Sometimes we have to stand firm regarding our plans and our desire for quietude, even if others do not understand that need. I spent about six months from plane ticket purchase to departure on my planning for Málaga, so my friends and family were well aware of my upcoming trip. I was discussing my anticipation with a friend and she burst out, “I’d love to go with you!! What do you think?”
Now, this is a dear friend, a special person who I did not want to hurt in any way. The task though, however difficult, was to say no. I sat silently pondering how to phrase the refusal and somehow I did so quite gently. Still, she was confused and disappointed by my reaction. Swirling in my head, however, was an instant distress at the prospect of how different a trip it would be. We would be talking non-stop as girlfriends do, we would be planning an agenda each day. Of special concern to me was that my friend is quite attractive, tall and platinum blonde, and I knew she would draw attention when I particularly wanted to slip unnoticed through the crowds. It was a difficult moment, but it crystallized for me just how important it was to me to go it alone and be with my solitude as sole traveling companion.