is solo travel. There is no other sense of autonomy and ecstasy consisting of the same qualia (yes, Nagel reference for you philosophy nerds). I’m reminded of places I’ve ventured, accompanied only by a handy guidebook and gusto for the unfamiliar, and returning with new faces now referred to as friends, and moments both experiential and transcendental:
Mendoza, Argentina 2008 – spending Thanksgiving with most generous strangers-turned-adoptive-parents-for-the-evening, tasting glassfuls of reserve red wines; sipping mate out with Tomas and Chechu after a cold, rainy day of horseback riding in Potrerillos.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica 2009 – sipping warm white wine that had been left to bask in the sun a la playa, turquoise blue waters, audacious hitchhiking (pura vida, baby) with fellow solo travelers Ashbjorn, a young mellow Dane, and Steve, a grumpy boy from Bristol.
Huacachina, Peru 2009 – pisco sours a plenty, salsa dancing, and fooseball at a local nightclub with a very tall Dutchman from Rotterdam and a couple of quirky Quebecois.
Caye Caulker, Belize 2010 – apres-scuba beers with a most lovely couple (and fellow New Yorkers!) Ben and Jayne to soothe the Belize Barrier Reef sunburn.
Mazatlan, Mexico 2011 – surfing beautiful blue breaks, endless sunshine, infinite horizon, fresh margaritas, and the most fascinating Arkansan you’ll ever meet.