January 3, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Going Solo

There's something to be said about traveling solo—but not much. I lost my road buddy early on in this trip, he deciding to stay behind in Bisbee, Arizona, to see in the New Year with his artist friends. I was certainly welcome to stay, and any other time I would have. Bisbee is a unique little gem of a Southwestern town, and his friends were interesting people. But my other road companion, a nasty cough (the remnant of my Christmas flu), had worsened into bronchitis, so I knew I would not be up to any celebrating on New Year's Eve. Thus, I bowed out gracefully and continued on the road alone. Even now, the antibiotics are only just starting to kick in, so I'm glad I made the decision to move on by myself.

Going it solo does have certain advantages. You can go at your own pace, stop when and where you want to stop, see what you want to see. You have a great degree of freedom traveling solo. But otherwise, I am hard-pressed to come up with any other benefits. At the risk of stating the obvious, it can also be quite lonely. I am the kind of person who doesn't mind being alone, but it's getting to be a bit much even for me. Dinners can also be awkward. I've stuck mostly to diners like Denny's, but last night I treated myself to an authentic Southwestern dinner in a quaint restaurant in downtown Santa Fe. Sitting alone at a table in a popular restaurant, I definitely felt like a sore thumb.

Despite it all, however—poor health, occasional loneliness—I am enjoying myself. I'm seeing some amazing sights, things I've long wanted to see. Tombstone, Carlsbad Caverns, Indian cliff dwellings, White Sands, and today: the Very Large Array (the large dish antennas seen in the movie "Contact"). I will be happy to be back home, back amongst friends, but for now, I've still got lots to see.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here (though some days' writings might be posted late, if I am out of town—such as right now). It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
Send a Comment


1/2: New Year, Old Cave
1/1: All Things End