A Road Trip in Photos Through Appalachia
I haven’t always been a solo traveler. The idea was first enacted by a friend, who deferred college to work and pay for a solo backpacking trip across Europe and the Middle East. We have similar interests and perspectives. As children we were more comfortable with books than with people and spent school delinquencies visiting museums instead of at furtive school yard hangouts.
While I’d always been the more exertive one of our duo, here, I did what I was told. Unquestioning the idea of travel as an inherently social activity. With the added prism of danger and recklessness applied by well-meaning family and friends anxious about unaccompanied women that even I, despite my own liberal upbringing, had wordlessly internalized.
It took time and a circumstantial twist of fate to push my thinking. And the ease with which I embraced traveling on my own made me wonder how I could have ever thought differently.
With months of the pandemic spent working from my semi-private “office” / hallway and trying (often failing) to decouple home from work from self-care from relationships, I was ready for somewhere new. Anything for an actual sense of momentum and marker of the passing of time.
Where would you go if you had to remain stateside and didn’t have to keep anyone else in mind?
Appalachia. A delayed answer to the rhetorical question asked by my friend when trekking through the Utah backcountry months before. And so grew my end of year self-reflective road trip.