Revelations of a lone traveler

Me posing with the Hollywood sign.

Me posing with the Hollywood sign.

Today is my first day back in Atlanta. I took a business trip to Los Angeles — and tacked on a few vacation days at the end to see the city.

Because it was a work trip and I don’t know anyone in L.A., I traveled alone. Here are a few truths I discovered during my solo trip.

  • People feel more comfortable talking to you when you’re alone. A taxi driver went on a rant about Arnold Schwarzenegger. People asked me where I was from. It’s kind of nice that people talk to you more because…
  • When you travel alone, there’s no one to say comments to. I underestimated how fun it is to say comments to a friend/family member about what’s around you. When I visited Hollywood Forever Cemetery, I saw a peacock walking among the graves. (Is that a normal occurrence in Los Angeles cemeteries? Do peacocks represent eternal life or something?) And there was no one around to comment to about it. I don’t like keeping all my witticisms to myself.
  • Eating alone in a restaurant isn’t so bad. I thought it would be awkward to say, “Table for one.” Would the servers talk about me in the kitchen? But I didn’t mind. I brought a book to read during my first meal, but after that, I just people-watched on the sly.
  • I miss having an assistant/partner. When there are other people with you, it’s like you’re all in this together. Flight delayed? There’s someone to talk to instead of resorting to blogging. As I was driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, I was wondering what would happen if my car broke down. I would be on the highway all alone. It’s also nice to have a sounding board so someone else can weigh in on what route to take, what time to arrive, how often to apply sunscreen, etc. Also, when I was driving all around Los Angeles, I could have sure used a navigation assistant.
  • You can do what you want, when you want. If I want to take an architecture tour at a villa by the Pacific Coast Highway, I will. If I feel like Korean for dinner, there’s no one to tell me it’s too spicy. If I want to wake up at 8 a.m., so be it. The best part of traveling alone is not having to debate everything with other people. Total choice.

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