But I’m going to be. I’m going on vacation, and while I will start out basking in the warmth and love of my friends and family, I will end it, as we all must do in life, alone.

Let me explain: I’m going south to Savannah to play golf and eat seafood and gawk at antebellum houses with John and another couple. They are all heading back mid-week, but I am going on to another resort to take a few days of golf lessons, and yes, I’m doing it alone. This should not be that big a deal, and, in truth, I’m looking forward to it, mostly.

Of course I’ve traveled alone before, largely for business. And a long, long time ago, when I was 22, I backpacked around Europe for a couple of months, in winter, on my own. Looking back at that now, I marvel at my courage. This was long before cell phones and bank machines. I made do with traveler’s cheques, and picked up my mail sporadically at American Express offices. No one knew where I was for weeks at a time. I stayed in hostels and pensions, and while I met lots of people, I was ultimately on my own. I was often lonely, and sometimes scared, but I got used to it. I read a lot, carrying a book with me at all times, and picked up enough of the local lingo to get by in restaurants. I traveled mostly by train, and rarely went out at night, at least not by myself. I may have been brave, but I wasn’t stupid. I was robbed on the Spanish Steps in Rome, and thrown off a train in Germany for sitting in first class (coach was full). I travelled for a while with a bunch of born again Christians from Utah. I shared a room in Amsterdam with 6 American soldiers on leave from their base in Wiesbaden. I could have had my own room, but the hostel keeper was going to charge me double to heat it, so I bunked in with the fellas. They were lovely and taught me to play euchre. In London, through mutual friends, I met a Member of Parliament who took me out to dinner and offered to put me up in the flat he kept in town for as long as I liked. He was, of course, married, and about 70. I declined.

I rather enjoy my own company. It may surprise you to know that I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert. In fact, radio people often are. Many of us are basically shy, and have made a career out of overcompensation. In my case, I was so timid as a child that when we had company, I would lock myself in the bathroom and refuse to come down to say hello. My mother put me in theatre school, hoping that they would bring me out of my shell, and thus created a bit of a monster. It turned out that I loved to perform. Put me in front of an audience and I turned into Michigan J. Frog. Left alone, I would crawl back into a book.

So off I go to Carolina.  It’s going to be pleasantly dull, I’m sure. Three hours of golf lessons in the morning, then a bike ride around the island, then maybe a visit to the spa, dinner and Netflix. Dinner is the challenge, I suspect. I don’t want to eat in my room, but nor do I want to sit in lonely splendour in the dining room, sipping my glass of wine and staring into space. Maybe I’ll just bring my book and sit at the bar. And if there are any soldiers around, I’ll see if I can get in a game of euchre.

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