• Be like ET: phone home. Sometimes you just need to hear a friendly voice.
  • Or do the modern equivalent: catch up with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. (Ha! Like you're not doing that already.)
  • Go on a tour—you'll be with people who are interested in the same things you are. If all else fails, you can chat with the tour guide. They're usually a great source of information about local restaurants, shopping, etc., too.
  • Take a class—I have my eye on a baking course at the Culinary Institute of America, but you can find short-term classes in a wide range of subjects. You'll meet people and pick up a new skill at the same time.
  • At a restaurant, eat at the bar and talk to the guy or gal behind the counter. (Be careful about hanging out at bars alone, though—it's a good place to be marked as a victim by a would-be baddie.)
  • Some restaurants have communal tables where they seat people together. I was offered this option on a trip to Santa Fe and turned it down—a decision I really regretted when I bit into the most amazing sandwich ever. (I desperately needed to gush about how fabulous it was and there was no one to tell. I'm drooling just thinking about it. It was this chicken breast on cornbread with incredible ... oh never mind.)
  • Consider staying at a B&B rather than an impersonal hotel. I'd probably avoid the ones that advertise their romantic atmosphere, though. Being surrounded by couples all wrapped up in each other can be really uncomfortable.

You'll Never Walk Alone

Truthfully, there's no such thing as traveling solo—because no matter where you go, God is there. As Psalms 139:9-10 reminds us, "If I rise with the sun in the east and settle in the west beyond the sea, even there you [God] would guide me." Maybe you and God should go on a little getaway—just the two of you. It might just be your best vacation ever.

Susan Ellingburg is a natural-born Texan who sings at every opportunity, reads as much as possible, and cherishes every day she gets to spend with friends.  She's a serious foodie and not-so-serious gardener who is determined not to let being single stand in the way of living an amazing life.  Read Susan's blog at TastingGod.wordpress.com.

**This column first published on June 10, 2010.


Resources for the Single Traveler:

A quick search in your favorite search engine for "solo travel" will find a plethora of potential sites. The following are a few Web sites I found particularly interesting and helpful:

  • www.Journeywoman.com - fantastic tips on everything from what to wear in Indonesia to how to safely navigate any city's subway. Includes an entire section on traveling solo. Caters to the female traveler, but men can pick up tips here, too.
  • www.independenttraveler.com - an excellent assortment of information and links; allow plenty of time to peruse the options.
  • www.ricksteves.com - more general tips on traveling; search for "solo travel" on this site for encouraging words from successful single travelers.

Do you travel solo? We'd love to read about your experience! Please share your story in the comments section below.