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The Solo Kayaker

When you’re married, you always have a kayak partner, both literally and metaphorically. Being single, it’s different.

We visited Gorges du Verdon yesterday. The group scattered, renting electric boats or kayaks for the couples. I was at the end of the line and ordered a single kayak. I’d never paddled alone, but figured it was no big deal.

“We don’t have any more singles,” the Bohemian said in French.

“Merde. What can I do? I’m alone.” A slight bit of panic set in. I asked for an electric boat. I didn’t want to spend 40 euros, but would just to see the gorgeous (gorge-ous) views of the cliffs and azure waters.

“We are out.”

A few tears welled in my eyes. Being single causes problems. Still, I’m nothing if not obstinate. I stared him down until he suggested I rent a double kayak.

“D’accord. Merci.”

After a little bumbling, I got in the kayak and started down the narrow waterway. I thought it would be challenging, navigating a bigger kayak, but it wasn’t, at least at first.

I realized that being alone, I don’t have to synchronize with another person. I can go wherever I want. Being alone isn’t so bad.

Yes, it was hard to take photos without the kayak going wonky. And on the way back, the waves picked up and the wind blew against me. But before I could be alarmed, an electric boat with four of my fellow yoga retreat goers pulled up.

“Need a tow?” Elaine smiled.

I sighed with relief and accepted.

The thing about being single is that it doesn’t mean you’re alone, as long as you have friends.

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