PersonalPersonal storiesTravel 11 August 2015
My first ever holiday on my own, the full story

Why not travel solo? If you’ve ever thought about going on a holiday by yourself, this post is for you. Back in June, I tried something new and went on my first ever holiday on my own. It turned out to be a powerful and positive experience for me. Most of my friends, and many of you, called it a brave move and that label was something that really got me thinking.

It’s such a foreign concept to most of us reserve quality time to spend with ourselves. Because I don’t want you to be scared to go alone – and to explain the appeal that doing things on my own has to me – I’m glad to share my story.

Why I booked a holiday alone
The main reason is that I needed a little break. I had been working non-stop for months and had a few personal insights that I wanted to reflect on but I was feeling too restless and rushed. I wanted a few days off to quiet down. The best way to do so, I figured, was if it was just me.
The second reason was that I it was a few weeks before my 26th birthday. Birthdays always hold a big ritual value for me. I like that set-in-stone moment to leave things in the past. And, this might be a bit spiritual for some people, always set an intention for the new year ahead.
Spending a few days alone – as intimidating as that sounded – felt like a sweet, personal way to end an impactful year.

Why I picked Ibiza as my destination
One morning, I realized that my calendar was totally filling up and I’d need to book now or never. Pressure always gets me going!

As a destination I wanted a place inside of Europe and preferably somewhere I had been before. I wasn’t interested in exploring, all I wanted to do was take some walks, go out for breakfast, maybe do some yoga and sleep in – but in a different environment and with a beach.
Ibiza instantly popped up and I asked my friend Lizzy, who is basically a local, for tips. It turned out her mother has a beautiful apartment that she rents out occasionally and as soon as I saw it, I knew I’d feel right at home. The second I set foot into this warm apartment and saw a handwritten welcome card, I knew I had made the right choice.

Yes, I got lonely too!
Is going on a holiday by yourself amazing all the time? Sure it isn’t. On the first evening I was walking around on my own, hangry (so hungry you get annoyed) and still intimidated by the idea of going to a restaurant alone. So I marched straight into McDonalds and ate a ton of junk food in my apartment. And you know what; that’s totally fine too! There are no rules. You have nothing to prove.

Going solo? This is my personal advice
Of course everyone wants to get something else out of a holiday. I just wanted to spend some quality time with me. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway and are open to going alone, these are my words of advice…

· Pick a place that feels familiar. As much as I love discovering new cities, this short solo trip wasn’t my time to explore. For a short trip on your own I would recommend going somewhere you already feel familiar. It makes you more confident and comfortable, as everything else takes a bit more getting used to on your own.

· How you deal with being alone, is about your mindset. How you handle a holiday on your own – or even being alone for a day – really boils down to your perception. I know a solo vacay sounds scary, but I just viewed this as one big awesome, stretched out weekend with sun and a beach. Does that sound intimidating? Not really, right?

· Take it one day at a time. The best part about being alone is that you’re calling the shots. If you want to stay in bed all day, snooze along. If you want to have ice cream for breakfast, knock yourself out. You’ll hardly ever have this much freedom, so don’t plan ahead and take the day as it comes.

· Have a backup plan for dinner. Breakfast, brunch and beach time is perfectly fine alone, but at dinner I always felt a bit lonely. I don’t mind, usually, but Ibiza really isn’t focused on single travelers. In between all of the friends and couples I felt somewhat out of place and I couldn’t really shake that. Bring a book, journal or playlist to keep you company.

· Pack light. Because you’re on your own, it’s nice to be mobile at all times and not be weighed down by a ton of stuff – and I mean that literally as well. Only bring things that make you happy, that are soft and comfy and that you’ll actually use and wear.

Would I do it again?
Absolutely. All in all, I think it’s really healthy to spend some time alone, and to know how to be happy and whole without relying on anyone or anything else. Cheers to trying new things!

Illustration by the fabulous Marié Bodie

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39 comments

    […] 1. Dating should make your life happier, not crappier One of the absolute most important things is to be with someone who you can laugh and talk with and have fun with – wherever, whenever. Otherwise, I’d rather be happy by myself and enjoy my time with friends or going on adventures on my own. […]

    Travelling alone is one of the first thing I put on my wishlist. I find going on holiday by yourself is as value as with other people. There is a perfect way to gain new experiences and find out something about yourself.

