Making Travel Magical by Going Solo

Find out how magical a solo trip can be, with our resident Solo Traveller Guru, Tina Richardson.

Sometimes the simplest moments during our travels can provide the greatest memories. This is a lesson that I learned many years ago in the Dominican Republic, when I was invited to the town of Luperon to play a pick-up game of basketball with the locals. Since I am not athletic by nature, I immediately took to visiting with the people when we got to the town, and I soon realized that this is what it’s all about: connecting with the locals, learning how they live, what they eat, how they make ends meet, what makes them tick. One sunny afternoon with those kids and their families changed the way I travelled from that moment on.

Today I seek experiences that are more than just about what the creature comforts offered. I may dream of a faraway land, but I also yearn to have a glimpse of what the daily rituals of the locals there are. And that’s what, in a nut shell, the Solo Traveller Club is all about.

For example, this past fall, as we travelled throughout Tuscany we had the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the operations of a local restaurant. Just outside the town of Figline Valdarno, surrounded by olive trees, our host Chef Claudio let our group take to his kitchen – in a big way! Not only did we learn a lot about how Tuscans live and eat, and some tricks of the trade, but we cooked an entire meal from scratch, including an impromptu pie, which was all served in the restaurant that evening. Truly magical

In November, while in Peru, we had the unique opportunity to make a donation to a local village in the Sacred Valley. Ccaccaccollo is a small but strong community of families all supporting each other. It’s a rarety to see men here, as most of the men are off serving as porters on the Inca Trail while the women stay behind to take care of the children and support the family in their own way by making traditional textiles. We had a chance to learn the steps of the weaving process, including spinning the wool, dying the wools, making the dyes and the different weaving techniques.

Later on, out came our handy pumps and we inflated soccer balls and basket balls for the local children. When we left the village later that day, we left fulfilled, having spent wonderful moments connecting with people and leaving behind supplies that the children of the village will have for years to come.

Now, as we prepare to venture off to new lands, new adventures certainly await. Camel trekking through the Sahara desert, visiting with a Berber family, meeting with an herbalist, just to name a few. If you’d like to hear more about CAA’s Solo Traveller Club, contact me, Tina, CAA’s resident Solo Traveller Guru directly at 613-721-3260 or trichardson@caaneo.on.ca. Join us in Morocco or Iceland! Hope to see you on my next Solo Traveller Trip!