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Traveling Alone and a (Not so Hidden?) Lesson in Expectations

November 1, 2017

I enjoy traveling alone, I really do, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy every moment of it.

Monday was hard.

I was so excited to get here but once I did… Once I dropped my bag off at my Airbnb and started walking around Williamsburg… I felt pretty flat.

I felt lonely. I’m not entirely sure what brand of lonely it was, but it’s a loneliness that seems to be reserved for when I’m exploring new places by myself. The kind where you wish you had someone to share your excitement with. Someone who would understand how good this is or at least appreciate how good you think it is. Someone who would get excited for you, and who you could get excited for.

I also felt frustrated. I got a new camera last week with the resolve that I’m finally going to learn how to take photos. Like really, take photos. I’m going to learn about aperture and shutter speed and ISO so I can understand how all of those things work together. I’m going to learn how to shoot manual. And I’m going to learn all of this before (in?) New York.

Ya.

Even though I’ve owned a DSLR camera for a couple of years now I’m still completely intimidated by them. Which is ridiculous because it’s effectively a hunk of plastic, what’s there to be scared of? You make a mistake you delete it. But I guess I haven’t had that patience with myself.

If the picture I see in my mind doesn’t match the one reflected back to me on the screen I get frustrated. Really, seriously frustrated. Angry even. Which again I know is ridiculous. Alas…

That’s what was happening Monday. I felt like I couldn’t get any of the photos I wanted to, so I got down on myself and then felt guilty for getting down on myself. Guilty for not revelling in every moment of a trip I’d looked forward to for months.

A portable angst factory I am, huh?

Not entirely sure where I’m going with this but it’s starting to look a whole lot like a lesson in expectations, isn’t it? I just know solo travel is something I want to talk about and it’s important I’m transparent about the ups and the downs.

I repeat… You can enjoy something without enjoying every moment of it.


A spot of literal sunshine among the frustration at Sprout Home Brooklyn.

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