“Oh, you’re not really from DC.” I was sitting at the dinner table at my Lisbon hostel, chatting with a group of my fellow travelers. She was another student, from California but in Copenhagen for the spring. “You just go to school there.”
She had a certain point—and to be honest, I mostly said I was from DC because it was easier than explaining to Europeans where Oregon was—but at the same time I was a little bothered by the assertion. The man to my right had introduced himself as Matt from Brooklyn, but he had only moved to New York about six months prior. I had been in DC for nearly four times that long, even considering the few weeks each year when I left to make the trek back west and the months I’d been in France. At what point did DC start being home? Continue reading →
Whenever I tell someone my travel plans, the next question out of their mouth is almost always some variation of “Who are you going with?” And more than once, my response–“I’m going alone”–has been met with “Wow, that’s brave.” As if the idea of travelling a foreign country on my own for a week is so drastically removed from the idea of living in one for a year. I don’t mind the question, really; it’s the reaction that has always seemed odd to me.
The truth is, I like travelling alone. My travel style tends to involve a lot of aimless wandering and taking photos, and often without regard to the weather. I don’t have to worry that my companion is getting bored or tired or hungry. I can spend my time as I please: if I want to go out, I can go out, and if I want to go to bed early, I can do that too; I don’t have to worry that something I want to do is too expensive for the other person or that I can’t afford something they want to do. And really, one of the best things about travelling is having time to myself to breathe and think. (Plus, quite honestly, there are fairly few people with whom I want to spend ten straight days.) Continue reading →