Traveling is a wonderful means of widening horizons. Traveling alone puts you in the driver’s seat and in charge of your experience. People who are starting the adventure of single traveling might wish to focus on a destination and research all areas between their home and the chosen location. Almost every state and many cities of various population sizes have visitor centers where even the smallest tourist attractions may have fliers. Local residents often man the centers and are a wealth of knowledge. It’s also easy to exchange ideas with other travelers while you’re all looking over brochures. Another option for gathering information about a location is magazines from that area. They often highlight wonderful local businesses.
Many people think it’s brave to drive across the country alone. Our wonderful country is made up of many great towns and most people drive between them without a second thought. A longer trip just takes you on a series of those drives. Being open to veering off your originally planned route often takes you to places that turn out to be favorite parts of the trip. The Utah stretch of I-80 between Salina and Green River is more than one hundred miles. Taking the time to venture south on state route 24 shows a fascinating part of our historical background. The green of orchards and the landscape is a surprise after the stark beauty of the buttes on I-80.
In planning your first adventures you may want to set agendas so you know where you’ll stay each night. There’s a lot of information on the internet to find lodging choices for advance reservations. Visiting city websites may give options of local lodging and restaurants. Non-chain businesses are apt to have local employees who give you information about their favorite hometown highlights. A waitress in Oak Ridge, TN, told me about a not-to-be-missed Japanese Friendship Bell. Having not followed directions carefully in a heavy rainstorm I ended up walking into a reflecting pool, adding to the soaking from the downpour. I’ll always remember the friendly town of Oak Ridge with a chuckle and people who’ve heard that story will surely look for the bell when they’re in that area.
Traveling to places near and far broadens your awareness of others and gives wonderful insights for conversation starters. I recently told a Portland native about a municipal elevator and its history in the nearby town of Oregon City and introduced Minneapolis friends to one of my favorite coffee shops that’s five minutes from their home. Quite often when someone mentions a place I’ve visited their comments remind me of my time there. Being able to discuss aspects of my travels gives mutual respect with other travelers and creates new connections. Keeping your ears open helps you learn information for future adventures.
Once you have a comfortable feeling of traveling alone in your own country, there’s a whole big wonderful world out there just waiting to be explored.