Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Magic of Traveling by Yourself

Once upon a time, I took a vacation by myself. To Hawaii - Kauai, to be specific.

At 32 years old, it was the first time I'd truly traveled alone. I'd flown to places by myself to meet friends. I'd been on short work trips on my own (seriously, two, maybe three days at most). I've never had any problem eating out by myself or even going to the movie theater by myself.

But this was over five days completely on my own...and to be honest, I was worried about it. Even after those five days, I headed to Oahu, and though I have friends there, I wasn't sure how much time I'd be spending alone. In the end it wasn't much, but in the end that was okay - both because I got to spend time with awesome people, and because when I was alone, I appreciated it all the more. (I'll definitely write more about Oahu later :) )

Anyway, back to Kauai. Funny, I was so nervous about traveling so completely by myself, but then I met a brother and sister in the Phoenix airport (we were all on a layover waiting for the same flight). They were talking about Game of Thrones, I commented on that fact, and after talking for a while about where we were going and how I was alone, they invited to hang out with them when we reached Kauai. I only saw them one day - I spent an afternoon hanging out on the beach with them, my first full day on the island - but that whole experience just reaffirmed for me that there are friendly, open people in this world. And hey, I got to spend that afternoon discussing Game of Thrones, Walking Dead (show and comics!), Arrow, conventions, and more. I couldn't have asked for a better first real day of vacation.

First morning sunrise

Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Hanalei Bay

I spent the rest of my trip on tours - sea rafting along the Napali coast, snorkeling off Ni'ihau, and taking a helicopter ride to the waterfall from Jurassic Park. In fact, I met some people on the Ni'ihau tour, and spent the afternoon/evening/night with them, and once again was reminded that there truly are open and accepting people out there.

Sea rafting along the Napali Coast
Kauai Coffee Company!
Spinner dolphins...they were everywhere!

Jurassic Falls!
I rode in a helicopter and it was amazing

Waimea Canyon
Hanalei Bay by air

Center of the island
Last night on Kauai

'Opaeka'a Falls
Truly, the important thing was that I had some crazy amazing experiences on my own. Were there times when I wished I could be sharing them with the person or people most special to me? Absolutely. I wished it when I was sailing with dolphins, stopping under an overhang along the Napali to let the cliffs rain on me, riding a helicopter as it banked through a narrow mountain pass with the Jurassic Park theme music playing in my ears, and during a hundred other seemingly smaller moments that still took my breath away.

But I'm glad I did it on my own, too. Because it proved that maybe - just maybe - I'll eventually be okay. Pin It

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