Solo Flight

I don’t want to lead you astray by making you believe I am some sort of Amelia Earhart or something. No, I don’t have my pilot’s license… although, maybe that should be my next certification? I mean, why not…? Ha ha. I think I would be too bored with all the navigation and buttons and what not.

No, I was on a plane, nine days ago. Away on vacation for nine days. I know that I did not warn you all about this trip, but I am super paranoid about putting out there to the world that I am traveling…. for those interested in robbing me while I am away, just know, 99% of what I own is not really worth anything. Most of the money I do have goes toward intangible things, so there’s not much there to acquire. And I have a guard dog who bites people. And I have someone watching said dog, so there are three obstacles to foil your robbery plans. But all that doesn’t matter, as I have returned!

That is why I have been MIA. Since May 19, I have been traveling- flying out of  LA, stopover in Tokyo, plane change in Singapore, final destination, Ko Samui, Thailand. Then, back the same route home. I wanted to write, but the schedule was packed each and every day. Most likely I will be spending the next few days talking about traveling, photography, friendship, love, food, and yoga. Almost every type of topic I cover in this blog, I experienced in Thailand.

Man Selling Food, Ko Samui, Thailand, 2012

First, the beginning.  Why was I going to Ko Samui all by my lonesome? I have traveled alone several times in my life, but it dawned on me I hadn’t been on an international trip solo since… 1998. That year I backpacked through Europe- solo- for six weeks. I didn’t think twice about it, and now it does seem brave I would go that long at age twenty-one without a travel buddy. So here I was (I was thirty-four when I left on this journey, now thirty-five) and for the first time in fourteen years, going to a destination where I really didn’t know anyone.

Let me rewind a bit. A couple of weeks before I embarked, I discovered a yoga retreat through a neighboring yoga studio, Yoga Vista. The teachers were trained at the same school I attended, so I was interested. The deal-sealer, was in the published itinerary online… my thirty-fifth birthday would find itself smack midway-through the activity-filled schedule.  Thailand for my thirty-fifth birthday. Never had been there. Why not?? I love yoga. I love travel. I love food, photography and making new friends. After trying to get existing friend/s to go with me, I came up empty. No one had 1) the last-minute vacation time or 2) the funds for a last-minute ticket… so here I was- riding solo.

I know it takes a unique person to travel internationally alone- for fun (business is a different story). Heck, I can’t even get my mom to fly down solo from Seattle for a weekend. A lot of people outside of the U.S. do it- I know there are a few within the U.S. that do, but honestly, we are a rare breed. I can see why people would think it is scary… it’s the unknown. Alone. Maybe even different languages. Different places. I actually enjoy both- the comfort and experience of traveling with another, and the excitement and accomplishment of going alone.

Ok, so I did sign up for a yoga retreat, so it wasn’t like I was going to be alone alone. But there was still the uncertainity of the group. I was sure that the majority of the group would know at least one other person there. Many of them were going earlier to spend time in Bangkok and stay after for Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, since I am taking about 40 trips this year, and fairly new to my position at work, I couldn’t swing the extra days.

I think I waited so long to travel alone again because many of my past international trips were with someone. A boyfriend. Family. I don’t currently have a boyfriend and my family only travels internationally to my mother’s home country… so that leaves travel with friends….unless they are unavailable. As was the case. And if you are wanting to go somewhere badly enough- you are willing to go even if they can’t….. so that is precisely what I did.

I can honestly say this was one of the best trips/experiences of my life… I found quickly that I was not alone- not by a long shot- I am bringing back amazing memories, pictures and new friends. I will be sure to write all about it here in the coming days. I have so much to share and I hope you enjoy the ride. And if I can convince you – even a little- to be brave and try a trip somewhere alone, I think you will not only enjoy the experience, but grow as a person.

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