I am a senior woman, I travel solo.
Why? because if I don’t, I will never see the places I want to see, do the things I want to do or meet the people that want to meet me. I love traveling solo. Granted occasionally, I get anxiety. For example, this year I went to Paris. The city is huge. I’ve never been to such a large city. I’ve been to many cities, to London, Edinburgh, New York City, San Diego, Houston, but Paris – ah, Paris, beautiful but overwhelming at first.
But Paris is another story. This post is about being a solo woman traveler at age 67. I have been asked many times, Aren’t you scared to travel alone. To tell the truth, no. Aren’t you scared to travel with all the unrest in the world these days? No. Aren’t you scared to travel on airplanes on those long flights? No.
You see, my philosophy is, that life goes on. The world is what you make it. I live my life as if I will have a wonderful adventure every day, learn something every day. If I stay in my little home and stare at the four walls, I’m not experiencing life as it should be experienced. The universe is out there for me to explore. If my time does come, then at least I know that I LIVED my life passionately and fully. I did not shrink from the experience and the offerings that have been given to me.
We only need to accept what God or the Universe is giving us. He offers so much, we can either turn a deaf ear or gratefully accept . I choose to accept.
It’s not that I don’t use common sense when I travel. But we’ve been given that as well and must listen and learn on that point too. I pay attention to my surroundings, I pay attention to where I walk at night. I learn from my mistakes from every trip and I have made my share.
As a senior, I am very technology savvy. I encourage anyone who travels to download those apps that help in travel, the translation apps, the GPS apps, the maps of the cities, the bus and taxi apps available. They have saved me so much time and helped me recover when I get turned around in those little streets of Paris or Venice. At the end of this blog I’ll make a list of some of my favorite and most reliable apps I use when I travel.
I also get asked if I get lonely traveling alone. To tell the truth, no. I’m too busy. I’m walking all over the city, seeing the sights, finding new places to eat. I have my own schedule. I can get up as early as I want or sleep in one day. I can change my mind without worrying about someone else’s schedule. I can go where I want or take a break when I want. That’s one reason I don’t take tours. You see, I have fibromyalgia and celiac. With these two diseases I pace myself. I watch what I eat.
I can walk the ten or more miles per day, but I need to take breaks, I can’t keep up with those tours. But I see so much. I talk to so many more locals. I get to know the waitresses, the waiters, the chefs of restaurants to make sure things are gluten-free and we have great conversations. Even if sometimes we struggle with the language. But they have always been extremely gracious to me and go out of their way to accommodate me when we are friendly with each other.
The other perk about solo traveling is photography. I can stop anytime and take that interesting picture, I don’t have to worry about catching up with a group, or feeling like I’m imposing on someone else’s schedule. I can stop and take that picture of the flower or that crazy photo that no one else would consider. Thank goodness I’ve gotten over my shyness about selfies.
Traveling solo allows you to learn more about the city, the people, the culture and the food. You learn more about yourself too. You learn just how competent you can be, you learn how strong you are, you learn your limits, you learn just how curious you are. But most of all you learn just how much you want to continue the travel adventure as long as you can.
Some of my favorite and must have apps on my phone:
Map My Walk: Map Your Route and Track Your Activity
Know where you’re going, see where you’ve been.
Translator Keyboard: Translator keyboard is the easiest and most convenient translator you will find. You no longer have to switch to and from a translator app, translations are built into your keyboard!
This means you can translate to and from any language in any app. It is a complete keyboard that has a single button added for translation. Works in Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, or any app that uses a keyboard. I have an android, but I believe you can get it for iPhone as well.
Travelocity: Helps find you lodging and flights easily and helps you compare prices. I usually get bed and breakfasts
Airbnb : Book homes from local hosts in 191+ countries and experience a place like you live there. I used this for my Paris lodging. Much less expensive than any other lodging I’ve ever used. But you need to pay attention to what you are reserving.