Safe Solo Road Travel: Epiphany in a Rest Area

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Me in California During San Francisco to Seattle Road Trip, May 2007

California Stop During San Francisco to Seattle Road Trip, May 2007

During my day-to-day life I meet both female solo travelers and wannabe travelers afraid to take the step on a solo vacation. Energy and enthusiasm from solo travelers continues to feed my interest in travel and adventure.

Why do I prefer traveling alone? Two reasons, empowerment and flexibility of enjoying what I want to do and when I want to do it. Why don’t some other women take the leap in traveling alone? I’m not sure but I imagine it’s for a variety of reasons with the biggest being fear.

For me, I travel for adventure, to learn and I don’t want to miss out on life. My ex-husband passed away unexpectedly too young (43-years-old) and although I was driven to travel and explore before his death, since his passing I try to embrace every minute of life. Although I’m on a quest for bragging rights, I exercise caution when traveling alone, thanks to a stop in a Texas rest area.

Epiphany in a Texas Rest Area
Stopping at a remote rest area somewhere in Texas one night was a turning point in my solo journeys. The only people at this rest stop were a male truck driver and me. It was then I realized something could happen to me and no one would know. I did not have an itinerary, other than driving from Florida to Wyoming, and did not check in with anyone telling them where I was.

Thankfully, nothing bad happened but from that point about 15 years ago (when I was 25), I’ve paid extra attention to my surroundings, stop at populated rest areas, provide an itinerary with a family member or friend, and thanks to technology, can text, call someone or post to Twitter and FourSquare my stops. I also have OnStar navigation and emergency assistance in my vehicle which is useful for road trips but also carry my Garmin nuvi GPS and often use Google Maps on my iPhone. Okay, it’s a little excessive but since I have the items, I may as well use ’em.

Travel should be fun and having to deal with a safety mistake that could have been prevented isn’t fun. I always trust my instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, I leave.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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