Updated: Aug 26, 2021
We all know that trips are better with our travel companions. But what if you've been ignoring your best travel buddy...yourself?
Is solo travel for you? I didn't think it was for me - until I did it. A small trip was all it took for me to reconnect with myself, my wants, my desires, and my peace of mind.
After a year that was difficult for me (as it was for the world), I felt trapped. The gravity of life today weighed on me. I was reeling from the loss of my full-time job. I struggled to create a new career. All the while my husband and I were trying to potty train a toddler and keep her occupied and happy. I took to hiding in the dining room at the back of the house to put some distance between me and the family. I needed something that was for me. I needed a break - a reset. I discussed my feelings with the hubby. He encouraged me to take a few days to myself, somewhere warm where I could relax.
Our checklist wasn’t extensive. We needed to find someplace tropical. I wanted to escape the roller coaster weather of April in the Northeast US. The location should have all-inclusive properties. We didn't want to break the bank, so the resort had to be budget-friendly. But, I did not a property that catered to spring-breakers or the party crowd.
I didn’t want to leave the property to find food or entertainment. I also did not want to worry about carrying cash or credit cards. As a first-time solo traveler, I did not want to wander too far. I am not that adventurous yet.
I stayed at the Hotel Riu Yucatan, which was well within our budget and had good reviews. You can read my review on TripAdvisor here. The property was nice and attracted the kind of people I wanted. Most of the patrons were 35 and older, couples and solo travelers, who knew how to have a good time.
The best parts of Solo travel
No schedule - you're not beholden to the whims of anyone but yourself. I slept when I wanted to sleep, I woke up without an alarm clock. Sometimes I sat on my chair and read. Other times I chatted with other guests at the pool bar. I did yoga on my balcony every morning and ate breakfast while gazing at the ocean.
Time to think - Once you do not have the pressures of others, you have time to sit with your thoughts. You can get to know you again. I spent a lot of time re-evaluating my priorities and now I have a new perspective on my life.
Change of view - It is a different experience to travel with someone when you have to take their wants and needs into account. I now know what is important to me when I travel and I can factor that into my future trips with friends and family.
I have a newfound love of spending time with myself. I am at ease with my own company and I have reaffirmed my ability to make new friends if need be. I appreciate the times I do get to travel with my family, but it's nice to have new personal experiences and memories to share with them. What a way to rejuvenate conversations with friends and family.
Have you ever traveled alone? Did you go backpacking through Europe or wander the streets of Tokyo? How was your experience? Leave a comment below!