Do You Ever Travel Alone?

I am currently enjoying a nice weekend away from home alone, which is a rare occurrence now that I am married. I can hear the water lapping up on the shores of Lake Erie and other than the music being pumped outside along the boardwalk below me, it’s perfect. (Why do places do that? There isn’t even anyone outside! Let me hear nature, not Bon Jovi, no offense to Bon Jovi.) I have traveled a decent amount in my life so spending the night in a hotel room isn’t a new experience for me. I was single for many, MANY, years and it didn’t matter if I was spending a night at home or in a hotel. Either way, I was spending it alone.
Now I’m married, which means quite often where I go, he goes. This weekend though, I’m on my own. No husband, no family, no friends. Just me. There is a distinct difference for me this time. This time I know someone knows where I am, cares where I am, and will be waiting for me when I get home. Traveling alone when you’re doing life alone is a markedly different experience. I’ve spent countless nights alone, in a hotel room, in the middle of nowhere. I’ve stared at my hotel room ceiling and thought, “No one I know has any idea where I am. I’m completely on my own. The only people who know I am here work at this hotel or at my credit card company.” It’s a strange, lonely feeling that can be both crushing and freeing.
When I was single I mainly traveled with friends or for work. A business trip provided a nice change of pace for me but it was usually short and spent in an airport, a hotel, or an office. Most of the time I love experiencing new places, even if work is involved. There are a few times I took myself on trips just for fun and something always felt off. One summer, after living in Seattle for a few years alone, I booked a weekend at Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union, WA. It was a short drive from Seattle and promised a luxurious stay. I booked two nights, checked in, walked on the dock, stared at the water, worked out in the fitness center, took a jacuzzi bath, drank some wine, and fell asleep. In the morning I looked around and just felt…alone. It wasn’t relaxing. All I could think about was that I was alone, sad, and spending money to feel alone when I could feel that way at home for free. I checked out a day early and went home. I was trying to give myself a weekend away and it backfired.
A few years ago I had a week off between jobs. I was leaving an organization I had been at for almost 6 years and decided to go to the beach for a few days to relax and clear my head before starting at my new company. The drive was wonderful and before long I could smell the ocean. I walked on the beach, drank a pina colada, went shopping for new work clothes, and sat on the balcony of my hotel room to breathe in the fresh, salt air. Soon a few people set up shop on the balcony above me, smoking cigarettes and talking about all the fun they had that day. I was jolted from my relaxed state by the smell of their smoke but also by their conversation. Again I felt…alone. Why, I wondered? I was having a fairly enjoyable trip until I was reminded how very alone I was in life. For some reason, going through life alone seemed harder and sadder when I was on vacation alone.
What I’ve learned from traveling solo is that sometimes I feel so lonesome I could cry and other times I relish being by myself. I travel better alone when I have a purpose. This weekend I traveled to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH for Bloggy Con. I didn’t know anyone but it was a short drive, the resort looked nice, the agenda looked great, and I knew I would be okay making the trip alone. It was good to have a purpose here while also knowing I would have free time to relax and take in the beautiful views of Lake Erie.
It has been a very nice weekend and now that it’s nearing its end I have realized a few things. One, I can do scary things, like talk to strangers. Two, taking a trip for me, to pursue a personal interest, is something I should do more often. I’ve always focused on my career and education but it’s time that I focus on pursuing things I truly enjoy. Three, knowing that I’m not alone in life is comforting when I am traveling alone. That is very apparent to me today as I sit in my hotel room, hours away from home where I have a husband and puggle waiting for me.
What about you? Do you ever travel alone or take yourself on vacation alone? I recommend trying it at least once. Then come back and tell me all about it!



  1. Maggie on September 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    That solo beach trip sounds absolutely heavenly! I would love to be able to do something like that, just for me one of these days. Honestly, I kind of always just forget that I’m capable of traveling by myself, that if I want to go somewhere, I don’t actually have to wait until I find someone who wants to go with me. I really should try to remember that more often, because so rarely does anyone I know want to go to all the historical sites that I do.

    • Courtney A. Casto on September 20, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Maggie, I highly recommend you try it! I was single for a long time and almost always waited for my friends to be available to travel with me. I wish I had taken myself on more trips alone. There is a lot I missed out on seeing and doing. I have a friend who is a historian and would go to all of the historic sites with you!

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