If you are thinking about doing a solo trip, stop the thinking part and just do it!
While I have been to foreign countries on my own before, it’s usually only been for a couple of days while I was waiting for someone to join me. I had never done the full blown solo holiday before. Until now.
The common response from people when I booked it was; ‘won’t you get bored?’ ‘what will you do?’ and the occasional, ‘that’s so sad.’ The simple answer to those questions were, no, lots, and far from it. Sure, if my husband could have taken the time off work it would have been unreal, but that was never an option and I wasn’t about to let that stop me.
I enjoy my own company, I always have. I enjoy going to the movies on my own, am more than comfortable going to an art gallery or exhibition on my own (so cultured) and don’t mind heading to a restaurant or café by myself.
I needed this holiday. I was burnt out. Big time. I needed toothpicks to keep my eyes open and alcohol in my hand to say anything interesting. It was a big year; I renovated a house, started a new job, started my own business (Show + Tell) and did it all at full-speed. (Is there another speed?)
So, I took myself off to Bali for two weeks to recharge my batteries and have some ‘me’ time. You know, real ‘me’ time, where your phone is off, no-one can find you, and the only questions people ask you are ‘would you like to make that a double?’ and ‘will that be an hour or half hour massage?’ Heaven.
For me, there is no better place on earth for this kind of holiday than Bali. Ah, blissful, beautiful, Bali. Perfect weather (by perfect, I mean hot, stinking hot, just how I like it), yummy food, friendly faces, beach massages and great shopping. I can’t even imagine what else you would need on holiday? People are also very friendly when you’re on your own – in fact – it makes us women all the more ‘mysterious’. Who doesn’t love chatting to a mysterious woman?
I had the most liberating trip. I felt so empowered going to places on my own and found myself feeling quite pleased with myself for actually enjoying it, like, really enjoying it.
I stayed at the very cool W Hotel in Seminyak and very sophisticated The Seminyak Resort and Spa – both were ah-mazing. I started the day with yoga (and one day, a very embarrassing aqua –aerobics class where I couldn’t keep up with the ladies twice my age), ate out on my own for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and a pre-dinner drink or two). I met a gorgeous homewares buyer who was also travelling on her own and kept me company for one too many lychee cocktails, and another group of girls who invited me to have dinner with them, to which I happily obliged, but other than that I was all on my own and loving it.
The incredible W by night and the Seminyak Resort and Spa by day.
There were times I was totally out of my comfort zone but that also felt liberating because I would always end up surprising myself. I tried new things while singing Beyoncé’s ‘Independent Woman’ in my head and felt unstoppable as I opted for the third cocktail or walked down the bustling street at night flicking my hair around.
Okay, so I am certainly no pro at this (yet), but I would like to share the little wisdom I do have from this ‘I am woman hear me roar’ solo-trip:
– Eat alone – I don’t just mean breakfast or brunch but dinner. Eat dinner alone. It’s empowering, trust me. And, you don’t have to share dessert with anyone.
– Try a group activity if you’d like to break up the sole routine – cooking class, yoga, surfing – whatever floats your boat.
– Smile! And if you’re feeling really Beyoncé-like, talk to people. You’ll meet people you wouldn’t when traveling with someone.
– Lie a little. Just little white lies – i.e. – don’t let on you’re on your alone, say you’re on your way to meet your husband/ friend etc. Oh heck, who am I to stand in your way, lie a lot, make up a sordid exciting past.
– Be adventurous – no one can see you if you fall off the paddle board 100 times in a row or lose your bikini top on a jet-ski. (if you find a black Tigerlilly bikini top while you’re there, it’s mine.)
– Travel light – not a good look falling over your suitcase and staring at your bruised legs on a sun lounge for the next week.
– Don’t wear a sarong – it’s just you and your cellulite, who cares.
I challenge you to do this sometime this year. It doesn’t have to be for two weeks, or one week even, maybe it’s a weekend or even a solo lunch. But take yourself somewhere you haven’t been before and explore. You’ll be surprised at how much you get to know yourself. And you’ll be more surprised at how empowering it will make you feel -long after the trip.
Have you ever travelled solo?
* The very fabulous peeps at Creative Holidays looked after me and made sure I had the trip I wanted. If you’re wanting to book your own holiday to Bali – or anywhere else – contact them here – http://www.creativeholidays.com. They are unreal – and well connected.*