Let’s Get Real. My Life Is Not Perfect.

That's Me, Solo Travel Girl, Ready to Take On the World!

“You’re always positive,” people tell m in reference to my social media posts.

“When I grow up, I want to be you,” others have said.

“I love your confidence,” is something else I hear.

“You’re so lucky,” is something I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

I appreciate the compliments and happy I’m inspiring others but let’s get real. My life is not perfect and neither is that of anyone else.

That's Me, Solo Travel Girl, Ready to Take On the World!
That’s Me, Solo Travel Girl, Ready to Take On the World!

I’m not the first to say it, but social media is a venue for showing off the best of you. I’m one of those narcissistic people who posts multiple selfies a week and believe me, it doesn’t take one snap for the perfect photo but multiple ones that end up in the recycling bin. Sharing a selfie is a way of:

  • Snapping a photo when I don’t have anyone else to do it;
  • Bragging when I’m doing something or received something cool;
  • Saying, “Hey, look at me. I’m looking and feeling good right now.”

A few years ago I decided to post as much positivity as possible. By nature, I’m a positive person but do have my down moments and struggles. In 2009 I remember posting on Twitter how I was dumped by a guy via text and a couple of months later, I met people who followed me on Twitter who asked me about that. It was then I realized people are watching my life, or at least, what I post and are making judgments about me based on what’s posted.

If you’re envious of what people based on what they post on social media, stop it right now. It’s not reality and remember everyone is going through something good and bad.

My Current Struggle: It’s a First World Problem
This morning, I was on the verge of tears thinking about my upcoming trip to Portugal. Okay, if you don’t follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you’re probably not aware of my upcoming trip with Viking River Cruises down (or is it up?) the Douro River. It just wasn’t the stress of thinking about what needs to be done before then – in the office, for my blog and at home – it’s the reality I’m traveling alone.

Yeah, yeah. First World Problem. I’m being flown to Portugal and taking part in a 10-day cruise by myself. Pretty sweet gig.

“You’ll meet lots of new people,” I’ve been told.

Of course that’s nice but so is sharing the experience with someone you already have a connection with. This is also my first cruise which adds to my anxiety of navigating this alone. I have a perception that cruises are for couples and families (darn you, The Love Boat!). I’ve been the third and fifth wheels during outings with friends so being a 189th wheel shouldn’t be any different.

Yes, I know that’s the point of this blog, to empower and inspire others to travel alone, not lonely, but let’s get real, being the single gal does have its lonely days. And honestly, traveling alone sucks sometimes, specifically for me it can be mentally exhausting.

Despite solo travel sometimes making me feel uncomfortable, I’ll never give it up. Travel is my escapism and way to enjoy life.

“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” - Carrie Bradshaw
“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” – Carrie Bradshaw

I keep circling back as to why I’m single and what bruises my ego is thinking back to a year ago I didn’t think I would still be single by the time summer rolled around. Heck, I didn’t think I’d be when the New Year rang in but here I am, writing up another blog post while sitting on my couch flanked by my two cats, sipping a glass of wine watching Sharknado 3, Oh Hell No. Alone.

The simple answer is I’m a workaholic, working 50+ hours a week for my day job and 40+ for my online presence. I work hard and play harder. Maybe I’m taking life too seriously but it’s difficult being single and getting by day-by-day. I’m so afraid of failing in life and know I only have myself to rely on. Ironically, every guy I’ve had a long-term relationship with (I count on one hand) I met through work.

I’m responsible for my success as much as I’m responsible for my failures and that scares the bejeezus out of me.

I rarely make room for new people in my life because I have trust issues. I’ve been burned by too many others. I’ve been trying to shed those people who drain me, the ones who take, take, take. When I do let people in, it should be viewed as a compliment and I don’t mean that in a conceited way. I’m extremely humble but know I bring a lot to the table, so to say, and for me wanting to spend time with someone is a big commitment on my part. Plus, dating a travel blogger has some benefits.

I wonder if being too independent, and running a blog celebrating solo travel, is a turn off for guys. Anyone want to chime in?

And, I have to wonder  how true this line from “Sex in the City” is,

Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them. – Carrie Bradshaw

Now, don’t go telling me to sign up for an online dating site. I tried eHarmony about 8 years ago and my closest match was in Texas. That was another bruise to my ego because I felt the system was telling me I’m so dysfunctional that my closest match is across the country. In short, I’ve tried others but couldn’t get beyond the meat-market atmosphere. Truthfully, I don’t have time or energy for the online dating nonsense. Call me old fashioned.

Don’t Laugh
For the right person, I’m ready to slow down and re-evaluate the direction I want to take my life. My wounds have healed and once again I’m ready to take on the world as part of a kick ass team with a common goal of enjoying and appreciating life.

Several months ago I did two things.
1. I wrote out one of those silly vision boards with what I’m looking for in life.
2. A month later I began my Grandma B Memories Project #GBMProject and began praying again after years of being angry at God.

Guess what? Things have gotten better in my life, or at least, I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I have before. Praying has given me a connection to my grandparents and specifically my Grandma B., since we were close, which has led to a better sense of peace. Maybe yoga would have the same impact as praying, but for me, it’s working.

As for the vision board, I did it with the attitude of, “What do I have to lose?” There are a lot of other less-productive ways I could have spent those 10 minutes using colorful crayons to write out what I want in life. Ironically, the world has presented me with opportunities parallel to what I’m seeking in life and I’ll just leave it at that.

Despite the things making me unhappy with where my life is now, in general, life is good. I mean, I’m heading to Portugal on a cruise next week where I’ll visit a new country, tour wineries, dine in a monastery and meet new people. How could life be any better?

As always, thanks for being here.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

Temple of Serapis located on the coast of Gulf of Pozzuoli. Image credit: Joseph Walker.
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