The first experience can never be repeated. The first love, the first sunrise, the first South Sea island, are memories apart and touched with a virginity of sense.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
I think it was about a decade ago, that first night that I ever spent alone (and actually it was not really alone because I still had my kids with me). I checked and re-checked the locks, I called to my spouse on the phone several times, I had a weapon near the bed (just in case). I didn’t sleep well at all–every little noise was some bogeyman coming to get me.
I think it was about five years ago that I first slept in a hotel alone. It was just about the same routine as above.
It was about three years ago that I first took a ride in a taxi by myself.
It was about two years ago that I crossed an international border on my own for the first time (but that was into Canada–does that even count?).
I’ve got (yet) another trip happening in three days, this time to an academic conference that promises to be a path-breaking event. I’m a little nervous–as I always am just a few days before cross-country travel. There are many things that could go wrong (and there are some that will go wrong, and there’s not much at all that I can do about that). But I am expecting that far more will go just right. And I can’t wait!
Pictures above from my solo trip to Cape Cod three years ago (still one of my favorite adventures ever) and my summer trip to Europe.