Friday, December 30, 2011

Go alone?

I was out with a group of ladies last night for dear friend D's "21st" (again) birthday. At the second place we went to, a restaurant, the server asked to see everyone's IDs. Pause. I looked at him, with a look that I thought would simply convey that I was more than twice that age, and he said something like, "Whoa! No, you're OK. I don't need to see yours!" As though I shot him a withering look. He was trying to save time by just asking for everyone's ID, I guess.

Anyway, I was with a bunch of teachers, who, not surprisingly, like to travel in their off time. I asked them this question. "If you had the resources, but no one to travel with, would you still go abroad alone?" The overwhelming answer was "Of course!" and I thought that was interesting. I don't know where all of them are in terms of relationship status, but a couple are married, and one has a boyfriend.

My answer would have been "maybe". I'm still at a point where I don't want to do that kind of thing by myself. I spend enough time by myself. But it got me thinking that there very well could come a time when the desire (and resources) are such that the desire to do it will override my hesitation to do it alone, and I will make a trip by myself. Something on the level of going to Europe for a couple of weeks.

But yesterday I did do something that tells me I'm not totally chicken when it comes to travel. I'm going to San Francisco to give a talk at our collaborators' state mosquito conference. I don't have to be anywhere until Monday evening, so at first I picked flights that would get me there at 1 pm. Then I thought about how I was able to easily take the train from JFK airport to where I needed to go in NY, and thought there must be somewhere interesting to go that's accessible by public transportation.

Sure enough, the California Academy of Sciences is an easy train and bus ride from the airport. The hotel is really close to the airport, so I'll ditch my luggage at the hotel if I can't check into my room right away, and then hop a train down to Golden Gate Park, which houses the Conservatory of Flowers. I visited a friend in SF years ago and went to these sites. At the time (October?) they had one of the most - no, it was THE most - spectacular displays of Dahlias I have ever seen. It motivated me to grow them myself.

So I changed my flight choice to arriving at 10 am. I'll then have several hours to explore before meeting up with our collaborators for dinner. See? A wee bit adventurous after all.

Now, I've got my fingers crossed that the new lab stuff I'm trying on their project works out well so I've got good results to show at the end of January.


  1. Well, you seem very competent in your professional and personal life, so why not do some traveling on your own? At least to determine if you like it or not. Short treks first maybe? Like three days? Personally, I think I'd want to share something like a two-week trip to Europe with someone else. But who knows? I've never tried a solo trip!

  2. I have this tremendous desire to visit Australia, rent a camper/van and drive the loop highway! I will definitely do this alone if need be, but would probably enjoy it more with a compatible companion or two. I've traveled a fair amount alone and enjoy it, but like life in general, it's that much more fun with people you love!


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.