    Bebb

    I am also going on a solo holiday for the first time soon. I have been travelling for work alone, or gone on holidays and spent a day alone or so, but this time I will be alone for over a week until there will be any company arriving. I am thinking exactly like you, with breakfast, lunch and beach time being totally fine alone, but dinner feels like such social thing. I love long dinners over a good conversation, and now it will be just me. When I have been travelling alone I have gotten some practice so now I will see if I can do over a week of dinners all alone without feeling weird! I usually bring a book that I can read while waiting for the food, or waiting to pay etc, as that is when you usually just talk to your company. Also one travel rule is, PUT THE PHONE AWAY. I have it on flight mode in my purse for emergency situations, but I do NOT use it. Its just a vacation rule I have :)

    great post

    http://carrieslifestyle.com
    Posts online about Dubai, Miami, Hawaii

    Sanne

    Leuk artikel! En fijn dat alleen reizen je zo goed bevallen is :) Zelf ben ik twee jaar geleden alleen naar Spanje gegaan om mijn Spaans te verbeteren. Al op de tweede dag heb ik mensen van over de hele wereld leren kennen die daar allemaal waren om Spaans te leren, en ik heb er zelfs een groepje vrienden aan over gehouden. Op deze reis was ik eigenlijk nooit echt alleen, dus misschien ga ik nog een keer net als jou een paar dagen in mijn eentje op reis :)

    Leuk geschreven. Ik zou het zelf denk ik best moeilijk vinden om alleen ergens naartoe te gaan. Knap dat je zoiets toch doet!

    Ha, lijkt me heerlijk om zo nu en dan even lekker alleen op pad te gaan! Ik denk dat iedereen dat nodig heeft, tijd voor jezelf, ook al is dat vaak lastig of wordt dat niet zo goed begrepen door mensen om je heen.. x

    Vacationing alone is so important. Especially at a young age. I think it’s a crucial part of one’s spiritual and inner-self journey.

    only for the sweetest. xx

    Herkenbaar om te lezen! Ik zelf ben alleen naar Valencia geweest vorig jaar. Ik vond uit eten gaan in de avond ook een behoorlijke drempel, maar ik ben trots dat ik het uiteindelijk wel gewoon heb gedaan. Heel fijn dat je zo open en eerlijk bent en tips geeft. Het is mij goed bevallen en ik zou het zo weer doen :-)

    Cute drawings :) +watercolor coloring (that is watercolor – isn´t it?) Oh, I have travellling solo on my bucket list ;)

    I\ve been thinking about solo travelling for a while. This post helped me get motivated and try it. Thanks xx
    Spain is great destination for summer vacation.
    http://silvisinspiration.blogspot.com/

    That really makes me happy! Good for you and enjoy it! :)

    I love this post because this is something I have really been thinking that I need right now, I have always wanted to travel alone but I have such low self esteem and I am so shy, I am so scared to do it. But life is tough right now and I really think it would be good for me to do, so thanks!!!

    http://www.inmydreams.ca/

    Helene

    If you stay in hostels, you’ll meet lots of interesting people for sure. Staying in hotels is awesome and more luxurious, but makes it harder to get to know people. But it happens. Is there anywhere you could go and feel safe? Maybe not too far away from home the first time? Good luck!

    Absolutely! It totally depends on the purpose of your trip; meeting new people and discovering new places – or turning inwards a bit and (re)discovering yourself.

    For me it was the latter, so I just wanted everything to be relaxed and a bit luxurious. It really was a way to pamper myself and be kind to myself, but I know that’s not everyone’s taste or preference : )

    Helene

    Haha Yara, I think I’ll have to go somewhere and pamper myself sometime soon – the idea is stuck on my mind after reading about your experience, seems amazing! :-)

    Hi Jenaly,
    I’m sorry to hear life is a bit rough right now. It could be a good way to create a breakthrough and get some clarity or perspective. Do make sure you take good care of yourself.
    As for confidence, you’re your own best friend! No one knows you or loves you like YOU do : ). For me, sometimes it helps pretending like I’m my own best friend. What would I say? How would I encourage myself or help myself back up when I’m feeling down? (Plus, I already have a ton of conversations going on in my head, haha!)

