From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 2

Seven months out of my marriage, I had met the “great love of my life.” We dated a year, and with my divorce final, we planned a trip to Europe. Two weeks before takeoff, he took off, leaving me with two small children and facing my ultimate fear: life alone.

I decided if I was going to be lonely for the next few years, I might as well be lonely in Europe.

I arrived at the train station in Paris, the highlight of my journey, panicked and disoriented. I had arrived in the most romantic city in the world alone, lonely and petrified. I knew that if I didn’t go out, right then, and find a place to have dinner, my dream would be foregone, and I might never learn to enjoy the world as a single individual.

I wore out two pairs of shoes during my week’s stay. I returned home a believer in the healing power of solitary travel. Traveling alone redeems itself by demanding self-reliance and building the kind of confidence that serves the single life well. Now when I meet an obstacle, I just say: If I can go to Paris, I can go anywhere.

Dawn McKenna

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