I wanted to travel. I wanted some time to myself. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and go on a solo trip. From not traveling much over the past two years, I became a little shy of going it alone. And that is precisely why I knew I needed to bust through that discomfort. I knew I would enjoy myself and I knew that past solo trips gave my soul life. I got an email from Scott’s Cheap Flights
to Boston and knew that was my destination of choice. Actually, I morphed it into Salem, MA
for the leg of the trip I would take by myself, and Boston on the back end with my husband. A perfect marriage of a solo trip and…a marriage trip. The weekend after Halloween, I would be landing in Boston’s airport and hopping on a train to Witch City. Solo trip to Salem, MA: here I come!
I Will Enjoy This Trip if It's the Last Thing I Do
My trip started off rocky. It was a super early flight on Delta
, which I absolutely abhor (the earliness, not the airline). My Uber driver had on her radio a racial debate at 6 am, which was fraying my already frayed nerves from waking up at the crack of dawn and leaving my depressed pup at the door. The security checkpoint was a breeze, thanks to TSA PreCheck
. I don’t know how people do without it! By the time I sat down on the plane, I was raw. My neck would barely turn and I was miserable. I felt a twinge of regret for even thinking I should go on this trip. Work was exploding, my dog was pissed at me. I felt like I was losing the fun battle. I was determined not to, though. I worked way too hard to be on that plane headed to my first solo trip to Salem, MA, and I was going to enjoy it, damn it.
Train from Logan Airport in Boston to Salem, MA
Keeping My Eye on the Salem Prize
By the time I arrived in Boston, I had booked myself a massage appointment
with a lady named Daryl. I felt like it was the opposite of a boy named Sue. (If you get it, you get it. If not, sorry.) Before my appointment, I had to hop the train to Salem from Boston
and find my bed and breakfast
, so that is what I did. I disembarked in Salem, and started walking. I knew Salem was small, but walking the entire city center from the train station with a bouncing piece of luggage on brick streets was not what I envisioned for myself. I tried to not let my embarrassment take over, and I kept going. I reached my Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast
, dropped my stuff, and went a-walkin. I grabbed the best grilled cheese sandwich
I think I’ve ever eaten, and had a delicious brew to go along with it. “Don’t Stop Me Now”
was playing in my head because I was going to have a good time.
Daryl and Me - Post Massage
I bopped around Salem a little bit until it was time for my coveted massage with Daryl
. She instructed me to meet her at the Witch City Mall at some particular suite, so I did. I was a little creeped out because it looked deserted, but I wanted this massage like a dog wants a bone. I couldn’t strip my clothes off fast enough when I got into the room. My neck and shoulders were at their wit’s end and wanted someone to get really handsy with them. Daryl did not disappoint. She was a phenomenal massage therapist and I truly couldn’t have started out my first night better. I went back to my B&B, got in my comfy clothes, and slept. Glorious!
Clothes Shopping and Food - Two of My Favorite Things
My first morning on my solo trip to Salem, MA was peppered with work as well as a lovely breakfast made by the owner and host of the place, Bob. I ate with two others, a married couple, who were 89 and 90 years old. They had been married since their early to mid 20s. It was such a delightful conversation and I was fascinated by them. I hated to see our breakfast come to an end, but time’s a-ticking and Salem was calling me to explore her. Walking around Salem doesn’t take too long. I meandered around, took a bunch of pictures, walked into some shops
(although I’m not a big shopper), and took it all in. I stumbled upon a clothing shop that I am obsessed with to this day called Modern Millie
. I mean OBSESSED. Their window display drew me in, with Halloween and fall themed dresses, skirts, and sweaters. I love funky clothing and couldn’t resist buying a couple of items while there. The prices were reasonable and, most importantly, I wouldn’t see myself walking around in the same outfit as other people. Sue me, I like my uniqueness to shine! Since they were such a lovely group of gals working there, I asked if they could recommend a place for a late lunch. They did me right by telling me to go to Turner Seafood
, located just around the corner from them. I headed over, famished from shopping, plopped myself down at the bar, and ordered some seafood chowder. That, some fries, and mussels were enough to make my palate sing. I was a happy clam in chowder.
Me at the Peabody Essex Museum
Playing Tourist in the Museum and on the Haunted Tour
Museums are not a massive draw for me in general, but the Peabody Essex
in Salem had a temporary exhibit about the witch trials
, so I had to go. Upon entering, I was thrilled to walk around and see many exhibits that were actually quite interesting. The witch trial exhibit was about Alexander McQueen
’s relative, who was one of the women hanged for being accused of witchcraft. When he discovered that his lineage involved this, he did a whole collection around it. I read almost every plaque, and was fascinated by the whole thing. I even found a plaque with a woman who is a modern day witch from the same city in which I live. What a small world in witchery! While exploring one of the rooms, I asked a fellow museum-goer to take my photo, and she kindly agreed. We got to talking, discovered that we were on the same tour that was starting shortly
, and decided to meet up for it and go together. I want to just note that on this solo trip to Salem, MA, had I not been solo, I would never have met Risa, played tourist with her, and had a fabulous dinner
where we talked about so many things we have in common. Talking to her was something I didn’t know I needed, but after we parted ways, I took action on some things, like starting a book club I had been putting off for no good reason, and felt a complete rejuvenation and zeal for life. Traveling solo and all its goodness struck again.
House in the McIntire District in Salem, MA
Risa and I thought about grabbing breakfast, but since my B&B served B(reakfast) and she wanted to move on to her next destination, we decided we would keep in touch and felt like our meeting each other was more than just a coincidence. It was fate and something we both delighted in. My cup was full, and had my trip ended there I would’ve been perfectly content. But, it wasn’t over and I had most of the day to explore before heading back to Boston, and explore I did! The day was sunny, cool (maybe even cold), and all mine to play around with photography and visit the sights I missed before. I went to see the replica of the merchant ship
, walked all over the McIntire Historic District
that the tour guide had pointed out the night before, and lastly paid some respect to the memorial erected in honor of the Salem Witch Trials
. My time in Salem was now coming to a close.
This solo trip to Salem, MA was phenomenal. I rocked it and felt complete liberation being on my own schedule, popping in and out of stores, museums, streets, and restaurants. I went at the perfect time of year, in my opinion. The foliage and crisp air were exactly what I needed to hit the refresh button in my body. From getting the massage on the first night to having dinner with a new friend, my trip contained all the magic that the Witch City could ever offer. I can’t recommend this town enough. And I will definitely be back.