I thought I’d broach the subject of why I enjoy traveling alone. Since I transferred to a different department at the university, my new co-workers have become familiar with my love of Mexico but some didn’t know I have traveled there alone. So…when a couple of weeks ago I sent out an e-mail announcing that I was going to be gone for nine days to explore the Yucatan, I got mixed responses. When people found out I was going there by myself, I could tell most were skeptical about the prospect. While I appreciate their concern, I’m always amazed at the closed-mindedness of the whole Mexico thing.
A friend introduced me to Mexico back in 2006 and we traveled there several times since then. When we parted ways, I decided to continue my journeys alone. The first time was in May of 2008 when I rented a small apartment in the colonias of Isla Mujeres known as Casa Laguna where I stayed for a week for a very low price.
I will be totally honest in that when I first arrived there on my own, I sat on the bed in this tiny little apartment surrounded by Spanish-speaking natives and asked myself, “What the fuck am I doing here??” Well, it took a couple of days to get my sea legs and after a week, I felt very much at home and didn’t want to go back. I have fond memories of that first solo visit and the busy and noisy commotion from the balcony which I grew to love.
Since then, I have visited Mexico a bunch more times…sometimes with someone, sometimes on my own. I was talking with a co-worker about traveling alone and this is what I told him. I love to travel to Mexico. I would be more than happy to travel with someone else, but these are the issues:
1) They are too afraid to travel to Mexico.
2) They don’t have the money to travel.
3) They don’t like traveling in general.
4) They would rather spend their money on other things.
So, what do I do? Just not travel at all because no one else can or wants to? I don’t think so. I have relished my solo visits and wouldn’t give them up for anything. But it is not for everyone. Some people need the companionship of others on a trip. You definitely need to be very independent, self-sufficient, and somewhat brave to travel alone. But once you get over the initial misgivings, it’s a piece of cake. And although I’m always met with skepticism when I tell people I travel alone in Mexico, after I explain my reasonings and they see my photographs, I usually detect an amount of envy in my ability to just take off and do whatever the hell I want to do. I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.