Opposing Independence

I went to Alaska for a long weekend to hit my 50th state before I turn 30 in a few weeks. I came out of the experience with a much different perspective than I thought I would. I’m a super independent girl. I like to manage my own schedule, I like to make the plans, I like fluidity, I like wandering around exploring things on my own.

I came to a new conclusion here, one I didn’t expect: sometimes experiences are best when they are shared with others. I felt kind of sad to be here alone. Yesterday was the boring-est day ever. I just walked around Anchorage and went to gift shops and galleries and ate. It all would have been so much more fun with another person. Trying on fur hats, playing with antlers, sharing meals. That’s what life is about. And today, I went whale-watching and it was fun and cool, but I just wanted to text people the whole time and send them pictures so they could experience it, too. It was cool, but would have been a hundred times better with a companion.

There’s a time and place for independence, but, I’m starting to learn companionship may be the opposite of independence rather than dependence, as I once thought.

I wasn’t entirely alone here. I did meet some people along the way and was able to share meals and conversations and experiences with them, and that was really nice. I hope to keep in touch with some of them. And, I think my alone-ness opened me up to meeting these new people, which is great. But, the time alone doing really neat things with strangers wouldn’t have been the same as being here with someone I really care about doing really neat things with them. How many great conversations about “that time we saw a whale in Alaska” or “that amazing root beer float we shared” will never happen? It’s something I never really considered until this trip, and I’m glad I did. It’s a perspective that will change my future decisions about experiences and how I decide to experience them.

What about you? Do you prefer solo experiences? Do you prefer traveling with a companion? What things are missed in either situation?

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