Travel/Adventure

What I Learned from Traveling Alone

Hey Cuties,

I had an amazing three days with St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  I met a lot of dope people and we are forever bonded by our experience.  I will be sharing my experience in bits and pieces but know that it was incredible. It was also monumental one for me for a different reason. As much as I travel, as many places as I go this was the very first time I’ve traveled alone. I talked about doing so last year and ended up traveling with my cousin. It was an adventure, but a necessary journey.

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Ready…

What I Learned from Traveling Alone

Although I was really excited about my trip, my anxiety had anxiety. I was packed early the night before and I was all set to fly from Washington, DC to Memphis, Tennessee.  My flight left at 7:00 AM so I had to get up hella early. Luckily we were on vacation that week so Babe could take me to the airport. We grabbed the kids from bed and put them in the car where they would immediately return to sleep. I didn’t sleep well the night before because I was worried about over-sleeping and missing my flight. This always happens the night before I travel. I didn’t even lay my burdens down until 1:00 AM that morning knowing I had to get up in the 4 o’clock hour. Nevertheless, I was up and out of the door by 5:00 AM.

This was it, Babe had pulled up to the curb, I kiss him and the kids good-bye and he handed me my bags. Off I went…

Facing my Fears: It was go time and I had to face my fears. I had my anxiety supplies {peppermint, peppermint oil & water} in hand so I was as prepared as one could be. I’ve been to the airport a million times so I wasn’t totally out of my element plus I can read. That totally helps. I decided to do carry on so my bags and I head to kiosk and print my boarding pass; then head down to security.  That was a breeze so I kept it moving to the gate. I have to eat before flying or my body goes crazy, I black out and it is a dramatic scene on the plane. This has happened before…

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Cava Grill Pita

The food selection on my end of the terminal was skimp. It was Starbucks that came with a line of 20+ people or Cava Grill. My face was all kinds of stank, really. Those were my only two options. It was like picking the best out of two things you don’t like. So I went with Cava Grill, they only had two breakfast options and didn’t have much food with parents. I went for the Pita because it was that or a bowl of confusion filled with disappoint and bubble guts. No thanks. According to an article I read they only serve breakfast in the airport and have no plans to add it to their regular menu. THANK GOD FOR THAT! In my pita I had eggs and turkey sausage because that was better than falafel or tofu. Yeah well, it tastes like I went with paper bag and seasoning. The pita was really thick and so no thanks. The eggs were greasy and cut in a square and small in portion so no thanks. I managed to eat the sausage because I had no time for plane fainting.

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It was early, no time to be all cute.

I checked on the family to make sure they were up and out on time. Notified them that I was boarding and would check in when I made my connection. Oh yeah, first time traveling alone and I had a connecting flight. I was seated without incident and headed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. If you aren’t familiar this airport is so big they have a train system to take you to your respective concourse. First flight under my belt, but my flight was landing while my connecting flight was boarding. {Insert dramatic movie sequence like Home Alone.} I’m running to the train to get to my concourse and then run to my gate. I arrive but I had to pee like Sea Biscuit. I check in at the desk and they inform me they are boarding everyone right now. *Heavy Sigh* so I fall in line. When it is my turn the Cutie at the counter ask if I’m okay. I clearly looked the way I felt. I gave him the two second version of me running from one flight to another with a full bladder. He tells me to run to the bathroom but don’t get comfy. I do just that and return, he then tells me to stop and take a breath. I so needed that. hahaha I board my very short flight to Memphis, TN on time.

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Bathroom Selfie in the Memphis airport

Making new friends: I’m a social person, no surprise there. I make friends everywhere I go and traveling alone was no different. I would later hook up with ten other bloggers and three staff persons for an amazing three days. Just like everywhere else it was like I’d known them for years. It was a very natural thing and didn’t require any forcing. Wait: I landed in Memphis and found the car service immediately. There were two other bloggers waiting as well so we rode to the hotel together. Only to find out only one of the three has a room ready. It was 9 ish Memphis time; check in was at 3 PM and we had to meet up with our group at 11:30 AM. Melissa graciously took in myself and Christie and we became fast friends as we crashed and would later get dressed in her room.

Go with the flow: My OCD was all over the place but I had to just go with the flow. With using as few of Melissa’s hotel items as possible I ironed my clothes, put on a face and got dressed. I had no time to dwell on the situation, I simply had to do what I needed to do and I was gracious to have a place to do so even if it weren’t my own. Melissa, Christie and I have to be friends forever after that.

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St. Jude Fall Blogger Tour 2016

Enjoy Mi: I got a chance to just enjoy my own company a bit.  I’ve always been confident in who I am but I don’t get a lot of alone time.  I’m always out and about and even when I got to events solo I’m around and with other people.  This time I didn’t have to make sure anyone else was dressed or had eaten.  I didn’t have to take anyone else into consideration. Granted this was a group tour, and we had full days of group activity but when we returned to the hotel for break and then bedtime it was all me all the time. I have an older sister, so growing up it was she and I and my Mom. I got married at 18 {another story for another day} so I had a +1 for seven years total. I’ve only been single two years out of my adult life. Then I met Babe and he was my +1 in life and then we had a son and that turned into a +2 and then seven years later a +3.  Maybe a trip to the nail shop or the store but never alone time like this.