    Maybe that helps. And write an e-mail or comment if you did it! I’d love to hear.
    X Yara

    Wat een fijn artikel om te lezen! Ik zelf zit ook al een lange tijd te twijfelen om eens alleen te reizen, maar toch vind ik het wel erg spannend!

    http://www.fleursophia.com

    Tanya

    Wat een leuk artikel om te lezen!
    Ik ga zelf over drie weekjes een paar dagen naar Barcelona met mijzelf :). Om soort gelijke redenen. Spannend maar kijk er erg naar uit om er even tussenuit de knijpen!

    Heerlijk! Geniet ervan Tanya!

    I don’t know if I can travel on my own without anyone by my side but absolutely will force myself to do it at least once

    Jacqui | Halcyon Jar

    Trying is all that matters! : ) Proud of you!

    great post!
    xxx
    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

    I still want to try this but I don’t know if I can survive without friends hihi.
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

    Such a lovely post! I tend to travel by myself a fair amount (mostly for work) and there is something so relaxing about being in familiar, yet foreign city all by yourself. No need to rush or bother about someone els not having a good time… I have never been to a beach holiday by myself, but I think with the right hotel and a dozen of good books it should be pretty wonderful.

    Wonderful post Yara, and I think I’d pick Rome – gelato, sun, exploring, perfect relaxing escape!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

    Going solo to a foreign country is so one thing that I want to try, great post!

    Helene

    You totally should! Traveling solo is amazing. You meet lots of new people, and get to know and trust yourself. If you want to start with somewhere exciting but safe I recommend Hong Kong or Singapore :-)

    I LOVE Hong Kong! Wish I’d be going back soon!

    Aan de ene kant lijkt het mij zo vreemd en onwennig, ik ben altijd met familie, vrienden of mijn vriend op vakantie geweest en ik kom op die manier ook volledig tot rust. Het enige wat mij wél aanspreekt van alleen op reis gaan, is het feit dat je inderdaad kunt doen en laten wat je zelf wilt en met niets of niemand rekening hoeft te houden.

    Precies! En ik vind ‘t gewoon leuk om nieuwe dingen te proberen. Dus alleen al daarom de moeite waard! Maar natuurlijk zijn sommige dingen ook gewoon leuker mét gezelschap :)

    Helene

    it’s great that people are focusing much more on traveling solo these days. I’ve been traveling solo a lot and lots of people find that weird. But I love experiencing new cultures and meeting new people – why shouldn’t I do so just because I’m single??
    I totally get why you picked somewhere familiar, but if you’re up to some exploring, why not do it? I just came home to Norway from Hong Kong, and I’ve already booked my vacation for summer 2016 to Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong. To all those out there considering solo travel: GO, GO, GO! People are generally nice and helpful and you’ll probably end up having the time of your life :-)

    Absolutely! I think there are different kind of trips to do on your own. Going on a great travel adventure on your own (like the Asian adventure you describe) and I think that would be great to do as well. You really get to know yourself – and a ton of others – that way! For me it was about simplifying and calming down, which is why I really wanted something that felt warm and homely.

    And yay to single gals! ;)

    Helene

    I love that you wrote this post!

    Voor het eerst alleen reizen lijkt me zo gek… Maar met deze tips moet het wel goed komen. Soms ben je gewoon even toe aan een break, dat snap ik wel. Ibiza is echt perfect daarvoor!

    x Isabella
    http://just-stuff-i-like.blogspot.nl

    Spannend! Waar ga je zelf naartoe voor het eerst? En als je echt gaat reizen ontmoet je zo veel nieuwe mensen! Ik ging juist om in m’n eentje te zijn maar backpackers bijvoorbeeld trekken echt naar elkaar toe. Geniet ervan!

    I’m always travelling solo and it’s the BEST thing to do, ever ;-)

    Enjoy your Day, Lisa
    xx
    Joy Della Vita Travelblog

    That’s so cool! What places did you go on your own?

    All over Europe – from Latvia, London, Cph, Stockholm, Berlin, Valencia to 2500km Roadtrips in one Week all over France to 2-week Train Trips in Italy. :)

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