I travelled solo last Christmas for the first time and it was one of the most liberating experiences I’ve ever had. I took a month out of work to challenge myself to get over my fear and anxiety around spending time alone (and my fear of flying) and it really paid off. I would encourage EVERYONE to try it at least once - I came back with a great feeling of pride and accomplishment, a deeper connection to myself and my mindful practice, and of course a lovely Aussie glow ;)
Here’s my five top learnings from my trip:
1. Allow yourself time off and do things at your own pace
Traveling alone can be exhausting especially if you’re an anxious person. By the time you’ve worked up the courage to go out for your first solo meal out, you’re totally wiped out. Give yourself permission to just hang around your accommodation if you’re not up for launching into an activity. This is your holiday after all!
2. Monitor your phone/social media usage
I like to keep my social and phone time to a minimum anyway, but when I’m away on a holiday i’m more conscious of it. I see holidays as a time to reflect and explore, for yourself and no one else. If it feels aligning to share your experience, of course do it! But take your eyes off your phone for the most part or you’ll miss the all the wonder around you.
It can also be tricky working around time differences and checking in with friends and family who are asking if you’re doing okay. Schedule some video calls with your besties, check in with postcard style messages but keep it simple. As long as they know you’re safe and happy, you can tell them all about your trip when you’re home. Be in the moment.
3. Plan some things
Don’t over-schedule, but pepper your diary with some plans that you can work around. Airbnb not only do accommodation but you can book experiences with locals through them - which is a great way of trying new things (I did a ukulele lesson on the beach!) and meeting people without any pressure.
4. Remember your mindful practice
It’s gonna get lonely, and you’re going to experience the same triggers and symptoms as you do back at home - so don’t neglect the medication, practices or tools that keep your head above water!
5. Buy yourself a present
So you’ve done all your tourist shopping for everyone else but don’t forget about you! You’ve achieved something amazing, so bring something home with you to remind you of that. While in Australia I bought myself a mug and now every time I have a cuppa it reminds myself of how badass I was for doing that trip.
Get those flights booked angel! You won’t regret it