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Cocktail

Renewed Confidence: On Thursday morning I had a HUGE family crisis. I don’t mean an extended family emergency. I mean one dealing with the members of my home. For two full hours I was in sheer terror and worry and panic and fear and all the other scary unsettling feelings.  I was thousands of miles away and I felt like my hands were tied. I felt helpless although I had help.  In the midst of this crises I was sitting in the front of a room listening to a doctor tell me about his experience with St. Jude. I had a video camera in my face filming it all and I wanted to crumble into a million pieces and ugly cry like you’ve never seen. Yet I held it together, I don’t know how I kept it together. It was a divine intervention for sure, I had a village at home that had rallied around me and they left no stones un-turned. For two hours I had to put my faith in them and just know that they wouldn’t let me down and they didn’t. I don’t know why the Universe tested me in that manner but it did and it let me know that I had a strength that I’d never tapped into before.

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Memphis was good to me.

Embracing your fears: I learned to embrace my fears. I’ve always said I don’t want to be so afraid of something that I don’t enjoy life.  The world isn’t as scary as we think it is; don’t get me wrong scary things happen in the world every day. Just re-read the paragraph above this sentence. But you have to try new things, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. Amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone. You won’t know it until you do it.

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Put your shades on and enjoy life

I have grown in ways I never thought I would. Ways I didn’t plan and didn’t see coming. It would be a disservice for me to keep all of this goodness to myself so I had to share it with you.  The next time you are presented with an opportunity that scares you give it a go.

What I Learned from Traveling Alone Cover Image

What has your solo travel experience been like? Chat with me in the comment below or FB, IG or Twitter.

mimicutelips

Article written by:

Mimi Green is the Lifestyle Media Correspondent and editor behind MimiCuteLips®. She is a mother of two and a girlfriend to one. You can find Mimi working media at your favorite events, traveling and trying out new adventures, or working on a dope DIY project.

Join the discussion

  1. Eva

    Wow…. my travel companion is always peppermint something for stress. I don’t do well flying alone and I am always a wreck traveling without my family. I don’t know how you held it together with a crisis going on! You are a true professional.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Yes I swear by peppermint for stress, anxiety and motion sickness. It is my go to thing. I was proud of myself for being okay flying. I don’t enjoy flying although I enjoy traveling. I don’t know how I held it together either.

  2. Kemkem

    Good for you for overcoming your anxiety and going for it solo. My first solo trip, l was 17 (in the days before the internet 🙂 , and l still sometimes do it now. It’s always a welcome break. Gives you something to chat about upon return..haha!

  3. Latoya @ Life and a Budget

    I’ve never had to travel solo on a plane before, thank goodness. Most of my trips have been with others.

  4. Stacie

    Awesome testimony sis! This will be me in a couple of weeks and I have been fighting fear and I’m winning. I’m just remembering what I heard Joyce Meyer say years ago. Do it afraid!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Stacie. Yes girl, do it afraid and then you realize it wasn’t so bad. I can’t wait to hear about your experience.

  5. Kayvona

    Those sun glasses are soon cute!! I have never traveled alone before and honestly I don’t think I would ever want to, I’m not really a big traveler anyways so I would need someone with me lol I hate being alone!

    • MimiCuteLips

      hahahha Thanks Kayvona, I live for a dramatic life. lol Good dramatic that is.

      I realized I hate being alone a couple years ago and I forced myself out of it. I was missing out on things I wanted to do because I didn’t have anyone to go with me.

  6. Preschool2teen

    Traveling alone is a bit fearful. Yay! You did it! Hope you enjoyed your visit in Memphis. I graduated from the Univ of Memphis and worked at St. Jude during college. Worked at the telecenter.

  7. Jacqui @TradesofJacqui

    I remember the Atlanta Airport very well! I traveled to Florida years ago with my 9-month old daughter. By myself. After that connecting flight? I paid extra to travel non-stop lol. I love traveling alone. You’re forced into isolation and that’s not always a bad thing!

    Jacqui
    Flightsoffancymom.com

  8. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    I haven’t had much opportunity to travel alone, but I’d be willing to for sure. There’s a blog conference that I might attend – that would be a good opportunity for me to try solo travel.

  9. dana vento

    Solo travel is hard and leaving my family is hard, but it is such a growth experience. When I travel on my own, I always enjoy a cup of coffee, me time and work on my personal agenda. I have a list of stuff, like reading emails and cleaning out groups that don’t work in my life, so solo travel can be therapeutic.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Yes Dana, enjoying just a warm cup of something and reflecting on your wants and dreams. I find that I don’t focus on them as much because I’m worried about keeping everyone else in order.

      I’m here for the solo therapy.

