I once met a woman at a gift shop on the Oregon Coast who was amazed to find that I was there alone. She felt so sorry for me that she asked me to join her family for lunch. I couldn’t believe it was so unusual for a woman of a certain age to be travelling on her own. I’ve had similar encounters in far-flung places in South America and China, which were somewhat understandable, I guess, but the safe, close-to-home Oregon Coast? I really didn’t see how some women could be so protected and so cloistered from the world. Simple necessity gave me license to move about the world unaccompanied. I had no partner. Whether that was a tragedy or a gift is still open for discussion. I can see it both ways. Continue reading