One really fun aspect of my job is that I get to travel. I have been able to go to exciting places like New York City and Philadelphia, and some places that are not exciting at all because they are in the middle of nowhere. On these trips I have responsibilities that I need to accomplish for my job, but I also have a lot of free time to do whatever. This can be both really fun and super boring, because I travel by myself.
Traveling alone provides a lot of freedom. You can do whatever your heart desires, because there is no one else adding their input. You don’t have to listen to another person’s opinion on where to eat. If you see a sweet doughnut place (pun intended) to have breakfast then you can eat there. Or you can check out all the weird shops that your friends usually don’t want to go in to. One of my favorite things to do when traveling by myself is find an interesting landmark of the town and visit it. In a recent trip that I had I ate breakfast next to some Civil War canons. They were in a city park and it was beautiful day so I was like “I’d be stupid to pass this up. Canons are freakin’ awesome.”I have been able to do a lot of great and wonderful things because I have travelled by myself.
However, traveling by myself is also really lonely. I can be gone for days or weeks at a time without seeing any of my friends or family. Sure I can call people, but I’m an extrovert, so I get energy from being around people, that doesn’t work over the phone. I also don’t have a significant other to call. All my calls are to people who do have wives/husbands or girl/boyfriends, and they can’t always take the time to talk with me. I don’t like spending hours by myself in a car or hotel room. I’ve heard that some people try to make friends with strangers, but that has never interested me. Am I suppose to open up to the stranger and tell them how my day is going? No. For one, have these people never heard of stranger danger? I may be an adult, but I still have a natural distrust of everybody. Plus usually if I talk with a stranger it’s in regards to my work, and I talk about that enough when I’m working.
One way I have combatted the loneliness of traveling is to visit friends in the cities my work takes me to. Since graduating from college a lot of my friends have gone back to their hometowns. Luckily, my work takes me to or close enough to those towns so we can meet up and have lunch. In one trip I got to spend a weekend with a friend I hadn’t seen for months. This was really nice because I wasn’t by myself, finally.
I also try to use my alone time to read the Bible and pray. Like a lot of people, I often get caught up with work and life and forget to spend the necessary time with God. When I’m bored on the road I tend to think a lot about life, and the only one who can answer my questions is God, so it serves as a reminder to spend more time with Him. While traveling can be lonely, I know that I can grow in my relationship with God.
While traveling can be lonely it can also be wonderful. Like I said, I have been able to see some pretty great stuff andI have eaten at incredible restaurants. I don’t like being by myself, but some things are better when alone. It is also a great time to grow and try new things.
“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck