How to Travel Alone

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A friend once let me in on her secret to traveling abroad for periods by herself. “I think of traveling alone as an occasion to pamper. So I always make sure to book a time for just that anywhere I go” she counseled.

What a clever concept, I thought.

Even in a lively city, moving from sight to scene alone can oftentimes feel lonely. It’s a sad reality, but one I’ve taken to heart and now feel more prepared for. In the instances in which I visit a non-English speaking country, it becomes immediately exciting to take in the sound, the color, the kindness of strangers. But whenever I seek a more lasting comfort, I do something I call full body immersion.

I book a massage!

I’d like to think that when feeling lonely, caress is the most straightforward way to express affirmation and affection. It’s amazing how human touch affects the body after long days in a new place.

Another way to ease the muscles and mind is to run a hot bath in your hotel room. You can lie down with a book about the place where you are (I bound the cover of A Moveable Feast and brought that to Paris last summer so I could fully absorb Hemingway’s Europe without the embarrassment of feeling cliché!). And so there you are, exploring from the comfort of your tub.

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