Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where Should I Go?

Since there is so much of America that I haven't seen, I've been trying to use what (little) vacation time I have and weekends to see more of it. Since I graduated from law school two and a half years ago, I've managed to go to San Fransico, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Nashville, Jacksonville, Hilton Head, Vail/Keystone, Orlando, Savannah, and Boston (a few times). This year I used half of my vacation for the trip to Cabo and a few other days for weekend trips to see Donatello. Now I am itching to go somewhere plus I have some credits with Air Tran that will expire soon if I don't redeem them. Unfortunately I don't have any prospective travel companions. I've been blessed with a lot of friends, but they are either (1) married (and thus pretty much only vacation with their spouse or have children and have no money/time), (2) are attorneys and thus never take vacation time because of billable hours, (3) do not have the money to travel, (4) wouldn't make good traveling companions (i.e., they snore ridiculously loud or are the kind of friend I prefer to just spend two hours with), or (5) just don't seem interested in traveling.

While I consider myself very independent, the idea of traveling alone just isn't appealing to me right now. I'm not sure why. I love being alone and feel comfortable eating alone, going to the movies alone, and even spending entire weekends by myself. And when I went to Austin with three guys summer before last, I chose to hang out alone part of the time. I enjoy just knocking around. I've been trying to figure out what changed between then and now. And the only thing I can come up with is my time in Boston with Donatello (my ex). The first time I went up to Boston to see him, I had really looked forward to spending the day exploring Boston while he worked that Friday. He ended up spending the day with me anyway and knocking around with him was so much fun; in fact, it was more fun that doing so alone. His company was easy, exciting (in that new relationship kind of way), and entertaining. We spent several weekends like that in Boston, exploring new areas, trying new restaurants, and just generally having a good time.

I've also become much more extroverted over the past two years. Perhaps it's because my job often doesn't involve as much human interaction as I would prefer, and now I'm in contact with a lot of people on a regular basis in my personal life. And I feel safer knowing that someone I know is nearby, especially at night.

And now the idea of knocking around alone is lonesome to me. With that being said, I think it would be foolish of me not to travel simply because I don't have any traveling companions. But I can't seem to muster the enthusiasm to plan a trip. And I hate to spend money on a trip I'm not excited about, but maybe I need to "just do it." Any thoughts? Or ideas on a particular city that might lend itself well to a solo female traveler? I've still never been to D.C. (at least not for more than an afternoon), NYC, Charleston, Chicago, Seattle, and lots of other cool places.

And because every post is better with photos....

(note the garbage can pic is from Harvard's campus....I wonder what people were putting in the trash can?)


Flat Coke and Flies said...

Well I've never traveled alone but feel I would do well with it. I'm so picky about things everything would at least be on MY schedule. lol

If Nashville is an option for you I'll be glad to give you a little tour. I know good malls and good eats. I think if I were going somewhere by myself I might pick San Francisco or Phoenix. But would more than likely pick Lake Tahoe this time of year.

Whatever you decide take lots of photos...they do make a better post.

Anonymous said...


But you already knew I was going to say that. My home away from home! I think Seattle is a singles-person kinda town. There is a lot to do to keep you busy if you're by yourself. If you like quaint little neighborhoods with eclectic art, dozens of parks and coffee, you can't beat it. I've spent nearly two months of the past year (or so) in Seattle and I always find something new each time I go. If you can get three weeks vacation, you're welcome to join me this summer on my ~7000mi road trip there and back. :)

NYC isn't a bad singles-city either, if you want to stick to the more touresty stuff. Never been to Charleston (when I was old enough to appreciate it). Chicago is a fun city. I like it more than NYC. However, Chicago is a city where I'd rather have someone with me as it seems a little more low key than NYC and the company would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Well I live and love in Boston. You've been here so you know. It's also a great springboard to all of quaint New England. New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine... Or maybe even from there head up to Canada and check out Montreal.

If I ever travel by myself I always look for a concert or conference I want to see.

icadle said...

Chicago or NYC.

cdp said...

Charleston! It's the best!

Although honestly it's better with company. Most especially with boyfriend-type company. So maybe not for a solo trip, but still, you need to go at some point. And then tell me all about it. I miss it so much.

Anonymous said...

Miami! I've done a trip to Miami on my own and it was great. If you stay on a hotel on the beach on Collins Avenue, you are walking distance to shops and restaurants. There's is a nightlife scene in Miami, but when I was there I was usually in bed by 9 since being out in the sun all day exhausts me.

I think places like NYC and Chicago can get lonely if you go by yourself. Heck I used to live in NYC and would get lonely quite often.

Anonymous said...

Chi-town baby!!! I know I speak ill of it, but that has more to do with living in public housing so much of my life than anything else. It is a great city, and a good place to see alone if you feel like wandering around some museums and people-watch.

Ally said...

AM: Thanks for the suggestion. I love people watching, so that's a great idea.

Ella: I've thought the same thing about NYC and feeling lonely, plus it would be so expensive to go there alone (and not split a hotel room with someone). And I appreciate the Miami suggestion; that would especially be good this winter, but I went there three years ago for the Orange Bowl and want to go somewhere I've never been.

Cindy: Well whenever I meet McDreamy, I'll take him there:)

Ivy: Short & sweet; thanks.

Greenlineboy: It looks like I may be heading to Vermont for a long weekend to see a friend and ski. I definitely want to do more exploring in NE, particularly in Maine.

Aaron: Yes, I definitely knew you'd say Seattle. And I think I'd like it too.

FC&F: I've never thought about Phoenix, and I know little about it. I'll have to research it, and yes, I promise to take pics wherever I go.

Anonymous said...

I've traveled alone too (and I have no problem doing it) but I usually have an agenda, so that's easier. I think you'd enjoy DC, (I lived there for a short while)... plenty of things to do and museums/arts to see.

I lived in Maine too for 3 years.. but you don't want to go where I lived. (very top of Maine..brrr)

spam_price said...

Yay for the Nations capital! Although you might want to wait until January when the climate will make an unfortunate shift from red to blue :-p

kathrynthomas said...

go to chicago asap, and email me before you go. i have a friend who lived there (and knows all of the cool places to go), and i've been once a year for the last two years. it's great. absolutely wonderful. my friend and i are contemplating a trip in the spring.