As my husband and I are about to embark on our own solo trips (him much cooler than mine as he is going to Sri Lanka to do humanitarian work in an orphanage, me, just to Cannon Beach for a week) I was reminded of a conversation I had with a client about her love for her solo trips. When she goes on solo trips people tell her she is selfish, strange and ask her if she will get lonely. It got me wondering if people think that about solo trips so I decided to ask my good friend, self-care genius and Huffington Post Blogger her thoughts and if she would consider being a guest blogger for me.
Here is her thoughts:
What are yours??
Solo Trips for Self-Rejuvenation
“How do you feel about solo trips for self-rejuvenation?” Jessica asked.
“I’m for ‘em,” I answered, thinking how could anyone be otherwise? but knowing for plenty of people, it’s not that simple.
Full disclosure: I’m an introvert. If you’ve hung around Jessica at all you know the difference between introverts and extroverts, one of the main ones being that introverts like their alone time.
We need our alone time.
I’m also a self-care expert, and as such I am a strong advocate for self-rejuvenation. You need gas to make the car that is your life go, and if you keep going and going without rest stops, you’ll conk out.
On to the topic: Taking a vacation by yourself. Could you do it? Would you? Why or why not? I asked my Facebook followers this question, and the answers were mixed. Many said yes, some said yes, they’d like to but didn’t think they could, and others said No, it wouldn’t feel right.
To the YES group: Good for you! I have very little to say to you, because you already “get” it. I salute your good self-care attitude.
To the NO group: OK. That’s cool. If taking a vacation on your own for the purpose of self-care, renewal, rejuvenation doesn’t sound appealing to you then, guess what? You don’t have to do it! There, wasn’t that easy? But do me a favor, just in case you’re wavering on the concept, read the rest of this post.
To the YES, BUT group: Congratulations. You’re my favorite. Why? Because you help us start talking about all the juicy stuff like mindset and expectations. This was the group that said they’d love to, but didn’t think they could, either for financial reasons or for their family “letting them”.
A story: When I was 12 years old, I lived on the main street of a village that had its own cinema. Tuesday nights were Dollar Night, and you could get in to see a first-run movie for a dollar. I would ask my family if they wanted to go to the movies that night, and usually they would say no. So I went by myself.
You’d have thought I had decided to parade down Main Street in an ape suit.
“You’re going alone?” they would say. “But that’s so weird.”
“Then come with me.”
“I don’t feel like going to the movies tonight.”
“But I do,” was my answer. “Why should I not get to go just because you don’t want to? Besides, it’s not like we talk to each other while we’re there.”
I think the worry was about appearances. What would it look like to others to see someone in the movie theater alone? What would people think? What did it say about that person?
I think perhaps the resistance to solo vacations fits in that pocket. What does it mean if you take a vacation by yourself or without your significant other? If you’re married and you do it, does that mean you don’t like your spouse? If you’re single, does it mean you’re pathetic and don’t have any friends? Aren’t vacations something you’re supposed to share with people?
Sure. Sharing a vacation with someone is lovely. But what if there was more than one kind of vacation?
Example solo vacation #1: You’re a mom who works non-stop taking care of the family. You’ve been on vacations with them all before. Hell, you organized those vacations! They’re fun and also a lot of work. You drive an hour out of town and check yourself in to a local bed and breakfast for the weekend. You get to sleep as late as you want. Someone else cooks and cleans. You get quiet time alone with your thoughts and you actually get to read a book.
Example solo vacation #2: You’re a single, successful entrepreneur. You’ve got your own business that you’ve worked very hard to enjoy. Your business is so successful it can actually run for a bit without your day-to-day supervision. You tell your employees you’re going on vacation and won’t have your phone with you. What you actually do is stay home, unplug your phone and laptop, and catch up on your sleep and favorite TV shows.
Example solo vacation #3: You’re an Anglophile. You love all things British. You’ve read everything by the Brontësisters. Twice. You spot the mistakes they make in etiquette on Downtown Abbey. You spot an amazingly good deal on a trip to
England. Nobody else in your household is the least bit interested. You take the trip solo. It’s amazing. You get to linger on all
the things you want to without worrying about anyone else’s wants, needs, or agendas.
Group and family vacations are great. I’ve taken more than my fair share of them. I also know that they involve a great deal of compromise and negotiating to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. With solo vacations, that part is gone. You get to do what you want. You get to meet your own needs.
And that, my friends, is practicing excellent self-care.
One day, when I was in college, I got a call from my sister:
“Leslie, you’ll never guess what I did.”
“What’d you do?”
“I went to the movies all by myself.”
I laughed. “And?”
“IT WAS GREAT!”
 I’m putting this fact out there with the understanding that giving this question to me is kind of like asking a mouse how it feels about cheese.
 Have you ever actually been in a car that ran out of gas? I have. It was before the days of cell phones, too. I think that everyone should have the experience at least once because:
a- It’s a great metaphor for so many things
b- It’s a strong motivator to never let it happen again.
 A grown-up book. With sex scenes and everything.
Leslie Irish Evans is an author, speaker, and self-care genius who encourages stress-bunnies of all shapes and sizes to “secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. She is the co-author of Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire and the author of the upcoming Peeling Mom Off the Ceiling. For a free copy of her gorgeous e-booklet The Touch Manifesto, go to http://www.leslieirishevans.com