I most cherish traveling alone in the morning, which is a solitary time for me when I need to be on my own. Up with my 6:30 alarm, I’m out of the apartment by 7, without a precise plan of where I’ll go, other than find a cappuccino and a church to center myself for the day.
I suppose I could negotiate this with a traveling companion, but one of the beauties of being by myself is that all kinds of logistical discussions, which are an essential and part of travel, aren’t present—where and when to eat, what to visit, when to call it a day. Of course I discuss these things with myself, but the conversations are brief and I always get to do what I want. My only compromise is with my other self.
This leads me to another benefit of solitary travel, which may be particular to my situation because I come so often to this very familiar place. I spend as much of the day as possible without a plan, figuring that the more I plan, the more ‘obligations’ I put on myself. And that is precisely what I want to leave at home. All the good stuff of family, friends, and church becomes the very impetus to live in the present moment when I come here.