A Warm Welcome To The Stranger Called…Me

Trail at Multnomah Falls

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, many of us – both introverted and extroverted types- felt we spent way too much time alone due to the lockdowns, quarantines, and remote work situations. This meant when some sort of normalcy resumed, many of us could not wait to run from our homes to vacation or adventure somewhere outside of what was familiar. Our dream of skipping about in a new setting, preferably among other humans, was within reach, and we were more than ready.

Because I like people so much, the idea of vacationing solo never really occurred to me. However, when the opportunity presented itself, it didn’t take as long as I would have expected to make my decision. The mere idea of not being in my basement office, or surrounded by the dusty rose walls of my kitchen, where it seems I spend most of my non-working hours these days, was…motivating.

Like many Americans, we had received the stimulus from the government and I had immediate plans on how we would use it. It would involve getting out of our home as fast as possible, barreling toward a fun experience as a family. The kids had been cooped up for too long, and this was the perfect opportunity. During one of my many monologues on where our family vacation would take place, my husband quieted me with some shocking words. He suggested the family not go on a trip, and that I go by myself instead. He reminded me of the stressful year I had just endured, holding down the fort alone at home while juggling work, dealing with health issues, and other various dramas of life. My chronic worry over whether or not the kids were OK was pretty much all I talked about for the past year. It’s about time you do something only for yourself . “The Go Do You” he called it.

“Think about a place you’ve always wanted to go within the U.S. and make it happen. It won’t be as costly as a family vacation, and being in this house for the last year working and managing the kids, you deserve to go on a kid-free adventure— do it for your own sanity.”

I mulled it over. Going on a solo trip sounded strange at first simply because I had spent more time alone in the last year than I ever had in my entire life. Why would I want to go spend more time alone? Would it be miserable? Or would I surprise myself and realize it could be positively glorious? I decided that unless I made a plan to take the boys on a trip somewhere before my solo trip, the mom guilt would annihilate me.

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