BY MARIAH SECREST
Going it alone is on the rise—at least when it comes to vacationing. In fact, one in four adults will travel unaccompanied this year. And why not?
The solo vacation is the perfect opportunity to craft a healing and renewing experience that is as unique as you are—without pressure to see to the needs of others or fulfill external expectations.
Think a solitary escape is only for singles or introverts? Not true.
Many individuals who are in committed relationships find that time by themselves to recharge is exactly what they need to go back and give 100% to their spouses and families. Plus, venturing away from your daily routine to engage in new experiences is a great way to not only meet other travelers on a similar journey, but also to gain insight into your current social patterns and relationships tendencies.
Thinking of striking out on an adventure built for one? Consider this your private roadmap to personal renewal.
Take an Inventory of Your Needs
To net the biggest benefits from your vacay, identify what areas of your life are most in need of some TLC. What is it that would make you feel like a new person?
Sleep? Quiet time alone with your thoughts?
Or maybe for you, it’s the thrill of adventure or the challenge of learning a new skill that would rekindle your missing joie de vivre. The more specific you can be about what fills your heart, the better.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t let the prospect of designing your custom retreat like you’d design your coffee order (extra hot, two pumps, light on the foam…) hold you back from taking a risk or two.
A solo trip is one of the best ways to tap into creativity and confidence, particularly when you experiment with things that are outside your regular paradigm. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to sign up for skydiving when you have your heart set on a book by the pool.
Doing anything differently than you normally would at home will connect new neural pathways—and perhaps lead to greater self-understanding. Maybe for you, this means going to dinner by yourself when you’d normally order room service, or getting up early to watch the sunrise when your MO is to sleep in any chance you get.
Take the Lessons with You
Everyone—whether introvert or extrovert—can benefit from a deeper connection with themselves.
Understanding how you tick, what energizes you, and what makes you feel fulfilled is a key awareness that takes time to cultivate. Spending some time in reflection through a journaling practice at the end of your stay can help you bridge the gap between your time away and your return home.
Did you discover something new about yourself? Was there a new practice that sparked your interest?
Or maybe there are little touches of luxury that you experienced that you want to recreate at home—from refreshing your daily water with cucumber slices and mint leaves, to waking up a few minutes early to savor your morning tea before the day’s hustle and bustle sets in. The mindfulness involved in translating your vacation experience into how you want to live going forward will elevate your trip from “escape” status to that of “transformation.”
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