Walking toward the Visitor Center for Cape Breton Highlands National Park a man walked towards me with an amused smile on his face.
It didn't seem to have anything to do with what his friend next to him was saying.
Nor was it a response to my smile.
No. It was more a reaction to the fact that I was smiling.
He was happy to see a happy person.
That's the moment that I realized I had been traveling with a smile on my face for three days. And, I had no doubt that it would accompany me for the two days I had left on my solo road trip through Cape Breton Island. Was my happiness due to the freedom of solo travel? Was it due to being in Nova Scotia? I think it was a little of both.
Solo Travel Happy
I have a beau. (In fact, last night I got engaged so there will be a wedding next year!) I have children and even grandchildren now. Every single second of my life could be the very opposite of solo.
But it's not. I take time for myself.
I travel solo for the pure happiness of exploring the world my way. For the time it gives me to reflect on life – and there is always so much life to reflect on. For the people I meet along the way and how they cause shifts here and there in my world view. For the confidence I gain on every trip. For the knowledge that is gathered in new destinations. For the exhilarating freedom that solo travel provides. For the relaxing pleasure of caring only for myself for a while and for the knowledge that modelling self-care for my children is a good thing to do.
It's no wonder that solo travel brings me happiness and that I wear that solo travel smile.
Nova Scotia Happy
Add to my usual solo travel happiness the destination of Nova Scotia and my smile is ratchets up a notch or two. The province offers plenty of fresh air and rugged landscapes, really friendly people, lots of music and deep Scottish and French traditions. It's the perfect place for a road trip. What's not to smile about?
I flew into Halifax International Airport and headed towards Cape Breton staying my first night in the wee town of Guysborough which is on the mainland. And has a shocking amount to do and enjoy given its size.
Then I headed onto Cape Breton Island for four days. I spent time in:
- Louisburg where I stayed at the Point of View Suites and had a great time at the Beggars Banquet
- St. Ann's on the Cabot Trail where I stayed at Chanterelle Inn & Cottages and dined in their 100K Restaurant
- Glenora Inn and Distillery south of Cheticamp where I enjoyed dinner and a ceilidh in the pub.
On the fifth day I continued to explore the music scene stopping into Celtic Music Centre before heading back to the airport.
That's the bare bones of my five-day, four-night road trip. I have lots of stories to tell of people I met (even a piano I met) and things I did. For now, I'll tempt you with a few photos.
This trip was supported by Nova Scotia Tourism. As always the opinions and experiences are my own.