When was the last time you traveled by yourself? For me, it was in October when I visited Nashville for a work conference. I tagged on a few extra days to explore the city and spend some time alone. Other than a few trips to LA where I would visit family and friends, I hadn’t traveled solo or felt the sense of aloneness and brand-newness since I moved to San Francisco in 2011!
I remember when I first started dating my husband and immediately the importance for independence became one of the strongest pillars in our relationship. Both being a bit introverted, we respected each other’s need for alone time since day one. I believe that’s an important practice in any relationship, and one that helps nurture the respect we have for each other 5 years in. (Plus it’s true when they say absence makes the heart grow fonder ;))
I love to travel with my man, but this time, I was so, SO excited to create my own itinerary. After our trip to Paris in 2018, I quickly learned that my husband’s top 10 travel must haves are not the same as mine. He LOVES to read (which is super sexy don’t get me wrong)….but I mean, he must read EVERY. LITTLE. WORD. PRINTED. ANYWHERE! So he is not your average human being when it comes to visiting museums… he spends HOURS in one exhibit. So, when we travel, we both have to find a compromise… as anyone does traveling with a plus one. When I told him my plans for Nashville, he noticed I didn’t have any plans to visit a museum…and to that I said: “Thank god! I’m still recovering from the Louvre!”
It’s true when they say traveling alone boosts your self esteem.
I guess it goes hand in hand with the freedom to call the shots and create your own itinerary. You get a chance to reinvent yourself, be someone your not, change your name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock if you really wanted to.
I didn’t pull a Pheobe, but I really got to play out the role of a “Blogger” while I was there introducing myself. Hearing myself say it out loud and cement it with a handshake and a business card exchange really made me feel confident in my goals.
It’s true when they say traveling alone helps you get out of your comfort zone.
I had a bit of body dysmorphia last year, or rather, I hit the peak of a lifetime struggle with accepting my body. It was one of the reasons I quit Instagram (along with the mindless scrolling, lack of productivity and creativity). While planning this trip, I was finally in a good place and hitting an upward stride of self confidence; I felt that I should seal the deal and celebrate myself with a photo shoot.
It had been so long since I had any photos of myself. I feared the inevitable awkwardness of trying to carry myself in a “photoshoot” fashion. I stressed over what to wear, and how to be “more like a blogger”. Then I eventually decided that I was just going to wear the same jeans I always wear, and my favorite baggy jacket. I figure I could cancel out the discomfort by being comfortable.
The biggest feat that day was being able to swallow my natural awkwardness when put in the spotlight, and channel in a more confident version of myself. For the first time in a while, I was able to look at the photos and smile, instead of cringe.
There was a high that followed that photoshoot experience. I carried it with me into the day exploring the city.
It’s true when they say traveling alone makes you feel an immense sense of achievement.
After spending a few days alone, I felt like I had accomplished being my best self. Sometimes it’s nice to let go of that natural instinct to see what the other person wants to do, and just do you without any hesitation or justifications — Like eating ice cream and people watching instead of going to a museum. 😉
I got to bask in rituals I didn’t know I had, such as talking to myself in the mirror while applying makeup as if I had my own YouTube makeup channel; and making sure to stretch out diagonally and in all directions in the bed because I had it all to myself.
What has traveling solo done for you?
Traveling solo was a refresher. I’ve changed a lot since my last solo trip in 2011 so a reintroduction to myself was much needed. It helped me understand myself as an individual and as a partner. I’ve added it to my annual self contract — take time to travel solo to honor myself and my growth. This year I’ve already booked my solo trip. What about you?
Check out my other posts from this solo trip:
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