A couple weeks ago after a couple of weeks of eating and drinking (Culinaria’s Restaurant Week met with Dream Week and San Antonio Cocktail Conference)- I decided to jump in my car and head to West Texas. The wind in my hair, the 90’s station in my car, and the open road before me. I set sails to travel sans anyone and with my full self, aka a solo trip to Marfa, Texas.
Traveling alone- let’s look at this for a moment. Traveling alone brings up some questions for me like, who do I borrow the toothpaste I forgot at home from? Or-who is going to giggle at that crazy man walking around without pants on the street corner by that cute little coffee shop? What about scouting for the best place to eat dinner- you know *that* place, the one that the tourists don’t go to? There is a part of me that misses having a partner-in-crime when I travel alone. And there is always that extrovert part of me that says “why the hell am I doing this, I’d rather be with my best friend?” However, I love challenges and I also truly believe you cannot appreciate anything fully without living it’s contrast- #fact
All that being said, I don’t leave town much, let alone leave town with the purpose of being alone. Yet sometimes we all need to unplug no matter how much you love something or someone, it’s healthy to step away and look at the big picture- check-out to check-in, if you know what I mean.
The last time I truly travelled solo was about ten years ago, I really roughed it for a long weekend on Nantucket. I remember the details of that trip more than most of my other travel adventures, as I had little to no interaction with people, just me and my thoughts, and the ocean, of course. As a woman, heck, as a person this is a big thing to actually learn about yourself, the lesson of ‘I can be alone and I don’t need people to have a good time.’
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago- Marfa, Texas. A land full of… Well, it was definitely odd and there were no distractions. In fact, there wasn’t really much happening, but what was actually happening was so purposeful it stuck out. I felt like the entire trip was a movie in slow motion and I was a character that was out of place but quickly finding that was actually my place. I know, I am getting pretty deep here on a food blog- but my point is quickly coming in- I discovered that feeling of being alone- completely naked (no, not literally) in a small town in the middle of the desert with lots of art galleries. Let me assure you all- that Marfa is far from roughing it-The grey adobe homes look bleak from the outside yet are actually full of color, art and life when you open them up, at least most of them. Marfa is a true hidden gem- it looks like someone very intentionally placed each item around this little Western town and then sprinkled fairy dust on everyone and said “now, go and just be you, don’t work too hard, just be you.” In fact, that is the part that astounded me, no one is in any hurry- and not very much is open, not even on a weekend. The places that are actually open as the locals say, are only open “if they feel like it.” The most infamous pizza place in town happened to be closed and the coolest little juice place (The Squeeze) decided to be closed this particular weekend also. I did find a cool little food truck, The Food Shark which had a stellar hummus. For dinner and brunch, I went to Cochineal. Yes, I went twice, it was that good. Oddly for this trip eating, drinking and socializing were not on my top 3 list of things to do- (Gasp!). I brought a pile of books, my journal and really plotted out my year and my goals, soul filling types of stuff. Marfa is *that* place, a place that is seemingly incredibly sleepy, but can give rise to such inspiration, if you allow it to do so, funny how that works.
May you be inspired to travel alone or with the company of others, I hope you get out and enjoy a place like Marfa- a quiet destination with limited distractions.
Cheers to living a Delicious Life,
Founder of Defining Delicious