Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard (or perhaps used) the term “self-care.” Physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being are key factors in overall health. Engaging in the activities required to achieve or maintain an optimal level of overall health is a very active and strong choice. Furthermore, while maintaining your well-being can be as easy as treating yourself to a bubble bath or a lengthy, uninterrupted session with your favorite novel, let me explain why I believe that taking a solo trip is the best form of self-care you can give yourself.
One of the reasons I enjoy and recommend solitary travel is that it allows us to be selfish. We are frequently supposed to be unselfish and defined by our status(es) – we look after everyone but ourselves. When you go alone, though, you have just yourself to answer to. The joy of a solitary holiday is the freedom to plan your days however you choose. You are free to enjoy your location as you like, without having to adapt to the wishes of others. You are the one who makes the decisions and calls the shots. It’s liberating.
Freeing up mental, emotional, and physical energy to explore your environment at your leisure, free of “noise” and “baggage.” separation from your routine– and others who “need” you– can provide you room to relax and recharge, whether you’re a 12-hour trip or a 30-minute bus ride from home. When you actively make yourself unavailable and put yourself first, you’ll be astonished how little people truly need you: problems get addressed without your input, and disasters that would ordinarily require your assistance become far less so. You can quit being a nurturer and become an explorer instead.
A solo vacation is something that every person should accomplish, regardless of age, financial level, marital status, or reproductive status. It’s the pinnacle of self-care: a wonderful way to refocus on our particular needs and desires, a tremendous method to gain confidence, independence, and resilience, and essential to shaping who we are as people.