I Travel Solo for the Company

by Janice Waugh /
Janice Waugh's picture
Jul 22, 2010 / 0 comments

Two women on a train.I travel
solo because of people like Skip, Jeanette and Laurie. Because of
Jim. And because of Brad. I travel
solo for the company I find along the way.

Jeanette on trainLunch on the Cape Cod I met Jim at the beach.Central Railroad
First on my agenda for day 2 in the Cape was a scenic ride on the Cape Cod Central
. As a single, they were trying to figure out whether space
allowed them to give me a single table. I fixed that quickly. I wanted
to meet people and I couldn’t have met three more interesting, dynamic,
opinionated women than Skip, Jeanette and Laurie from Martha’s Vineyard.

The energy of each of these women was unique and electrifying. Skip
was larger than life. Caution had long been thrown to the wind — she
lives life on her terms. When I asked her what Martha’s Vineyard is
like, to the horror of Jeanette she said “we all drink and fornicate”.
She was teasing of course and quickly elaborated.

Jeanette, though much quieter, is in some ways more adventurous. She
has been traveling on her own (and with groups) since her husband passed
away in the 90s. Of her upcoming trip to Spain she declared, “I’m
looking forward to the tappas bars.” That’s where the free food is.

Laurie, who was the coordinator of this group of 27 women from the
Edgartown Council on Aging has a calm strength. One of her ambitions is
to ride a bike across America. Her enthusiasm for her work is obvious.

The four of us talked and laughed. We had the loudest table in the
car I’m sure. Oh, and we did have time to look at the scenery, listen to
the commentary and enjoy the fabulous food. It’s one thing for me to
like the chowder but for the women from Martha’s Vineyard to say that it
was a really good says something. The train ride is well worthwhile.
Make sure you ask to be seated with others.

Are you a local?
From the train station in Hyannis I went to the north side of the Cape
to Dennis.

Driving along route 6A near Brewster, I took a random left and found a
beach on my first attempt. I wandered a bit then went up to Jim and
asked if he was a local.

This, I find, is the best opening line. If you want to speak with
anyone just ask this question. If the answer is yes, you’ll get insider
information on the place. If no, you ask where they’re from. It
doesn’t matter which direction things take, a conversation usually

This is how I ended up at the fabulous Ocean Edge Resort having a
drink with Jim.

His answer was no. He’s from West Massachusetts and was on the Cape
to paint a person’s house. It wasn’t long before he was telling me about
a few highlights including the Ocean Edge Resort which was, at one
time, the Nickerson Estate. It’s a luxury location with “million dollar
view” as Jim said. We had margaritas on the terrace, chatted about life
on a large scale and then parted.

After drinks and before going to the Cape Playhouse that evening, I did a
little antiquing. There are many shops and galleries along this section
of 6A. At one of them I met Brad.  We spoke a bit about his store and
the history of it and I soon learned that he is a recent widower. With a
shared understanding of loss, we sat and chatted for a while.

I don’t meet people at this pace every day that I travel solo but it
happens often enough to be able to say that I travel solo for the

Read more about how and where to travel alone as well as solo travel safety at Solo Traveler.