I've Never Been a Traveler

At 11, I stopped taking planes. We were set to visit my grandparents in New Jersey, as we did every year, and I remember telling my family I wouldn't go. I was adamant. Desperate for a solution ( I imagine) My mother and I took the train from Austin to New York, a pattern we would repeat several times until my grandparents passed away. My sister and my father would fly. My mother and I took the train. There were things I missed because I couldn't get there in time. My grandparents funerals, friends birthday adventures, most of the world. A flight or two in high school convinced me even more solidly of my position.

I didn't come from a traveling family. Our trips to Houston or San Antonio, short adventures with repeated events, or our regular New Jersey visits, while wonderful, didn't set me up for the great wide world or the joy that came from discovering it.

For me as an adult there was fear- of the unknown, of the complications that could occur while traveling, about having to figure it out on your own. Without planes, I thought, travel was pretty much out for me. For a while I was content in this- short road trips to see parts of Texas, living vicariously through other people's adventures. But then something changed.

First I traveled with my husband. A trip to California by train and bus opened my eyes to the places I could go if I was willing to put in the time. Plane or not, I could probably get there, see many beautiful things and hear beautiful tales along the way. There was a world ( domestically at least) open to me. I just had to be willing to do it. And because my job gave me the flexibility to work on the road, while his did not, it was something I had to be willing to do alone.

This blog will be a collection of my experiences as a solo traveler: moments and memories, photos and videos, the people I meet and the stories they tell and the things I see through a window of a moving train while heading to new places, or on the long way home.

I hope you will join me, the journey may be a long one. But it's worth it.

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