Traveling alone gives plenty of opportunity for insights of various sorts. As I was driving home tonight from 4 1/2 days on the road alone – 1434.3 miles for those of you counting – I was thinking about this. The conclusion I came to is that the reason traveling alone brings insight is that you have to be alone with yourself.
It’s something most of us are loathe to do, and when you’re alone in the car – and if like this trip, not even in radio range large parts of the time – you have no choice but to be alone with who you are. It’s intoxicating and terrifying.
Generally I think I’m pretty good about being with myself, even at home. But it’s different to be zipping down an unfamiliar highway or settled into a camp ground for the night and realize just how alone you are. In many places I had no radio and no cell phone signal. It was just me, my thoughts and my writing.