Someone used the word courage for my solo road trip. It was about overcoming the inertia that kept me waiting for years. My reply: “What’s the worst that could happen? Death?” After I thought a bit, though, the worst that could happen would be a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.
I’ve been alone for periods of time almost from the beginning of marriage. My husband took hunting trips with friends in Arizona for a few days, and later, longer hunting trips. He had a camp in Brookville that we visited together, and he visited alone. He worked in Alaska where he said he could make more money. He was away on and off for a couple of years then. He made more money, but he also missed family things.
I was no different though than many wives whose husbands work away from home or whose husbands spend much of their spare time busy with hobbies. Those wives may have learned, as I did, to rely on themselves. They may even have found others relied on them too. It sounds boring to be so reliable. It’s also lonely. I thought of my grandmothers who spent decades alone. I never thought of this before, but my maternal grandmother was an independent woman. It was not just that she was a widow alone; it was the way she lived her life.
A long time ago my husband told me to find someone to travel with. I considered each of my friends. Which of them dreamed of the same destinations, had the same amount of vacation time, and had the same budget? And even more importantly, which of their husbands had suggested that they find a traveling companion? That was not what I wanted, so I never considered starting the search for someone to share my interests. I waited.
And then, a little over three years ago; my husband announced he was driving to Alaska. “Do you want to go?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said.
I helped plan the trip. I chose places that I thought we would both enjoy. It was the way I picked restaurants and movies after our first couple of years together. It was a wonderful trip visiting new places, though we never made it to Alaska.
I might still find that traveling companion, though, and maybe even one generous enough to foot the bill. But for now, I’m traveling solo and checking out women’s travel groups.