Your Best Adventure Yet: Can a Good Mom Travel Solo?

Can a good mom travel solo?
This is the overwhelmingly graffiti’d, and epicly photograph-able, restroom of La Buche restaurant in Quebec City.

I love this week’s submission to Your Best Adventure Yet because it is proof that adventure can be part of everyone’s life and looks different to us all. Enjoy Megan’s adventure! I hope it inspires you to go and find your bliss. Jamie

Megan’s Best Adventure Yet

My inspiring adventure was recently, at 40-some years old, going on my first solo trip, ever.  For an entire week, I left the country, and spent time on my own in Quebec City, Canada.

Ok, wait, WAIT!  Before you yawn and click away, rolling your eyes. I know. I know this isn’t like so many of those digital nomads who are going to countries I didn’t even know existed and repelling off cliffs or whatever they are somehow able to do while simultaneously taking amazing selfies.

Women and solo travel.
The English language library of the Morrin Centre. This building housed Morrin College from 1862-1902, which admitted women to its B.A. program starting in 1885.

(I’m honestly a bit in awe of that. The selfie thing is an art I don’t think I’ll ever master. I’m just the wrong generation or something.  I always look slightly confused in mine, and those deep lines between my eyes from concentration and confusion always show up better than anything else. Anyway… I digress.)

Me, I’m here, deep into my 40s, married to a wonderful man who travels internationally for work a LOT, with two teen daughters that I have home-schooled all their school-aged lives.  If hubby needs to walk out the door tomorrow for 3 weeks in Itscrashedagainistan, he throws his things in a bag, maybe takes us out to dinner, kisses us good-bye, and goes.

Girl's trip to Quebec City.
View of the Chateau Frontenac from the Terrasse Dufferin.

Not so for me. I am deeply entwined in the daily lives of these other humans in our household, and I am the one who is HERE, at home, taking care of anything and everything. Just extricating myself from that for a week took supplication, tears, hair-pulling (my own) and one blood sacrifice (I’m not yet ready to talk about).  I talk more about the extrication challenge at the Get Real Mom’s Guide.

Just the fact that I got out the door was huge, and inspired awe amongst my peers.

One Week in Quebec City

So, I flew to Quebec City, Canada, tucked myself into an affordable hotel in the shadow of the Chateau Frontenac, and for an entire week I followed my own agenda. I walked the Terrasse Dufferin with my camera. I went on a food tour of the Ile d’Orleans and we learned about the history and founding of Quebec City while we tasted chocolate, ice wine, and hard ciders. I toured the Morrin Center, which evolved from prison to university to library over its 200-year existence.  On the advice of my friend at the hotel front desk I skipped the viewfinder-equipped Observatoire de la Capitale and instead had a lovely nosh and adult beverage at Ciel! Bistro Bar, a revolving restaurant with incredible views. I sought out street art, and later had dinner in a restaurant with the most graffiti’d bathroom I’ve ever seen.

Girls' Trip to Quebec City.
Creative lighting over a pedestrian street in Old Town Quebec City.

I spent an entire week inside my own head, practicing making decisions based on my own needs and desires.  Some of you get how foreign that often is for a mom. Eating when and where I wanted to, walking farther than anyone else would have stuck with, and stopping in more coffee shops than ever would have been tolerated by the family. I shopped, and browsed, feeling no pressure to accomplish a mission during it.  I learned about the area, talked to locals, and laughed with strangers.  And I loved it.

When I got home, I had thoroughly missed my hubby and my girls, which was a good feeling.  I felt accomplished and emboldened by the fact that I had done all that I had, all my myself.  I gushed to my husband about the things I saw and did, but more about what I thought about and am trying to figure out about myself.  He just smiled and asked, “So when do you want to do it again?”

You know what?  This is possible.  Me – homeschooling mom, wife a crazy-work-schedule man, can actually make this happen.  Definitely not as often as I would like, but more than I thought I could, and I’ll take that.

I think this just became a part of my life.

3 days in Quebec City, Canada.
Chateau Frontenac from where the Promenade des Gouverneurs and Terrasse Dufferin meet.

Are you a mom who has taken a trip without your kids? Please share your experiences in the comments.

Megan Hamilton is a 40-something wife and homeschooling mom, while doing as much travel and blogging at Wander Toes as possible.  The travel bug bit early when Megan’s father won work reward trips to Hawaii during her childhood.  She has worked to build the same adventure and travel-time together with her husband and two teen girls into her own family, not as a digital nomad, but as a more traditional work-around-work-and-school-schedule family.  Recently, Megan has also embarked on her first (hopefully of many) solo-Mom-travel trips, which are a bit different than solo-female-travel as most moms would tell you. Follow Megan and Wandertoes on: Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


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3 thoughts on “Your Best Adventure Yet: Can a Good Mom Travel Solo?”

  1. Glad to see other moms who travel solo! I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as my first solo trip when my daughter was 3.. Next year I’m going to Everest Base Camp. I usually go on trips I know my daughter would NEVER be interested in or is too young to do right now.


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