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