No Strangers Here…Solo Travel…Kind of?

There are no strangers here;
only friends you haven’t yet met….William Butler Yeats

When I was in Paris recently I was often asked if I liked to travel alone. Actually I get asked that quite a bit everywhere I go and here at home. The answer is a little complicated. I love traveling with people who are as adventurous and outgoing as I am, spontaneous or just love hanging out and enjoying some quiet time. I have lots of friends who are married, though, and sometimes they can’t join me on my travels and therefore I do travel alone….kind of!

When I was first faced with the question of “travel or don’t travel” due to my new single-dom the answer was a resounding “TRAVEL!” “Don’t travel” was never part of the conversation. It was a little weird and a bit of an adjustment, but I made the most of it and have been to some awesome places by myself….but it’s always more fun to share the experiences with someone. That’s where the “kind of” comes in.

Since I’ve been doing home exchanges, and traveling alone, I’ve met some really great people and it’s opened up my world in a way I never imagined. Case in point, this last trip to Paris.

Sure, I traveled over to Paris by myself, but…

  • I stayed with my new friend, Caroline…who had stayed with me back in November, so I never came back to an empty place. There was someone to share my adventures with….and hear about her day.

  • Monday night, one of my neighbor’s, Ted, and his daughter, Dory, happened to be visiting Paris at the same time so we had dinner in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. (check out Dory’s youtube channel…she’s got an amazing voice!)

  • Tuesday I booked a dinner in a Haussmann apartment with Bon Appetour, (the Parisian equivalent of EatWith here in the U.S.), so I met some new friends and didn’t dine alone.

how cool is this building..and apartment below that I had the privilege of dining in?

  • Wednesday was dinner with some friends, Dominique, Alain & Thomas, that I had met back in 2012 through my friend here, Renee. Again, didn’t dine alone.

  • Thursday I was in Chartres most of the day and had a big lunch, so didn’t even have dinner.
  • Friday Caroline and I dined at her home out on her lovely patio, before heading over to St. Chappelle for a violin concert of Pachelbel’s Cannon & Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Afterwards, she walked home and I went over to my favorite little corner bistro, St Regis, on the Île Saint-Louis, and because you’re so close to each other on those bistro chairs I met a lovely couple next to me, who, believe it or not, the woman was from Tustin originally…and they live in Alameda up in the bay area where my best friend Mary Kay lives….what are the chances!!
the view from Caroline’s balcony

  • Saturday Caroline got some last minute comp tickets for Saturday Night Fever, the musical, at a local theater, so we grabbed a quick bite with her friend at Dupont Versailles Brasserie across from the venue….where I finally had my escargot..yummy! Another fun night…even if the show was in French, the music was English and you can pretty much follow the story of Saturday Night Fever.
vintage pic of Dupont Versailles Brasserie

So, that’s my complicated answer about traveling alone….by meeting people and arranging dinners along the way you get the best of both worlds…wandering alone by day, having dinner and catching up with friends, old and new by night.

Of course the icing on the cake of this trip was stopping in NY to see my favorite son and daughter-in-law….pizza Monday in Brooklyn with their fun friends!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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