Thursday, May 12, 2005

Traveling Alone

Traveling alone gives plenty of opportunity for insights of various sorts. As I was driving home tonight from 4 1/2 days on the road alone - 1434.3 miles for those of you counting - I was thinking about this. The conclusion I came to is that the reason traveling alone brings insight is that you have to be alone with yourself.

It's something most of us are loathe to do, and when you're alone in the car - and if like this trip, not even in radio range large parts of the time - you have no choice but to be alone with who you are. It's intoxicating and terrifying.

Generally I think I'm pretty good about being with myself, even at home. But it's different to be zipping down an unfamiliar highway or settled into a camp ground for the night and realize just how alone you are. In many places I had no radio and no cell phone signal. It was just me, my thoughts and my writing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I started travelling alone by necessity, but I never minded it, although it is nice to have someone along to share stuff with. However, now I almost prefer travelling alone - I guess I'm selfish but I like not having to stop so someone else can pee or stop to eat when I'm not ready or listen to music I'm not that crazy about, etc.

But you're right about doing a lot of thinking, at least when I'm not singing along with an Eagles cd. I once wrote a whole country song in my head while driving along after being saturated with country music in a part of the country where that's about all you can get on your car radio.

It's really rather peaceful driving long stretches of highway, especially at night. Sometimes I feel like I just want to keep driving forever and never stop.