Angst of Solo Travel...
I'm a contributing
writer at several travel, health and fitness magazines.
I also did some work for the Michelin guides. But now
it's time for me to really step out and stop writing about
�other� people's trips.
Thank you, thank
you, thank you for your Journeywoman website. I'm planning
a year-long trip to help mitigate my midlife crisis! Though
the planning is fun, it's a bit nerve racking as well.
It's good to know that the (Journeywoman) sisters are
I�ve got to say that
my only trepidation is that about 10 years ago I took
a solo jaunt to Chile in the middle of their winter. Emotionally,
it was a very rough trip for me. I kind of expected Mexico
south -- warm welcomes, easy, open folks and culture.
(Grossly miscalculated the impact of 15 years of a brutal,
military dictatorship on people). I was literally the
only "tourist" in the country and the level of paranoia
was high among the people I met. Americans were viewed
with suspicion and if truth be told, single women travelers
seemed to be pariahs. Everyone asked me, "what are you
But once I got out
of Santiago, things did change. Southern Chile was cold,
wet and friendlier. I remember taking a bus to Puerto
Montt and chatting with a woman next to me (by then my
Chilean Spanish was good. Believe me, Chilean Spanish
IS a different Spanish. Caramba!). When I told her I was
traveling alone she smiled and hugged me and called me
brave. I'll never forget that.
I'll also never
forget sitting on the sea cliffs at Valparaiso on a cold,
gray day and staring out at the grim Pacific and wondering,
"what the heck is all this about? I could just disappear
from the face of the Earth and who would notice?" It was
a lonely trip but I suppose everyone has them.
This is my "fear"
about voyaging solo, that I won't be able to handle the
existential angst that grips me on occasion. But I feel
that by doing my homework and joining SERVAS and
teaching yoga as I go (I'm a certified yoga teacher),
I can learn to be at home in the world and thus, at home
Ed. note: Jill Y. calls
Baltimore, Maryland, home. She is ready and willing to network
with other solo travellers. Simply click here