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Often on my journey I have found myself confused. I want to express a feeling but I'm not entirely sure what it is. My dilemma comes from a trip I took last weekend that I wanted to make. No I needed to make! I am in my last few weeks of flying which though inevitable, is still another loss but that's how it goes. But it's so hot here in the center of the "Stinking Desert National Park", and I had to go somewhere cooler. I flew to Santa Barbara and a quick drive from there to a sleepy Scandinavian village of Solvang where Kathy and I would go every few years. I have been on many trips alone now but this was bound to have triggers galore. Of course where would that not happen? So I go anyway and why? Because I refuse to stop living and it honors her that I do. It's like I always say, why be miserable at home when you can be miserable on a trip? So I went and I found feelings new to me. I felt like a new man, not refreshed, not enlightened, but different. I was not the same man I was a month ago. I don't know how to express being someone you don't recognize. My outlook was changing. I was morphing again.

The area is major wine country and Kathy and I grew to love wine there. I made the rounds and brought back 20 bottles. I noticed but was not surprised that I was the only single person at every vineyard I went. It was either couples or groups of couples holding hands, sharing wine and cheese. It didn't upset me. Romantic was the mood and charm is the draw. They were in love. It's what they do. I've been one of those couples. I'm not part of that now. I don't wish to be part of that. I have no desire to be there again, holding hands and saying those words. I just can't love two women at the same time, but that's just me. What I did discover was that I didn't feel out of place. For the first time in years, I liked being who I was among people I didn't blend in with. I realized I was unique. Most people like me don't go to those places alone perhaps because it is too painful to try or they are too afraid to travel alone. I can understand that but I refuse to let it stop me. I know one day I will be too old to do it and I refuse to become an old man grumpy and muttering "I should have done it". Kathy would never have stood for that. I'm going to Maui next month for my anniversary. I'll make it through that one too and it gets better every time I do it.

So if you've read this far, take a moment to think about what I've said. I hope you can express here what you would like to do. If it seems too difficult or scary, grab my hand and I'll help you up. If you've already done some traveling as I know many of you have, share it here and give courage to those who have yet to take that first step.



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Thank you for that Stephen.

I have come to love the solitude of traveling alone. I have the opportunity to focus all my attention on the where-ness of this moment, and to savor being alone in the desert, or alone at a winery, or alone at a gallery, or even the symphony. Sometimes, the triggers are strong, but now I accept those triggers as a part of who I am right now, and I hold them a moment, then send them on their way. If tears come, I cry. If I am delighted, I smile or laugh. Being alone, it is easier to take the time and patience to really look within for answers, rather than immediately sharing with another. It is a different and healing experience, as the "becoming me" sifts through bits of the "old me," sorting and letting go, picking up and cherishing, and maybe letting go, or maybe finding the place this piece of my puzzle fits with the me I now am becoming.

I have solo camping trips planned. More of them. I am feeling a new strength in my center, as I open to possibilities and begin to welcome the flow of life back into my being. I have just cleared so much "stuff" —and I could end the project with remembering Doug's smile and laugh. There are more adventures before me, and I want to be swept up by life again as much as I can for as long as I can. I am getting my Honda ready to drive the AlCan again, because I love that drive and have friends and art colleagues to visit along the way.

I am going back to being an adventuring artist. There are doors to new, wonderful adventures opening before me, and pretty soon, when I have finished this part of the journey, I will choose one of those adventures and follow the Path where I am Led. :) I am simply staying open to as much as I can, smiling a lot at the wonderfulness of the serendipity of it all. The synchronicity of it all. Life is becoming an adventure again, and I hear that message in what you are writing as well. I imagine many here can talk about their returning sense of life. I'd love to hear more stories as well.

This is it. This is life. I hope others will post how they are returning to the flow of life. It happens in tiny baby steps, and sometimes, as we think we have tenderly and gently dropped one little toe into the water, a wave of Loving Creativity from the Mind of G*d sweeps over us, carrying us to places we have never before imagined.

So, how is the solo life going out there for our Tribe? I think a lot of us are doing better than we had thought we could. And Stephen, if I get cold feet, I'll be taking you up on that offer of a hand to grab. Thank you.

