It has now been proven that I am exponentially better as a solo traveller. I save more money, I spend more time at the destinations than in the hotel rooms, and most of all: there is no one around to drive me insane. The last time I was around my family for this long was seven years ago. We've all changed lot over the course of seven years. We even have some new additions of whom I've never been stuck with for this long. What shall we call it...a learning experience? Yes, that sounds quite happy enough.
Now, thats not to say I don't enjoy family vacations. I was very happy to get to see my cousins again and meet some of their children for the first time. In fact, I'd be ready to do it again. Some of my relatives that we visited this time, we were told (as we always are) to never expect to see them again. This is always the case when Grandpa comes up to visit, but this time I was hearing it about Grandmother, too. She's a mere 80 but the words that would fall out of her mouth left some of us a bit frightened. I can't imagine the day I tell my children and grandchildren "This is definitely the end" as we stuff into the largest booth at Chilis.
I think what I enjoy most about solo travel is how untainted it is. I went to Disneyland Paris by myself and have a completely biased opinion of it, but it's my opinion. It isn't tainted by others' who have already been there before. Everything I see, I'm seeing for the first time. When I saw the Sydney Opera house I was judging it soley on my own terms. I didn't have people putting their thoughts into my head next to me. (Then again, maybe thats why I didn't like Sydney and Paris).
Still, being with the same group of people 24/7 for the past two weeks, I've started planning the rest of my 2011 trips. The travel bug has bitten me again hard this time even though we've just been in the states. I'm thinking Central / Northern South America for Thanksgiving, and Europe for my birthday / New Years? Ohh yeah.