My first solo trip was to Rio Grande Puerto Rico for my 24th birthday. I had every intention of celebrating my next turn around the sun with a girlfriends getway but as many of us know, synchronizing schedules and coordinating details, especially on short notice, can be pretty difficult if not impossible. At the time, the thought of traveling to a far away place alone was scary, and not because I had fears of being taken or because almost everyone I spoke to cautioned me against it, but scary because it was something I’d never done. So, I went and I did it.
Since Puerto Rico, taking on destinations solo became a spiritual thing. There’s something that happens when you step out alone and journey to places where no one knows your face, your name, your story or even speaks your language. Each time I set out to experience a new destination, what I ended up discovering were new pieces of me that had been overshadowed by busy schedules, obligations and routines. It wasn’t until that first trip that I had the opportunity to reflect back and see all the ways in which I had changed and grown into a different woman; a woman I was proud of and even surprised and inspired by. In fact, traveling by myself changed my definition of what it was to be “alone." To be alone isn’t to be lonely, empty or wanting. To be alone is to exist within my own personal sanctuary.
Traveling solo gives me the opportunity to mute the noise, disconnect from the distractions and reconnect with myself. It also gives me the chance to do whatever it is I want to do such as nature lust while horse back riding through the rain forests in Rio Grande or along the beaches in Los Cabos, or stroll across white sands in Saint-Maarten or get lost in the gardens of a royal palace in Madrid, and float past beaches made for lovers in the waters where an ocean and a sea meet.
For my 30th birthday in September 2014, I wondered the streets of Barcelona. That trip, unlike all others, I made no lists and no plans. I woke up each day and let my feet take the lead. Though unplanned, I still stumbled upon many of the "must see" sights, met two Brooklynites, danced in the streets, got lost, (literally), and as I was finding my way back, I stumbled upon this little lady.
I have no idea what captured her eye but she captured mine and this became my favorite picture from that trip. Barcelona showed me that sometimes it takes us getting lost to find our way. Not someone's else's way. Not the “right” way but one that is all OUR way.
Sometimes a journey alone is exactly what the soul needs.
About E. Isis Adewale
E. Isis Adewale, a proud former New York transplant and Brooklynite, is a freelance event producer and passionate advocate for youth development and personal enrichment. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.