Traveling alone to an unfamiliar city seems like an unlikely feat for someone like me -- that is, someone with an anxiety disorder. In my everyday life, the unknown is terrifying. I take three different medications to keep my brain chemicals balanced and nervous breakdowns at bay. Yet somehow the idea of exploring a new place, by myself, is absolutely exhilarating. It gets my brain racing, but in the good way -- not with irrational thoughts or mortal dread.
Whether you suffer from anxiety or not, the general consensus seems to be that going on a vacation sans travel companion automatically makes you a weird, friendless loser. Over and over I get comments like, "You're going to Miami alone?!" or "Aren't you scared?" and "I could NEVER do that!" For the first time in my life, I love doing something that other people find nerve-racking and off-limits. People tell me I'm brave; never in a million years did I think I'd be associated with that word. Truth is, traveling by yourself doesn't have to feel intimidating or lame; I attest that it can actually be really fucking fun, healthy, and rewarding in a million lovely, unexpected ways.