Can a Recluse Live a Life of Travel?

As a child, I dreamed of building my own dwelling in the woods and living alone, self-sufficient off the land.  I like people, I really do. I love a good party and I revel in great conversations, but a part of me longs to be secluded. Time alone is important. Does that make me a recluse at heart?  I don’t know.  Does a recluse write a blog and tell you about this?  Probably not.


pine creek Pennsylvania
Jersey Mills, Pennsylvania, USA  Where I lived when I dreamed of being a hermit.


A nomadic life of travel is married to moments that will be outside of our comfort zone.  Personal space and privacy is my comfort zone.  So how is a life of travel for a person who longs for seclusion?

Limited Personal Space

I have observed that many people in Latin American countries don’t practice personal space. One young Colombian man that we met at a language exchange in Medellin said a North American friend once told him that he was “in her personal bubble.”  He said he laughed and had to ask her what that was.

Lodging on the road often means sharing space with others.  Even our house sit in Colombia was not exactly private.  The glass house was like living in a fishbowl and with a groundskeeper always around and a maid who never knocked.

While I don’t believe anyone can change their core nature, I have learned ways to make that core nature live comfortably, or as comfortably as possible with circumstances that I find myself in.  I do not have a fear of people. In fact, I have really enjoyed public speaking.  I do however have an intense desire for privacy to recharge.

Since my husband also enjoys privacy and alone time he understands and it works out pretty well for us.  I try to get up before anyone else and encourage my husband to sleep in.  Enjoying the morning hours alone with a cup of coffee really helps.  We don’t often take tours, but rather find paths in the woods and explore them ourselves.

We try in most places to book a private room with a private bath.  Since there are two of us this often is the same or better price than two beds in a dorm room.  It is possible on the road to find personal space.  At times when it is scarce to find that space, it is a sacrifice well worth the opportunity to travel.

No matter where we are or what we are doing, dreams are worth the sacrifice.

2 thoughts on “Can a Recluse Live a Life of Travel?”

  1. Amen! And yes, you have always been this way. So when you mentioned about traveling the world, I was not in the least surprised. Glad that you are able to do this.

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