Tag Archives: solitary travel

Recognition

I’ve never had a strong sense of resonance with Charlotte, despite how long I’ve lived here. There was never a feeling of recognition with this place; I moved here all those years ago after a “choose a NC city and go there” game. Moving here was random, not the result of some intense attraction or calling. I love the life I’ve created here and now the Charlotte area is very familiar.

The experience of being in Asheville was the opposite. From the beginning, I felt a very strong sense of connection and resonance. A feeling of: “Oh, there you are. I’ve been waiting for you.” The same feeling I’ve had when meeting the closest people in my life; recognition at a soul rather than logical level.

Asheville feels like home to me. And it is totally crazy that I just now began spending time there. Also ironic that nearly fourteen years ago I got married on a beach; I am really not a beach girl…but I am a mountains girl.

The entire Asheville area feels intensely familiar, as though it’s just been waiting all this time for me to discover it. I feel a sense of depth and resonance that is hard to put into words…but that is undeniable.

Not that I have any desire to live in Asheville; I don’t. But I can’t deny that there is something about that location that has a very strong magnetic pull on me to spend more time there. It felt restorative and healing, even though I didn’t do a ton of exploring.

The mountains of North Carolina have been beckoning to me for quite a while, and even I cannot deny that it very much feels like home to me. For whatever reason, I have a very strong connection with that area; I’ll certainly be spending more time there.

I don’t really find this recognition surprising, it’s more of an awareness and willingness to witness something I already knew on some level.

Driving in the mountains was interesting, given my intense fear of heights. While driving around the roads in that area, I was reminded of the roads where I learned to drive; narrow and winding. It’s been quite a while, but they also felt familiar to me.

New Orleans and Asheville could not be more different, and how interesting that they were my first travel destinations of 2020. New Orleans felt fun; Asheville felt like home.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Recognition”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

 

Embracing the Unknown

No one is more surprised than me at the experiences I am choosing to say “yes” to in all areas of my life. Including solo travel in what I’d describe as stealth mode; most people don’t know where I’m going until after I’m back.

For about a year, I’ve been threatening to take my laptop and run away to the mountains. But really, it’s not so much running away as leaning toward an area I want to explore. Both on my own and with friends.

I enjoy traveling alone, and an intuitive friend pointed out that choosing to travel on my own is bringing opportunities to meet new people. This came up in conversation after I shared that I actually would like to be in a relationship, and while I haven’t had great experiences with online dating, it’s true that I do meet new people all the time in the course of my daily life.

Traveling by myself is just another avenue to meet and connect with new people. It’s also a distinct way of continuing to embrace the unknown and explore. Which isn’t necessarily my default style, but it’s been a very strong recent trend.

In re-writing what my birthday celebration will look like this year, I’ve decided it is the anniversary of turning forty and will involve travel with friends. Last year, my birthday came and went without any significant celebration; I went out for drinks with friends…but I do that all the time.

So this year is an opportunity to embrace something much more meaningful and new as a way of celebrating. At the end of April last year, I had a lot going on, and didn’t have the capacity to really consider how I wanted to celebrate. This year, things are different, and it’s a new opportunity to do something different.

Embracing the unknown may not be my default style, but it is getting easier the more I lean into practicing it.

Continuing to shift professionally toward writing brings with it endless freedom, as it’s a totally location independent career. Which feels intoxicating and also terrifying. I can write and read from anywhere, including while exploring the mountains of NC. I’ve finally run out of excuses and am more willing than ever to allow myself to explore new experiences.

Just as New Orleans was an undeniable conversational topic prior to being there, the mountains have been strongly pulling me toward them for quite a while. It’s about time I chose to just go and explore that area. Continuing to embrace the new and unknown; while creating new memories for myself.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Embracing the Unknown”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Traveling Alone to New Orleans

Having just returned from my very first trip to New Orleans, it’s also the first time I’ve traveled exclusively by myself. Some rather interesting insights have arisen out of the experience. I’ve known for a long time that I like flying by myself and think nothing of getting on a plane alone. This trip was different in the sense that I chose to stay in a new city and explore on my own.

For more than a year, New Orleans has been coming up in countless conversations. I’ve talked with people who went to college near that area, it was proposed as a possible birthday trip, anywhere and everywhere this city’s name has come up in conversation. Finally, in January 2020, we met.

Several months ago I found myself (much to my own surprise) signing up for an online coaching program and knew it held the possibility of a mastermind retreat in NOLA. Which I said yes to; for no reason other than I wanted to say yes.

Before leaving last week, I had the uncomfortable realization that this trip is the first time in my life that I’ve done something for no reason other than because it’s what I want to do. It had nothing to do with friends or family, I alone wanted to say yes and show up simply because of my own desire.

It’s uncomfortable to realize I haven’t really been allowing myself to choose based solely on my own preferences. And I have absolutely no logical explanation as to why this city calls so strongly to me, other than the fact that it does.

Which led me to landing in New Orleans, picking up a rental car, checking into a hotel, and then exploring the area. By myself. With no research or plans other than simply showing up. It’s a city with quite a lot of history and the food is indeed exceptional. Both of which I appreciate.

I’ve heard it said that this is a city you either love or hate. Turns out that I love New Orleans. Bourbon Street is not at all my style, and other than walking it once, I stayed far away. On a damp and chilly day, I explored a cemetery before going out shopping and to a bar. I now have a ring with words on it as a reminder of this experience, which is just so perfect.

Being new to this city, I only scheduled a little more than a day to explore, but will definitely go back. It very much reminded me of Charleston, South Carolina which is somewhere I’ve recently realized it’s time to re-visit now that I’m single.

In conversation with a writing partner that I knew was concerned about me being in NOLA alone, it was interesting to acknowledge that I chose a city with such a distinct shadow side. I joked that someplace like Boise might have been an easier first solo destination, but no…I choose New Orleans. And still, the dark or shadow doesn’t frighten me. I can and do feel the heaviness of that energy, but I’m also aware of the light.

Note to self: next time, pack some pants with pockets so I don’t have to hold credit card, license, and hotel key in my bra while out and about in the French Quarter.

I’ll write much more about the experience of the mastermind retreat that got me to NOLA in the first place – that deserves its own post. Not only can I travel well by myself, I can also choose to explore new areas on my own. Simply because I want to do so.

It’s been an intense week full of new insights and awareness, but it’s one I’m so very proud of myself for showing up and experiencing. I’ve happily returned home to my life here in Charlotte with new memories and connections, ones I never would have encountered without being willing to trust myself and honor my intuition. All of which is more magical than I have words to describe.

I’m definitely into the writing of my third book at this point, and the touchstone for it is a word that I wouldn’t have been willing to so fully embrace even a year ago: Passion. It seems travel and new experiences are a passion of mine that I’m willing to honor more deeply than ever before; whether with friends or by myself.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Traveling Alone to New Orleans”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression