Traveling Solo

April 23, 2023 at 12:21 p.m.
Abbe at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
Abbe at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia Abbe Rolnick

Are you ready for change, adventure, oneness? Can you travel on your own?

Dubrovnic sunset from Abbe's window


I admire women who travel on their own – loose itineraries, back packing, with no worries.  I marvel at their bravery but know that isn’t me at seventy or perhaps ever.

I’ve traveled to exotic places partnered. Now solo, I crave the sense of exploration, but I know my limits. Here is what I discovered. Being alone isn’t lonely.  While you can’t share your day with someone at night, you can write your thoughts and express your individual insights in artistic form.    

Abbe clowning it up next to a whimsical sculpture by the famous Croatian artist, Antun Augustincic


My advice for those who wish to travel solo, but with a group, is to find a travel company that doesn’t charge more for being single. Make sure you are healthy and pick the level of adventure that suits you, walking miles per day, cobble roads, and need for individual time.

Let the company know your dietary requirements and limitations. Make sure the company picks you up at the airport and returns you there. Decide your budget—make sure airfare, food, lodging, and insurance is included. (I traveled for 23 days to Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Slovenia all for $6000 plus I bought some extra meals and tipped for another $500). Have guides that are from the area and trained to know their travelers.

 Abbe ringing the bell at the Church of Assumptions at Lake Bled in Slovenia 

I only travel with a maximum of 16 people. All strangers until I meet them. One company that meets these criteria is Overseas Adventure Travel. They cater to those who are in their late 50s and older. I’ve done five trips with this company partnered, and one trip solo.   

On my return, I felt empowered. I made friends easily and felt secure. Take the stress out of the logistics of planning, seek out the unknown, be comfortable. Travel the world. I’m ready to plan another adventure – maybe Iceland, Antarctica, Ireland, or who knows?

Bay of Kotor in Montenegro


This poem was written halfway through my 23-day trip through the Balkans. I merged my sense of personal growth and healing with the war-torn story of the area.


Crossroads of the Adriatic

 When I’m caught between two time zones, neither matter.

I feel the nocturnal calls to rest, and the sun dial of day.

Balkan, Slavic; What name do you give an area,

 many times, captured, controlled, manipulated,

freed, and haunted?

I give it the beauty it deserves.

Although I’m traveling with a group, I’m thankful for my oneness.

Not ready to be bound by others, I find love softened in my soul.

My oneness is more universal; both freeing and cautious.

I move on crumbling limestone, pocked with the washing of rains,

And now the cyclone winds.

I hear whispers of traditions, a hole wears through past serenity.

I hear the roar of waterfalls, rain lit by the sun’s streams.

My legs seek secure footing, my hand freezes on wooden rails.

I’m not alone, amongst the ghosts of time.

I’m in my prime.


Abbe Rolnick grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore and lives in the Pacific Northwest. After attending Boston University, she lived in Puerto Rico, where she owned a bookstore. She is the owner of Sedro Publishing. Her writings include three novels in the Generation of Secrets Series, as well as Cocoon of Cancer: An Invitation to Love Deeply, Tattle Tales: Essays and Stories Along the Way, and Bubbies Magical Hair. To learn more about her writings, Abbe's Notes and Abbe's Ruminations, visit her website, Abbe welcomes questions and requests for speaking engagements and would love to hear from you.

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