As a lot of you may know, I recently took a trip to Europe with my family. We did so many things and saw so many places. I had an absolute blast. This post is not about that. (But if you do want to read a little bit about what I did check out …). This post is about the events leading up to my flight out of Chicago and into London.
When we planned this family vacation, we went into it knowing we would somehow have to get from Tulsa, OK all the way to Chicago, IL just to get on our flight to Europe. This wasn’t really that big of a deal as we had come to terms with simply taking a road trip up there. We used to go on road trips all the time when I was little, and while they were convenient, I was growing pretty tired of them.
I had gotten a free plane ticket from one of my aunts a couple of years ago, and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to use it. I wasn’t going on any other trips in the near future and it was just sitting, unused, on my desk, so why not? I was excited about going, but then I realized I only had one ticket, which meant I would be going alone.
At this point, I’d never even flown alone. I never had any reason to. Moreover, I’d never really been anywhere new by myself. All of the trips I’d ever taken were with family or friends. I’d been to Chicago before, and I would only really be by myself for one day before my family would get into town and we would be flying out of the country. But I think what really scared me about this trip was the aspect of being alone.
I don’t think we’re ever really alone anymore–not like this anyway. And that’s not necessarily bad. I mean, I get it. We all have an inherent desire to share experiences with people–it’s human nature. But what I think what this solo trip ended up giving me was a sense of freedom in my choices. I was forced to be alone, make my own decisions, go at my own pace. And in a way it was kind of liberating. I mean, truly, how often do we get the opportunity to do something like that?
I still shared pretty much everything I did online (I mean, I had to, I’m trying to become Instagram Famous: …). But at the heart of everything I did, I was still alone. The experience taught me a lot about what makes me nervous about being alone, and what I really enjoy doing without the pressure of pleasing others. It was so empowering, I couldn’t wait to plan another trip like it.
So I guess I want to encourage you to go out and try more things alone. Figure out who you are, what you like, when you’re alone in a new place, doing new things.
How do you guys feel about taking a solo trip? Let me know if you’ve ever thought about it, or if you’ve ever experienced the same fears about traveling alone as I have. And let me know where you think I should go for my next solo trip!
P.S.: Some of the places I visited were Millennium Park, Giordano’s Pizza, the Nutella Cafe, and the Magnificent Mile. I took some pretty cool pictures and ate a lot of tasty treats. Let me know if you guys think I should post something separate with all of the things I did!