A Rallying Cry for This Upcoming Year of Solo Travel

T-minus seven days until I’m unemployed. T-minus three weeks until I have no home and no stuff. And T-minus one month and change until I begin the adventure I’ve been subconsciously planning for over a decade.

I think there are people who gravitate toward finding a cozy spot in life and building all their trappings of happiness around it, and once they’ve done it, they want to stay there as long as possible. And then there are people who always struggle to find satisfaction — or even a moment of relaxation — in standing still.

I have always been in the latter camp, and I’ve always been a little jealous of people in the former. For better or worse, I am a nomad at heart, always more interested in where I’m going than where I’ve been (or even where I am). And sure, I’ll admit that unmooring myself from my cozy place, from so many people I love, from the beaches and the mountains and the easy-breezy central coast life and the only form of grownup life I have ever known… it’s like self-inflicted daggers.

But y’know, for me, the remarkable parts of life have never been the ones where I’m breathing in easy, sustained rhythms. I am comfortable — no, not just comfortable, but invigorated — when I’m exposed to a new situation, when I’m forced to be scrappy, when I have to leap into action. And I am relentlessly uncomfortable — however cozy I may be — when all I need to do is continue along.

Don’t get me wrong. I can find relaxation. I find it in a challenging asana sequence, a long walk through parts unknown, the privilege of taking in a view by the sea, or the delicious vulnerability of getting to know someone new.

I don’t know why I’m so magnetically and so utterly powerlessly drawn to (literally) every place I’ve never been. I just am. And I know — in my bones — that that feeling will never ever go away, as long as I live. When what is new transforms into what is familiar, and then into what is routine — well, that’s when it’s time for me to take the puzzle apart and throw all the pieces into the air all over again. That’s as true when deciding what I want for breakfast as it is when deciding my next chapter in life.

My brain rests when I move. And it goes berserk when I am in stasis.

So, here’s to the moving, then.


  1. Doug, this makes me so happy to discover. What an amazing journey you have before you. I did something similar last year and it was the best decision of my life. In fact, I fly back to SLO for the first time in 10 months tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to travel vicariously through your stories. Drop me a line if you ever want to swap travel tips. There’s a place in Sri Lanka I insist everyone visits. Happy travels!

  2. I love this! I just wrote a blog on traveling solo and you’ve hit the name on the head! I knew there was a valid reason for why I’m single at 32! To all solo traveler here hat s off to you ?? I m married and I m liking that I can travel alone once in awhile. I love, appreciate and very proud of myself for doing it and all on my own. ?? My solo travel taught and made me realize how capable and brave I am. Challenging myself to take one more step outside my emotional comfort zone. I smiled ??and more social with other people. When we re with someone, we don t get a chance to do that. We seemed deeply invested in the walls we ve built around us and afraid of what will happen if we let anyone in. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but decided to lower my guards down, and it was wonderful?. Onward, I will nurture, never doubt, and will love myself unconditionally ??. I m looking forward to my next solo adventure and yes, making more new friends in faraway place ??.

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