with a view of the Colorado mountains; discovering a new favorite wine in Chile; and chilling on the beach with my grandchildren.

Traveling solo adventures include Ziplining adventure in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Zip lining adventure in Chiang Mai, Thailand Photo Credit: Greg Vaughn

The Meaning of Traveling Solo

Of course, I love the opportunity to travel with my family, my husband, and my friends, as I’ve written about many times. We’ve bonded during 22-people family reunion to Mexico; winter adventures to YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch; and (of course) Walt Disney World.  But traveling solo can bring so much depth to your soul.

Traveling alone can be intimidating, and oh so rewarding. As a Traveling Grandmom with 5 adult children and 7 grandchildren, I find “me time” even more rewarding because it does allow me to explore ME and the rest of the world.

For example, a few years ago, I stepped out on my biggest journey to date, exploring Thailand for the first time. I met up with a group of writers, but I traveled alone —  we’re talking thousands of air and land miles.

Upon arriving, we did have scheduled group tours, but oftentimes, I wondered off alone.  Why?  To breath in the moment. To revel in the “I was really here” moment.

My Ah-Ha Magic Traveling Solo Moment

One of many treasured solo travel moments happened in Thailand, including at as an elephant trainer for a day at the Patara Elephant Farms outside of Chiang Mai.

Traveling Solo in Thailand experience included Elephant Trainer for a day at Pataras Elephant Farm.

Traveling Solo in Thailand experience included Elephant Trainer for a day at Pataras Elephant Farm. Photo Credit: Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom

My last destination on this enlightening Thailand journey: one of the many islands near Ko Samui. On our first adventure, we explored the archipelago of about 40 small islands that make up the Ang Thong National Marine Park. When we stopped off at that main island, my two other travel companions ventured out on a hike (in the 100+ degree humidity).

Not me, I rolled out my beach towel on the sand and people watched. Within a few minutes, a group of Chinese young women approached me, asked to take a picture with me. Each posed with me for several photos. 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.

Solo travel offers opportunities to meet others, such as these Chinese women in Ko Samui, Thailand.

A chance meeting with Chinese women while exploring the Thai islands of Ko Samui, one of many reasons why I love traveling solo. Photo Credit: Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom

Solo Travel Therapy

Travel is a form of therapy for me, most definitely, but more than that. Travel is seeing a new destination like Thailand –or a familiar one like downtown Denver– with hungry eyes, eating local foods, and experiencing a fresh introduction to the local culture, and I love the view from here.

Solo travel doesn’t have to take you to exotic, far-flung, hard-to-get-to places.  You can step out solo on a road trip, staycation, and yes, you can create that one mother-of-all, bucket list solo travel trip.

To alleviate your fears of traveling alone, consider booking group travel. Your actual journey to the destination may be solo, but once you arrive, you’ll join with like-minded travelers, such as I’ve done multiple times including to a 3-week trip to Israel.

So what do you think? Is solo travel a form of therapy for you? Do you enjoy traveling solo? Prefer traveling with your family? Afraid to travel alone? How have you been empowered to Solo Travel? What is your dream vacation — by yourself?

Please comment freely below — I’d love to hear your thoughts! Where was your one ah-ha Solo Travel Moment?

Solo Travel opens eyes and soul to new cultures, people, and places.

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http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/08/13/women.traveling.alone/index.html