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The Necessity of Solo Travel

Traveling alone is an exercise in muscle memory

By Heather Malo

When I was in my twenties, I loved to travel alone.

The highlight for me was the road trip itself.


I’d have my giant book of CD’s (remember those??) on the passenger seat next to me, a fresh box of Marlboro Ultra Lights (ahh, the days of being young and dumb enough to smoke), the sunroof open and windows down, wind in my hair….

I would play my favorite songs, quench my thirst with Diet Mountain Dew and sing at the top of my lungs.

Life was amazing.

Fast forward twenty years, and I’m married, travelling in style. I confess to being a bit on the bougie side and wanting my coffee hot and hair to stay presentable.


And maybe some relaxing music to ease out of my work week – so I’ve prepared a play list on Spotify.

I also never travel without my husband.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m crazy about the hubs! He makes every aspect of life funnier, better, more enjoyable. He’s like the perfect filter on Instagram: he enhances the very trees around him with his kindness and good humor.

But I had these thoughts scratching at the back of my mind, making me uncomfortable.

I hadn’t lost my independence, had I? Was I afraid to travel without him?

I’ve reached an age where I’ve seen friends and family loose longtime spouses. I’ve watched confident women (and men) loose their footing and forget how to maneuver without a partner. And while I understand the grieving, the loss and the heartache… there is a part of me that has a burning desire to consciously remind myself how to function in a singular mode.

I want to remind how to manage the finer points of navigating life, with only me in mind.

Not that I’m selfish, that’s not my intention.

Merely to remember how to stretch my wings and catch my own current for flight.


This act has become critical to me. Necessary.

So how to proceed?

Well, you start small… and local. An afternoon trip, a day trip. Dinner alone. You find your comfort zone and push against it.

My first push has come in the form of Disney World.

Being a travel agent that specializes in Disney, I know the place well. I’m comfortable there. But not so comfortable that I’ll be bored.

I’m not looking for a beach vacation where I lay around and read books. I want to be active, have easy transportation, dining options, spas, shopping and most importantly, somewhere I feel safe.

Disney World checks a lot of boxes for me.

While I’m not completely comfortable… I’m gently pushing against something here. I’m reminding myself it’s alright to be alone.


To navigate life on my own.

I suspect, this sort of exercise is much like anything else in life. Like riding a bike or ice skating or even being neck deep in the dating pool: At one time, we may have been quite good at those things. We knew how those processes worked and how we worked within them… but once we moved on to different stages in our lives, we’ve forgotten the joy of riding a bike or gliding across ice on a miniscule blade of metal…. Or even how to make friends.


While the basic skills are still there… we may be a bit rusty in the beginning.

Solo travel isn’t just a luxury… it’s an exercise in muscle memory.

Even if that muscle is more emotional than anything else.

Solo travel reminds us we are capable of…. So many things in this life.

And the first thing is taking care of ourselves.

Interested in learning more about the joys of travel? Ready to plan your next trip to Disney or beyond? Drop me a line: or fill out this link.

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