I’ve been busy since my mother passed away three months ago. I have been re-orienting myself to a new status: A Parentless Adult.

Building up the courage to have a stomach scan, endoscopy and colonoscopy. And then having it. Why did it take courage? After bingeing and purging for 45 years, apprehension about an internist peering closely at my insides was high. The results were all normal. I’m damn lucky.

I have been binge watching both seasons of Sensitive Skin on Netflix. And facing a re-occurrent fear of travelling alone.

I am inspired by my childhood friend, Tawny, who walked – all by herself – half of the El Camino de Santiago last summer.

Beginning in France, it winds through four of Spain’s 15 regions, covering 500 miles. She is walking the last half of the trail as I write this. Alone again. On foot – totaling up to 14 miles a day.

I’m clearly not that intrepid. Nor that physically fit. Nor that confident in my self-sustainability. “Mouse steps, not kangaroo leaps” is my motto.

My Running Away from Home Soirée

So, here’s my plan. I am going to take a nine-day road trip from my home in Tampa to my son’s home in New Jersey.

This is about 1100 miles, or 1773 km. With frequent stops along the way, I will visit St. Mary’s, Savannah, Charleston, Fayetteville, Newport News and Baltimore. I am planning on covering eight states – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

Every stop focuses on a different aspect of traveling solo. And to make things interesting, every city promises varying challenges and experiences.

By pre-booking my hotel rooms at every stop, I am assured that I won’t be speeding down unfamiliar roadways in darkness. My plan is to only drive in daylight, so a huge thank you to Daylight Savings Time. And I won’t allow myself to be at the wheel for more than four to five hours at one time.

Why Am I “Running Away from Home” Now?

So, you may ask why I am running away from home now. Yes, it does sound weird but:

  • Because I can.
  • Because I’ve never done it before.
  • Because I have a reliable car, a cell phone, Google Maps, Sirius Radio, a car charger and four brand new tires.
  • Because I find the prospect of solitude enticing.
  • Because I realized that I needed a break from my daily routine.

What Am I Expecting to Achieve?

My expectations are not very high. Just simple things like:

  • Hone my self-reliance skills.
  • View the world through my eyes only.
  • Experiment with dining solo.
  • Awaken my senses of smell, taste, texture, sounds and sights, devoid of distraction.
  • Create a silent space to re-bloom.

Who knows? This year I am taking a car trip along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Maybe next year I will be hiking the El Camino de Santiago?

Whether you are an intrepid traveler, a frequent traveler or experienced traveler – keep preserving your bloom.

What tips would you give other women who are nervous about travelling solo? What kind of traveler are you? Please share your valuable advice below!

Iris PastorIris Pastor speaks on life enhancing subjects. Contact her at irisruthpastor@gmail.com or read her blog. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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