There I was, lying on my bed and I thought to myself, “I need to get out of here!”. I was tired, frustrated, and I really needed a break, but more than that, I had the desire to just go somewhere…anywhere…be someplace new. So I thought, “Where am I going to go?” Considering my schedule, not to mention, my budget, this needed to be a short, yet impactful trip that would provide me with the R&R that I yearned for without breaking my bank. I wanted the standard relaxing vacation where I would leave the states and fly far away to an island where all I would do was wake up at noon and partake of a delicious meal while lounging on the sand of a beautiful beach, where all I would focus on was making sure my body was positioned perfectly for the sun to coat my skin to a deliciously enriched chocolate hue.
“Jamaica! That’s it! That’s where I’ll go!”
I contacted a couple friends to see if they were interested in going and they were, however, their schedules wouldn’t allow them to leave as soon as I would’ve liked. Well I guess I would be flying to Jamaica by myself. My friend said, “I would suggest you bring a friend with you if you decide to go to Jamaica, just for safety reasons”. She was right. I decided to hold off on that particular destination until I had a good travel buddy. It was back to the drawing board. Then suddenly – lightbulb- “I’ll go to Puerto Rico”! It had all the requirements I was looking for in regards to a relaxing vacation, so I booked my flight. When I told friends that would be traveling alone to Puerto Rico, they were either pleasantly surprised or very confused. Their responses went something like this:
2). “Oh! Wow!”
3). “I couldn’t do that”
4). “Wow girl…you’re brave”
I find it interesting how people – myself included at times – fear doing things alone. The idea of acting or moving independently can make people feel uncomfortable. Folks have a challenging time eating a meal by themselves, or going to the movies, shopping, etc. But why is that? What is the discomfort that comes with simply being by yourself sometimes?
Granted, as human beings we are not meant to live a life in perpetual solitude, and being with good friends is always a great thing. But why can’t being alone be great too?
And as a woman traveling alone there are safety matters to consider. But safety is something that always has to be considered whether you’re traveling to another country or simply driving down the street. Being safety conscious factors in to everyday life where we all strive to make wise choices with the information we have. Being afraid that something bad will happen, would mean I could potentially never leave the house due to all the conceivable dangers of the world. I have to be safe, but I also have to live, and I refuse to be imprisoned by fear.
As the time for my trip got closer, the idea of traveling solo became more and more appealing. I wouldn’t have to wait on anyone or be rushed by anyone. I could do as I pleased without having to check in with anybody else. I was completely fluid and that was exciting. I wasn’t afraid or concerned, I was ready.
Let me just say that Puerto Rico did not fail me. I had such a great trip! I learned some things about myself and life in general that I will carry with me. I learned how to release control and allow myself to be guided. I learned how to move through a storm – both literally and figuratively – rather than be imprisoned by one. In regards to the men I met on my trip, as with any man – or woman – you meet, you must stay mindful of their intentions, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a pleasant encounter.
I learned that there can be such freedom and peace when doing things by yourself. As for my trip, it made me more open to meeting new people and more receptive to making new friendships. [Shout out to Michaela, a kindred spirit I met while in Puerto Rico. Our meeting was a blessing and reaffirmed the fact that my steps have been divinely guided. ] But most importantly, I became more comfortable with me. I didn’t need anyone to entertain me, or constantly talk to me, or be around me. I was able to stand firmly, peacefully, and joyfully on my own. The beautiful thing is that I didn’t feel alone at all. I felt connected to something much bigger than I could ever describe in mere words, which let me know that there’s nothing I can’t do and makes me enthusiastic about discovering all that I’m capable of achieving.