Traveling solo can be a truly empowering experience. It allows us the freedom to do literally whatever we want to do with no one to answer to, appease or entertain. It also forces us to find our independence; you and only you are in control of the accommodations, transportation, etc. Don’t like it? No one to blame but yourself. It provides lot of time for reflection, to be alone (if you so choose) or to step out and meet new people and try new things. I kind of love being in a place where no one knows me, my story or anything about me. It’s like a brand new beginning, a clean slate and a chance to be truly you without any judgments or predisposed ideas of who you should be.
My last trip to San Diego wasn’t intended to be a solo one, but that’s how it ended up and I wasn’t going to let the loss of a partner stop me from enjoying a few days on the West Coast. While it took a bit of adjustment, I made the most the most of it and in all honesty, I had a blast! I met some amazing friends and had plenty of adventures all by myself.
I flew out to S.D. after work on a Wednesday. The time change can be a tricky since I’m usually in bed by 9pm and the 3 hour difference put me in California around 9pm their time; midnight my time. which meant a bit of sleep deprivation. This was just a tiny complication, but nothing I couldn’t handle and perhaps the beer and cheese danish helped just a little bit. What? Traveling alone means I can eat whatever I want for dinner!
I flew out to S.D. after work on a Wednesday. The time change can be a tricky since I’m usually in bed by 9pm and the 3 hour difference put me in California around midnight my time which meant a bit of sleep deprivation. This was a tiny complication, but nothing I couldn’t handle and perhaps the beer and cheese danish helped just a little bit.
What? Traveling alone means I can eat whatever I want for dinner! Argue with me. I dare you.
The first real challenge of this trip was getting an Uber from the San Diego airport. If you have never attempted such a thing, I don’t recommend it. They have to pick you up from designated areas called islands. Finding these island will be your first challenge. Then you have to wait in line with a whole bunch of other frustrated travelers while the island security guards yell at everyone to move over, pull up, wait your turn! It’s chaos and after a long day of traveling, it’s almost painful. I actually went through two drivers before I finally connected with one and there were several other frustrated travelers right there with me. Be prepared for a bit of aggravation and plan for extra time if you have to go this route.
The next challenge was the accommodation and on this trip, I encountered something that I had never dealt with previously; The Air B’n’B Switcheroo. This situation occurs when you book a room based on the photos and the ad and when you arrive, are given a completely different room. So I stood there, staring at the tiny bunk bed, covered in stuffed animals, surrounded by unicorn and cat art wondering “Did I book this room on purpose? Did I know it looked like this?” And since it was around 2am my time and I was completely exausted, I thanked the host and shimmied into my tiny bed and passed the F out. But let me tell you, I did check the ad the next morning and I most definitely did NOT book that room. She got me good
Then there was also a daily challenge: The room that I booked was literally on top of a huge hill. A mountain sized hill. At least the ad got that part right… And since Uber can add up quickly, I decided to set out by foot on my daily adventures and save the ride shares for special journeys only. Leg day, every damn day. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Okay, not really, but close enough….
While I wasn’t in the beautiful beachy part of San Diego, I was in a pretty busy area that had plenty of food options within walking distance (including In’N’Out Burger aka the obligatory West Coast meal) and in typical San Diego form, breweries all around!
I spent much of that trip writing. I wrote in restaurants, I wrote at Ever Bowl (please do yourself a favor next time you’re in San Diego and enjoy on of these bowls of magic and deliciousness) I wrote in bars and in breweries, I wrote in my tiny little bunk bed. It was a treat that I am rarely awarded; having so much time to be quiet and in my head and in my own thoughts. I actually started this blog on the trip!
My favorite spot to spend an afternoon or evening or night was hands down, Newtopia Cyder, a local cider brewery in the heart of San Diego. I love the vibe. I love the drinks. I love the bartenders who kept me company day and night and I love the patrons who quickly became my new friends. The ciders are refreshing and range from sweet to bitter to dry and the bartenders are more than happy to mix and match the flavors to serve you a unique concoction. If you can’t decide, grab a flight. Or two. There’s a cute patio to enjoy the always perfect San Diego weather, board games (if you’re into such things) and as an added bonus- most weekends, there is a food truck parked outside serving up fresh, hot foods for you to enjoy with your cider. AND the ciders are so pretty. Really, what more could you want? When you stop in, make sure you tell them I sent you. It won’t really change anything for you except that it will kind of be like I’m there in spirit…
Try your luck with Air B’n’B Here: I travel with them ALL the time and while this switcheroo was a bit annoying, I still got a great deal on my accommodations and my host was more than kind, even offering rides up and down the hill. Seriously, try it out.