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One is not the Loneliest Number

Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement. - Alice Koller
Ask anyone who knows me well and they'll tell you I have no trouble being on my own; perhaps some may have even wondered if I was a loner at some stage. The truth is that as much as I enjoy people, I absolutely can’t do without time to myself to reflect and recharge on a regular basis.

In hindsight, I think that being raised as an only child has something to do with it. Not being in the constant company of children must have contributed to a sense of self-sufficiency, especially combined with not having TV as a babysitter. Whatever it was, I'm thankful for it.

It's not surprising that as an adult this sense of independence has carried through. To the wonder of some, I’ve travelled a lot on my own, and for extended periods.  Before embarking on these trips, especially in the early years of my travel adventures, some people not only could not relate, but were truly fearful for me.

“Who are you going with?”, they would ask.

“On my own”, I would reply.

“Really? Aren’t you afraid?” “Where are you staying?” “Do they speak English?” "What are you going to do?" “Have you been there before?” “Do you know anyone there?” ...........

For a long time I loved discovering new places on my own terms, at my own pace and in my own way.  Not ever did I feel lonely, as many of those who questioned me expected I would.  And today, though I prefer to share these adventures with those close to me, it does not change the comfort and peace I feel when I'm alone, be it across the globe or in my own backyard.

What about you? Tell me about how you enjoy your time alone. What does it mean to you?


  1. I think time alone in quiet refection is essential. I'm reminded of an amazing TED talk about the power of our introverted selves:

    1. What a wonderful talk. "Solitude is an essential ingredient in creativity." Brilliant. Could be the stuff of another blog post. Thanks for sharing.


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