2019 was very interesting for me.  

I had finally recovered from injuries from a car accident.  My roommate and best friend had decided to settle down and buy a house. 

I wasn’t there yet.

I had some decisions to make about my future; which was hazy.  

The accident pushed me off a trajectory that I thought; was the key to happiness.

A door slammed shut.

This wasn’t ideal for me; as I am in my 40s.  My late 40s.  

Now it seemed, I must change the title of my story.

And I wondered why?

My mental state was in conflict about the niceness of the Universe we live in.

My confidence was shook.

Clarity seemed to be eluding me.

I ran to my older sister.

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My sister lives in France.  Nantes to be exact.  She has been living there for over 25 years.  

The supportive loving force that is my sister is the presence I craved as I navigated my way back to myself.

Wanting to align with me, I decided to travel alone to places where nobody knows me.  

That is why I got my feet wet with Italy, Greece, and Spain.

My intent is to see every country in this world.

This wasn’t the first time I traveled solo. I went to Nicaragua.  I got robbed and ran back to my mom’s house.  So, I don’t count that.  

That experience I think is why I played it safe by heading to countries very close to France and my sister.

The first habit I implement while solo traveling is to look for people like me. 

Perhaps another American if you are American.  Another woman solo traveler, etc.

Or it could just be something I was taught by my father.  I love to go hiking. In the woods.  Alone.  

He told me that “As I pass people on the path say hello to maybe one or two. Let them notice you.  It will come in handy if an emergency arises.”

Reminding me that when you are alone, you are in charge of your own safety.  

There is something so impowering about having to rely solely on yourself. 

Traveling solo gave me that power back.

It was up to me to get my overpacked, extra-large, suitcase up those escalator stairs in make a train.  Needless to say, I left the USA with suitcases (large and small) and a backpack.  I came back with a backpack and carryon.

You learn to understand what you want and what you actually need.

Confidence is found in that realization.

Being alone gives you time to see how strong you are. 

I went to places where I didn’t speak the language and took myself out on dates.

I fell in love with myself again.

I wasn’t lonely because I made friends. 

Strangers who gravitated to each other and had a great experience.

Traveling alone allowed me to see myself and understand that I am in fact in charge of my own experience.

And yes.

The Universe is kind. 

That experience really gave me reflection when the pandemic hit, and the lock down began. As luck would have it; I had just moved into an apartment (thankfully) near my best friend. 

I am aligned with myself and my needs.  

So, when I need some human interaction, I am fortunate enough to live in Wilton Manors, FL.  

A community that is full of great people who always wear a smile.

A friendly place where if you are walking down the street and there is a giant iguana up ahead someone coming from that way will give you the heads up.

I am blessed because that experience of finding and falling in love with myself made lockdown a lot lighter.

I understand that the most important relationship is with yourself.  

For what you subconsciously believe your life should look like; is what your life looks like.  

That is why each day when the light first hits my eyes, I close them.  

I go inside to listen and align.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” -Aristotle

Thank you for letting me share.

Be kind. Be well. Smile.