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SOLO TRAVEL

Bold, Daring, Adventurous…

Not necessarily words one would use to describe me.  And quite frankly, not words I would use to describe myself.  I have always been more of the safe, planned, and calculated type.  You know, keep a list, and run a well-oiled system that works just right for me.  Spontaneous, not so much.  As I was approaching 30 I decided I really wanted to enjoy more of life including pushing beyond my comfort zone, traveling, and creating new experiences.  To assist in this adventure, can you guess what I did… create another list (lol)!  But this was not like the others.  This list was comprised of 30 things I wanted to do before my 30th birthday.  The challenge with that was this grand idea didn’t come to me until two months before my big day. So I got started, and focused on accomplishing as much as I could.

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At some point my 30th had come and gone and that list was somewhere neatly tucked away.  I was able to accomplish some things on my list that were both exhilarating and rewarding.  Although the list had grown dust, I simply brushed the dust off and re-examined to decide what would be next.  With my next birthday quickly approaching I wondered how many more things I could accomplish in just a few months.  As I reviewed the list, I realized that each of those goals were attainable within the time I had left… with the exception of one: Leave the country.  I thought, “there is no way I can pull this off in two months”.  But those thoughts quickly changed to “can I pull this off in two month?” and I began to look for ways to make it happen.

What I found to be most helpful was the support and encouragement of a few great friends. People who have traveled far and wide and actually made it back to tell their stories (lol).  So I began seriously researching travel destinations.  My next challenge became who can I get to come with me with such short notice.  As badly as I wanted to go, I could not imagine traveling alone, especially for my first trip outside the U.S.  I was torn between not wanting to go alone and not imposing on friends with an impossible request.  I decided to gently put it out there to see if I’d get any “takers”.  The responses varied from “how about September?” to “I wish, but I can’t right now” or “how long does it take to get a passport?”  While I appreciated the consideration, I could not reschedule my birthday and my trip was all I could think about.

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I am almost as much of an introvert as I am extrovert, so I enjoy good quality time with myself.  There are a some things I have done solo like dining out and shopping, and I don’t have a problem meeting new people.  I called my brother to get his input and his response was “you’ve never even been to the movies alone, but you wanna do this?”  Then there was the call to my “big sister” who emphatically said “pick a place, book a trip, and just go!”   She made it sound like the easiest thing ever and it was just the thing I needed to make it happen.  With that extra push, I was able to experience a beautiful four day trip in Punta Cana, DR.  The welcome was warm, the people were beautiful, and the experience incredible.  I did well with my Spanish and even met a few other Americans traveling solo to celebrate their birthdays.  To date, the most Bold, Daring, and Adventurous thing I’ve ever done. If I could do it all over again, I would…solo.  The trip was amazing but proving to myself that there is nothing I can’t do is priceless.

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