Monday, March 18, 2013

Flying Solo

"Only you?" The bus driver asked, "Traveling all alone?"
After a slight hesitation, I nodded. "Yep, just me."
"But you are such a small girl, in a very big world", he said.
"Sometimes I feel that way too."


It has been four weeks on the road now, flying solo from Chicago to New York, to Amsterdam, to The Frisian Islands, to Berlin, to Dresden, to Budapest, to Zurich. Tomorrow will bring another new country, as I ride the rails from Switzerland into France.

And yes, at times it has been lonely, but the great beauty of solo travel is that it affords an opportunity to learn the nature and quality of one's own company. When I am lonely, I turn inward and begin to explore what emerges within me on a continent far from home.

Taking this trip is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Although I do feel that I have to take added precautions as a woman (ie: no wandering around dark alleyways at night), that is a tradeoff I am happy to make for complete self-sufficiency. On the road, I am autonomous and am free to be anyone; to do anything (crime and contraction of venereal diseases notwithstanding).

The conception that a woman can't do this- that we can't strike out into the fray and see what we see- well that's an insidious form of sexism right there. Yes, the world is a dangerous place, but isn't it more terrifying to live an unexamined life than it is to risk the dangers of exploring?

Somewhere in Slovakia, en route to Budapest (!!!)

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