I'm Just NOT the Traveler I Want to Be

Jan 22, 2019     My Adventures, Personal Reflections
I know that might sound strange coming from me, I write a travel site! But as much as I travel and as much as I love it, I have had to come to terms with my own limitations.
All of my adult life I've said that if I could change one thing about myself, it would be to enjoy doing things by myself. I have tried and tired to figure out why I can't seem to extract the same fun and excitement and pure gumption from a situation when I don't have someone to share it with. So no big surprise, and much to my dismay, that it's the exact same for me when I travel.

That probably makes me sound clingy and needy and maybe even a wallflower but I'm totally not! Well, I do have some abandonment issues from my father, but hey, who doesn't?! I like to think I'm pretty fun and I'm definitely adventurous and full of ideas when I have someone to pal around with. I also do not at all mind being alone, it's just the getting-out-there stuff I seem to have issue with.

My friends think I'm an extrovert but I think I'm an introvert.
I first caught the travel bug when my (now ex) husband and I quit our jobs to travel for a year back in 2000. We were great traveling together and I knew that's what I wanted to spend my entire life doing. But of course life is not a straight line. I'm no longer with my best travel buddy.

Because of the break-up, I was forced to try traveling alone. I went to India and it was great, but the best part was when I met other travelers to adventure with. Confession: I was in Delhi with 2 spare days and I did NOT go to the Taj Mahal. I sometimes use the excuse that it was over 100 degrees, but that's bullshit. It was about 115 degrees when I had an amazing time doing all sorts of things around Amritsar with some new friends.

I just couldn't be bothered to go out and find a bus or a tour, go through the motions, stand there for some photos, wait for it to be over, and get back to the hotel. Okay maybe that's a bit dramatic. It's just so much more fun to have someone else to hang out and explore with, bounce ideas off of, and generally just share experiences.

So anyway, whatever the reasons are, I have to realize that I'm not going to get the same experience traveling alone as I would like. Each time I don't do something, each time I'm lame and miss out on something, I really beat myself up and get a bit sad over it all.

I have decided that that's not going to do me any good. I'm working toward accepting that I just might do only some of the stuff I normally would and I'm going to have to be fine with that. At least I'll be out in the world and I will see and do a lot, just not as much. And yes, in case you're thinking it, I know I'll meet people along the way too.

My most recent example was when I had an 8 hour layover in China. In short, I ended up just hanging out in the airport. I kept busy, wandered around, and was fine with it. Turns out a group of young travelers that were on my same flights hoped in a taxi and just went somewhere and checked out China! They said, "How often are we going to get to China?!" And you know what, if I were with someone I would have totally been up for doing the same thing but there's not a chance I would have enjoyed it alone. So there ya' go. I have be okay with that.

UPDATE: You know what? On my return trip through China I DID meet someone to hang out with. We went out and explored and had a great time.


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