  10. Pam

    I have to travel alone a lo for work. It has definitely been a learning experience for me and a chance to face some fears.

  11. Ty

    What a great post. I think traveling solo is such a great experience because not only does it allow you to get back to you, your able to do all the things that you want to do, explore what you want and get to know people you probably wouldn’t otherwise meet

  12. Jenn

    I love to travel alone. As much as I love my family, traveling alone is like a luxury.

  13. Jeanette

    Looks like you had a lot of fun when you travel by yourself. I would only travel by myself it was for work, I’m a little bit more scared to do vacation by myself and honestly I rather go with somebody.

  14. Pier

    This is such an important topic to talk about, traveling alone as a female and what you learn about yourself! Thank you for writing such an honest piece, I really enjoyed reading it 🙂

    • MimiCuteLips

      Pier I totally agree. After writing this it made me think about it a bit more. As women it is so necessary that we learn about ourselves. Especially once we have our own families.

      Thanks for reading.

  15. Jasmine

    Mimi, I’m glad to know I’m not the only with anxiety! Doing things alone can sometimes be scary but I tell myself “Do not feed the fears!”

    It’s every mom’s nightmare to hear about an emergency at home while she’s away but I’m glad your village had your back.

    Looks like you had a great/meaningful time, can’t wait to see the vid.

    P.S. You always look cute even with no make-up on in the airport. 😉

  16. lisa

    I love traveling alone. It really makes me feel independent and gives me a feeling of satisfaction that I can do anything. And I meet new people!

  17. Sarah

    This is a really great post, I hope it helps others aspire to travel alone. Love the photos!

  18. Felicita Moncada

    Sounds like you had a great time traveling solo. I think its a great experience. I can be a loner sometimes so have no problem traveling by myself – I haven’t had the chance yet but I know one day I will. Just to have some me time

  19. Sharon Wong

    I’ve always wanted to travel solo at least once, but at the same time, I always felt intimidated because I never know who I might come across and traveling in a new country is a bit scary due to my lack of knowledge of the countries language, but I am definitely not going to let that stop me from experiencing it at least once. Thanks for sharing!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Sharon I say go for it, do it afraid. I bet you will be glad that you did. A lot of times we make it a bigger deal then it really is.

  20. Tata

    I love traveling alone whether it’s by car or plane I do not mind leaving it all behind (temporarily) I followed your trip and it seemed totally awesome, it was good to see some of my favorite bloggers (Dude Mom, Rattles and Heels and You) together .

  21. Kirstin N. Fuller (the travelin diva)

    I used to hate doing anything alone especially traveling. One fab solo trip to Miami fixed all that (lol). The St. Jude trip sounds like an awesome trip. They are doing fabulous work!

  22. Christine @MomsNCharge

    Aww girl…love this! I used to be real anxious when traveling alone and sometimes I still am. But it’s gotten better over time and I try to focus on taking care of me while I’m away (working on it anyway lol)

    • MimiCuteLips

      I look forward to becoming more comfortable with it. I think I’m going to get out on a series of solo adventures. A solo bucket list of sorts.

  23. CourtneyLynne

    I traveled alone often pre mommy days. Honestly as much as I love traveling with the fam, I sometimes miss solo travel and being in my own schedule and seeing the sites I wanna see lol

  24. Vashti (veepeejay.com)

    Aww, I’m so glad everything worked out girl, and I hope the crisis at home is under control. I’ve travelled a lot on my own so it’s kinda like second nature to me now. Can’t wait to hear more about your St. Jude experience.

    • MimiCuteLips

      It did Vashti, I’m a stronger person because of it but everything is okay. Thank God!I’m looking forward to traveling more on my own.

  25. Rebecca Swenor

    It sounds like you had an amazing time traveling alone. I think sometimes we have to brake away from our every day lives and do something for our self. It is true that we all need to step outside our comfort zones and facing our fears is something that can be very good for us. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  26. Jeanine

    If I travel in the next few years it will more than likely be on my own and I’m terrified of it. We have so many kids that if I want to do brand trips or conferences I will have to go alone. This post is very helpful!

  27. Kendall

    You are so brave! I love to travel and would love to travel alone, but I definitely have anxiety about it! Facing your fears is so important – traveling alone definitely helps that too it seems!

  28. Anosa Malanga

    I travel alone all the time and love it. I get to do what I want and not what everyone else wants to do. It is nerve racking the first time though so well done you for doing it

  29. krystal

    I just went on a work trip myself and had total anxiety about the whole thing too. I guess with time it becomes easier. I recognize some of those bloggers in that pic!

  30. Chrishelle Ebner

    I have yet to travel solo, but I am sure it is coming. I am glad you got through it and had a good time. I know I would have to deal with a bit of anxiety too.

  31. Pingback: #FATSNACKS FRIDAY: Memphis, Tennessee #StJudeBlogTour - MimiCuteLips

  32. Garf

    I like traveling alone. I have been doing that for a few times already when I went abroad.

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