How I Found My Sense of Humour: Part One

Here’s the thing: I live in, and create for, one brand 7 days a week. I have never experienced this before. As an entrepreneur you juggle lots of brands and storyworlds at any given time and you don’t ‘live’ in any single brand. But I jumped all in last July and moved onto the property of the company I was working for so my world became, in every sense, the brand world I was writing and creating for. But you begin to feel like Boy in the Bubble, only I guess in my case it would be Girl in the Brand. I thought it was a good thing–and it has helped my storytelling to be sure–but it becomes a little like the Matrix after a while. Maybe people who live in compounds like the Kennedy’s feel this: a burning desire to get out.

It became clear I desperately needed to go on a vacation.

Now, as some of you may know who are longtime readers of this blog (thank you stalwart friends) I have been single for nearly 26 months. I mention this because during this time I’ve become a fan of Solo Travel. Why the capitals you ask? Well, for two reasons: it’s a legitimate, growing travel market and secondly, it’s my blog so I can capitalize things when I want to Emphasize something.

A few years ago now (hard to believe), I went on a solo adventure to Paris and it was so fabulous I officially joined the tribe, online and off, of solo travelers. I am addicted to planning trips even if I can’t afford to go on them. It’s like window shopping only it’s on Expedia and TripAdvisor instead of Saks or Bergdorf’s. I have noticed though, when I talk about traveling alone, I get a lot of friends who say, aren’t you scared? Lonely? I couldn’t imagine traveling alone like that!

Let’s unpack this for a moment, shall we?

First of all, I’m not traveling to places like Uganda. I’m going to go where it’s low-key and I fit in for the most part. I don’t wander drunkenly around at night and I’m not dressing like I’m for rent.

As for lonely? Well I’ve felt far more lonely with boyfriends on holidays than I have ever felt on my own. Also, when you travel solo you can completely and utterly give into your own eccentricities without giving a fig about what it might look like because no one is looking! And frankly, my days of saying “oh it’s okay I only had 7 minutes sleep” (because of your snoring) are over. My solo travel days are brimming over with conversations I genuinely choose to have–and while some of my days end at 9:30 pm, they never end in tears, regret or wishing I were somewhere else.

You meet people throughout your day when you travel alone. At the hotel, at breakfast, on tours, at the pool, and of course during Happy Hour. I need a lot of space–as in hectares–and I denied myself this for a long time because I felt obligated to make someone else happy. Now I am free and I can design a near-perfect–no, wait–a perfect vacation for myself.

But I still come against archaic attitudes towards female solo travel. For example, when I phoned my credit card company to tell them I was leaving town, here is the conversation that ensued (quoted here verbatim):

“I’ll be staying in Palm Springs.”

“With your husband?”

“Uh, no, by myself.”

“Just by yourself?”

“Yes sir I’m braving a southern Californian resort-hipster-haven all on my own.”

I desperately wanted to add ‘in my big girl shoes‘ but didn’t want to mock the large credit company that would be funding my trip.

Similarly, at the airport when I showed my passport to the US official, he said, and I quote verbatim again here:

“You’re traveling alone”

“Yes.”

“No boyfriend or? You’re just on your own?”

“Yes sir, just a vacation with myself, sir.”

I had to really control my sarcasm so I could get into the country but I did want to say that I was afraid and felt in need of protection in First Class.

As I buckled up and looked out over the wing I realized I had really been a complete sourpuss for months. All work and no play was my permanent headline and I was deeply relieved to be getting out of the brand bubble and into a solo adventure in the desert where I could find my self and my humour again.

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6 Comments

Filed under Non-fiction, Solo Travel

6 responses to “How I Found My Sense of Humour: Part One

  1. As a woman whose first solo trip was to Turkey I have to say I will never look back. No tours, no companions, just the company of Moi for sights and sounds and all the feelings that arise in new places. Yes, I shared conversations and sustenance with other fellow travelers, but there was always the option to go it alone. And getting to know my own company was a gift in itself. Enjoy Mags! You, Yourself and Tu deserve it.

    • Of course you are a solo traveler! Maybe it is us writer types, completely happy in our own interpretations of something, half in reality, half out. At least for me, everything is more cinematic when I’m alone so perhaps it is just a selfish inclination…:)

  2. Martin

    We see a lot of female solo travelers in Asia Mags. Write. Keep writing.
    And thank you.

  3. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment
    (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new
    to the whole thing. Do you have any points for newbie blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Hi Catalina–Well, some people have themes for their blog, like sailing or traveling or very much a niche area and focus but mine is not that at all. I really use mine to explore different writing that I play around with in the hopes I get better simply by doing it nearly every week. The key is to write what you love or care deeply about it. You do have to stay on top of it because once you have readers you don’t want to let them down! Thanks for reading and commenting and good luck.

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