There are no ifs, and, or buts about it – you need a break. You may feel prompted to organize a trip with friends or family, but if we’re being honest, they’re part of the reason you need that break. Getting out of your regular groove and switching off is what a vacation is all about, and that’s why more and more people are booking solo vacations.
However, humans are social creatures, and the thought of going it alone can be a little anxiety-provoking. Here are six happy thoughts that might outweigh your worries.
- You can forget the itinerary.
Visiting a destination with significant others and kids means everyone has expectations that must be met. Instead of making sure everyone else is getting what they need out of a vacation, you can focus on what attracted you to that place to begin with.
Instead of making an afternoon of that sprawling museum, you can really explore it without being pulled away by anyone else’s disinterest. If what you want is to just lie on the beach, you can do so every day. The only one who needs to be entertained is you.
- You have some control over how safe it is.
If traveling alone sounds unsafe to you, there are measures you can take beforehand to boost the safety quotient of your trip. Make sure you have copies of all identifying documents, and be sure that your accommodations feature 24-hour staff.
While you may not be interested in scheduling every moment of your time off, let loved ones know where you’ll be staying, and areas you plan to visit. Don’t bring anything extremely valuable, and stick to places where travelers are common and welcome.
- You’re more likely to meet new people.
It’s always more fun when you’re surrounded by your new tribe. For example, if you’re picking a place where your favorite band is having a concert date, you’ll get to meet all kinds of people who are passionate about the same things you are.
When you vacation with others, you tend to stick to who you’re with. Not only will you feel more encouraged to branch out when you’re alone, but you’ll appear more approachable to others. That’s not always a bad thing.
- You’ll feel empowered.
What happens when you – and you alone – are responsible for your good and bad experiences? You have the opportunity to influence how things go, and see the good results that come from taking control.
We rely on those around us in a million small ways. When there’s no one to defer to in trying situations, you get to rise to the occasion and feel more confident in your ability to navigate unfamiliar territory.
- It’ll be easier to relax.
Studies show that taking time alone can be the best way to let go of the “monkey mind” that permeates our busy daily lives. If your brain is always working overtime at home, bringing “home” with you in the form of old friends and kids may not inspire the same level of relaxation.
What will happen when you truly leave it all behind? Depending on where you’re off to, it can be psychologically restorative, and allow realizations and new ideas to emerge.
- You can be yourself, or discover who “yourself” really is.
There’s no point in pretending that we don’t all have a front we put up for people we know and love. Whether it’s staying strong and stable, dressing a certain way, or being cautious about your facial expressions, you can let that go now.
You can wear whatever you want, drink champagne at lunch, or sleep until noon with no interruptions. If you spontaneously decide that afternoon windsurfing session sounds good, you can go for it. In the process, you may find that this freedom inspires you to make changes when you return home.