“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
I decided to do something spontaneous and extravagant. I went on a solo romantic road trip to Point Reyes, in Northern California.
I rented a convertible and drove up Highway 1, the coastal route that hugs the winding cliff roads high above the Pacific Ocean. The chill of Fall had already come, but I didn’t care and drove with the top down. I wrapped myself in scarves, let the wind hit my face and played the music loud. I felt I was escaping and that somehow I was not allowed to feel this kind of joy.
The quarantine had done something to my spirit, had made my world smaller and smaller, had forced the illusion on me that there was no future and therefore nothing to plan for, nothing to get excited about, lest they change the rules again and I get let down.
But in that moment, for the first time in months, I realized something. I am free. I felt like I was embarking on a great adventure of discovery.
I spent a few days meandering through silent forests, walking on deserted footpaths to the sea, watching low fog banks roll across tiny country roads.
I had conversations with strangers outside the local grocery store and just spent a lot of time staring into space. I returned home much more revived than if I had traveled with a companion. I used to dread traveling on my own, afraid of boredom and too self conscious to eat alone in restaurants.
In my 20’s I read Rilke’s “Letters To A Young Poet” and aspired to be the kind of person who could explore “vast inner solitude,” but I often became anxious if I was left alone with my own thoughts for too long.
After many flower remedies and travels by myself, I now understand what Rilke was talking about. Solitude is not loneliness. In solitude one can find romance, adventure and the revelations that can only come in silence.
My playlist for a solo travel.
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