Exploring Central California and the Northern Coast – solo!

To all my wanderlust travelers, which of you has actually traveled solo and loved it?

I went through a season in a consulting job where we flew into different cities 2-3 times per week, mostly alone.  I was living in LA at the time so there was always plenty to do while I was home but we had clients nationwide. I could be in Denver on Monday, San Francisco on Tuesday and make it to some small town outside of Salt Lake City, then home by Friday. I absolutely loved the adventure in it (not to mention that the company was incredible)!

Here are some of the places I’ve been able to explore and would highly recommend you do too!

Sequoia National Park

There were a few times I was lucky enough to have a client on the West Coast that I could drive to. Like the time I ventured thru The Sequoias a day before a client training in Fresno. That place is magical! There are few things more breathtaking to me than nature. I’ve learned that it’s actually how I meet some of my needs. Tony Robbins has a great TED Talk and numerous podcast sessions on what that means but, for now, just know I actually crave and need to connect in nature and this was just the place to do it!

Driving up the winding mountain side was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Deer were crossing everywhere. I live in the south now so that isn’t exactly abnormal but it was just different. I felt like I was in a real life scene of Bambi.

I wish I could find more pictures from that trip but the trees were ginormous. The one pictured here shows me next to the trunk of one. I was literally the size of the bark. It was wild! There was one that was so large you could actually drive through the trunk of it!

Another time, I had a client in Monterey and took the weekend to venture around. Rather than flying back to LA, I drove down the coast through Big Sur. One of their drives is so beautiful and pristine that you have to pay to take the route – it’s known as the 17-mile drive. It’s worth every penny! It takes you through winding roads with stunning landscapes, like the No. 1 public golf course in America. I think I stopped every 3 minutes along that drive to get photos and I seriously can’t find a single picture from it! I guess I’ll just have to go back. 🙂

I drove a little further south to explore Big Sur! It’s almost 30 miles but took me what felt like hours to get through. I stopped at almost every single viewpoint to make sure I soaked it all in! It never got old. There were trails and waterfalls and fun couples from other countries and cute little boutique hotels, cabins, b&bs…

I felt like I was in a movie scene. I remember every once in a while wishing I had company to share it with and almost immediately someone would walk by asking me to take their picture and next thing you know I’ve learned life stories and met new friends.

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Maybe traveling alone isn’t for everyone; we all have our own things. I am very certain that I could go back and enjoy it just the same (if not more) with companionship but I will never forget the time I was able to really enjoy experiencing something for myself and fully taking it in every moment. I’m fully aware that I operate at my best when I’m around people. I’m energized by them and feel a stronger sense of satisfaction when I’m in a full versus empty room. So I think I built it in my mind that it would be a challenge and something to overcome. I realize I was traveling a lot with work, but for me to want to do something alone that I may typically want to do with someone else was a bit of an accomplishment for me.

I’m also aware that I was never actually alone on that trip. I didn’t consult God first or ask Him to join me or ask if it was even something I should do. I made the plan on my own and He just showed up. He always does. I am never alone. I enjoy my time with Him much more when I am fully aware of His presence and intentional by inviting Him in but it’s still really cool knowing that He let me do something that made my heart happy and He never left my side. That trip was a blessing that I didn’t even know I needed but I can still look back and savor the moments He gave me in that experience.

“God is with you – wherever you may go and no matter what life brings.”

Joshua 1:9

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