Vegas Bright writer Blonde4ever returns with her thoughts and tips for traveling solo in Sin City
I was asked recently why I had never done an article about traveling solo. It seems like a glaring oversight considering that on many of my trips I am doing just that. I decided I needed to rectify this omission so here are my ruminations about the art of traveling by yourself.
I was born and raised in Montreal at a time when there was a lot of hostility shown towards English people. I had no friends and the neighbor kids would dump a pail of sand on my head as soon as look at me. (True story.) I learned quickly that keeping to myself was the safest thing to do.
My two favorite places to play were the train tracks and a deserted factory. Can you tell it was the 60’s and my mom really didn’t know where I was when I went “out to play”?
I used to call the train tracks the “trail tracks”, I am not sure why nor do I know why I was so obsessed with them. I guess because I was sure they led to somewhere more exciting than where I was right then. The factory was an abandoned screw factory. I dubbed it the Screwball factory. It was a deliciously terrifying place to wander about. I convinced myself it was haunted and used to go commune with the ghosts. I was very sad when they tore down the Screwball Factory but I discovered that the ruins gave me a whole different landscape to play in. In the center of the property there was a large hole that used to collect water. I called this my “Lake of Shining Waters” a la Lucy Maud Montgomery. I would sit amid the broken concrete and shattered glass and gaze at my “lake” and imagine all sorts of things. Looking back I realize how crazy and dangerous this all sounds but this was a different time and children were often left to their own devices.
Being alone was something I had no choice but to get used to and I am now comfortable with. I don’t waste time wondering why I am alone, I just use those precious moments to explore the inside of my own head. If you are content with your own company in your day to day life then traveling alone is something you will enjoy.
One of the best things about traveling alone is the FREEDOM. You don’t realize how important freedom is until you don’t have it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and my family, but every minute I am there “something” is expected of me; cooking, cleaning, laundry, finding “things” for people because they can never seem to find anything for themselves; there is always something. But the minute I step on that plane to Vegas I am FREE. You don’t know what to eat for dinner? Not my problem. Can’t find your black shirt? I guess you will just have to wear something else. It is such a blessed relief to realize that for an entire week the only person I have to make happy is myself.
Of course, there are lots of benefits to traveling with a friend too; you have someone to chat with over dinner. You have someone to exchange medical information with in case one of you get hit by a bus. You can use all of those great “two for one” coupons that are useless to singles. But it is also wonderful to wake when you want to, shower when you feel like it, eat whenever and whatever you choose, go to bed at 3 am if you are on a hot streak and not have to worry about inconveniencing anyone else.
I follow a general rule of thumb when I travel alone; I don’t do anything in Vegas that I wouldn’t do at home such as wandering unfamiliar areas alone at night or going places with total strangers. You must trust your instincts. If something feels “hinky”, get out.
If perchance you do get to feeling lonely, you have to take action. Don’t sit there with your phone in front of your face; make eye contact with people and smile! The best advice I can give about making friends is to take part in something you are passionate about. Chances are you will run into someone who shares those interests and before you know it you will be engaged in a conversation with them. Vegas seems to be a particularly wonderful place for making new friends. I have been slurped up into all manner of strange conversations just by smiling at people.
I am heading out soon on yet another “Solo Vegas Vacation” with no feelings of trepidation, only excited anticipation.
[Photo Cred. Blonde4ever]