From my first solo trip in 2017 until my most recent in 2020, I had taken 16+ trips by myself. Some of them were for a long weekend, others for a week or more. Many of them were while I lived in the Tampa, Florida area for two years and had quick access to a major airport.
One thing Teddy and I prioritize in our relationship is encourage the other to take at least one trip for themselves during the year. In 2021, I traveled to Palo Duro, Texas with a friend to hike and explore and had the most incredible time. Teddy went on a hunting trip to Kansas with friends that same year. In 2022 I planned a trip to Utah with a friend and Teddy visited family out in Washington State. While my trip to Utah ended up getting cancelled because of sickness, Teddy and I both prioritized making sure we had opportunities to make travel memories we could tell the other about when we got home.
At the end of 2022, Teddy and I started talking about me taking a solo trip again. I was feeling like I was getting close to empty mentally and I needed to refuel. For me, traveling through desserts or mountains refill me more than anything or anywhere else. I planned a trip to the Poconos for Teddy and I with the dogs over the winter to an Airbnb thinking this would help. While we had a great time, Rem’s first trip to an Airbnb, Bailey ripping her fabric crate so she could get out, and ice and snow made it more of an anxiety inducing trip than I had in mind. After we got home from that early January trip, we revisited the idea of me taking a trip solo somewhere in the US via plane. But I couldn’t decide on where. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on myself. I spent hours looking at options and just couldn’t make a decision. Teddy suggested camping locally in March. He’d take me to the campsite with our RV and then I could spend time there either solo, with the dogs, or with the whole fam. I decided that would be perfect since it wasn’t a huge time or money investment. So we did it. Again, I had a great time, but the cold rainy week just still wasn’t what the fuel I most needed.
I was still feeling like I was running on fumes and needed to really figure out what was going to help me outside of what I was already doing – getting outside, eating well, spending time with friends and family, exercising, resting and more.
So in April, we again visited the conversation about what may be the most helpful for me. I kept avoiding flying somewhere as we’d need to figure out a schedule for people to help take care of the dogs. I also didn’t want to spend much money. And honestly, I was nervous to travel by myself again. For the last two or so years I’d traveled with friends or Teddy. While I’d done it so many times before, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I had been so confident doing it in years past, but this fear was surfacing that I didn’t have what it takes.
But Teddy is truly the best partner for me reminded me that I had done it so many times before. That I would regret if I didn’t. And that he would make the sure the dogs were taken care of and that I didn’t have to worry about anything while I was gone. He looked up flights for me and suggested areas to visit based on what I like to do when I travel.
After our research, I decided to visit Arizona for a few days. While some areas may have some snow, overall it would be pretty warm during the day, there was great hiking, I could visit some new National Monuments and I could revisit some of my favorite spots including the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I also could visit a state park that had been on my list for so long.
So I booked it with just under two weeks until I’d go. I was nervous, but I was excited. This is what I needed. So off to Arizona I went, and Teddy drove me to the airport at 3 AM on a week day so I could begin my trip, with both some jitters and a lot of anticipation of what was to come.
I’ll be sharing my itinerary and some tips for solo travel over the next few weeks so stay tuned!