I hope there is a sense of how much I feel life beginning to flow around me, how fascinating life can be, and how wonderful it is to have even terribly hot days, friends who come to visit, birds at the pond, and this wonderful Tribe. Because you all "get it." :)



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Hello group. I've been away from this site, traveling some, hard at work in my profession and adjustments to single life. I'm coming up on 2 years since my husband died. Well said, Fae....the "becoming me" sifts through bits of the "old me."

I too find solace in traveling. There are a few triggers, yet I feel the insight and confidence I gain outweigh the brief sadness. I went to Hawaii alone last year, re-visited where we used to live, saw old friends...some tears, many lovely memories. I visited family on the other coast during the winter holidays. I hike and kayak alone near home after letting someone know where/when I'm going. I have a week off work soon and I haven't figured out where I'll go or what I'll do yet. The "becoming me" is more spontaneous than the "old me".

I recently attended a 3 day contra dance workshop...braving forward. I didn't expect to feel the joy but also sadness of swinging in a man's arms around the dance floor....actually many different men, because in contra, you change partners often!

We who live with deep loss hear the suggestion to treat ourselves with the same loving kindness we shared with our loved one. That's what I try to do. When I love myself, I'm hopeful that the rest will figure itself out.


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I have no problems going places alone, the only thing that stops me from travel is money and needing to care for my pets. I didn't feel that way in the beginning though, I couldn't even go get groceries because it triggered me (George & I always got them together). I will be going on a retreat in early November, I look forward to it.

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I took my first solo trip driving from Fort Lauderdale to Sarasota (not far about 3.5 hours) last weekend; but at one point I had a panic attack and had to pull off of the road. I drove down a little road in the middle of the Everglades and let my head clear and my heart stop racing before I got back on the road and finished my trip. I drove home without incident. I also called EAP this week and I meet with the counselor next Wed.

Next month I fly home to Indiana, then to Vegas with my sister for a dental convention :-), then the following week to Austin to see a medium and take a workshop (meditation techniques and such ... which works for me since my woo-woo woman has come out of hiding).

I will tell you that the first time I went to the beach after Ric died all I could see were the couples and families. I really felt my loss that day. But now I notice the silly (and sometimes nasty) things that people are doing on the beach and I think (don't you realize that people can see you doing that?). Or that those photos are going to land on the internet ....

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  • 1 month later...

I'm on another trip. This one is for what will be my 17th anniversary though the last four years have been a lot more lonely than before. I made a promise to Kathy that I would return to her favorite place so I'm sitting here on Maui, one of her most favorite places on earth. It took a while to make good on that promise as I was taking care of my step mom till last January. Yet here I am "Braving Forward" as I say. But this one I wasn't so sure of. Those land minds I've mentioned, ....for me, Kathy and I laid a boat load here. I've been stepping on them ever since I got on the plane.  For one, the plane is full of couples. It's what they do when they are in love and traveling together to paradise. You speak to people who query if you are traveling for business and you make the small talk avoiding the truth cause why share it. I even had a thought of avoiding bringing a sadness to their happy trip. Even if I say I'm happy cause I still enjoy celebrating it, you have to mention the "W" word and then try to bring them up to speed so you don't leave them bummed out.  Better to say I'm traveling on business, thinking about buying the island. 

Then you get here, you check in, you work your way to the room dodging couples walking hand in hand, and when you get to the room, drop your bags, look out at the ocean, and ask yourself with all the emotion you kept inside for the last several hours, "What the hell am I doing?"

Then you remember the promise. You remember what happens on Tuesday when you celebrate the day she chose to spend the rest of her life with you, and you know? It goes away. This feeling I can't even describe takes over and I am simply put, still so very much in love. Crazy as it sounds, I hate who I am yet love who I am. I wouldn't have it any other way. I honor her doing things. I'm going out sailing tomorrow on a cocktail cruise which is so unlike me. It just hit me walking down the sidewalk. I think she put the bloody idea in my head because she was always so spontaneous. 

So what it all means is doing things without letting the fear stop you. It's hard for certain, damn hard, but the reward is you know in the deepest place in your heart, she's smiling.    And that, brings a smile from me.

By the way, the picture you see on my profile was taken right here on the road to Hanna six years ago, just fourteen months before she left.

Edited by KATPILOT
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My trip myself to FL was emotional, thought provoking, bittersweet as it is a place my Mary and I used to enjoy so much together and with our son and grandsons.  

Enjoy your time Stephen and your memories together in your heart.  

Thinking of you.  



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I hope you will post a picture for us to see...I will probably never get to Maui...(or Florida either).

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