If you were to tell me a year ago about taking a solo trip, I would’ve laughed straight in your face. My whole life I’ve been part of a group, never comfortable with being by myself. So late last year I joined a group of travelers on Facebook, and this is where I drew my inspiration from. These ladies are fierce and brave. They travel around the globe mostly by themselves purely for the love of it. The more I saw their posts, the more I became more open minded.
Since each year I choose a challenge that pushes me out of my comfort zone, this year I’m going with Solo Traveling.
Using Solo travel for self care
When there are no demands on your attention or your time, you have an opportunity to focus on YOU.
- You can do things that you love or that you’d love to try but never have the time.
- You can arrange pampering time for yourself and take as long as you need.
- You can spend time decompressing via long walks or swimming.
The ultimate goal is to refill your drained cup.
It’s my vacation and I’ll do what I like
I hopped on a flight to Durban and booked myself into a great hotel. Safety is important so doing your research is mandatory. I hired a car because I wanted to drive myself plus Durban is really just like Joburg.
Before the trip, I planned on getting around via Uber but upon arriving, I decided it was too hot and I wanted to rent a car, so I did. I did so without consulting anyone; I just changed my mind. It was such a liberating feeling!
After checking into my room, it was time to eat. I got some suggestions from the front desk and decided on bunny chow. Umhlanga has great restaurants so I was spoiled for choice. I didn’t have to worry about if my kids wanted Bunny chows or wonder if the establishment was kid-friendly. I got a lamb Bunny chow because I wanted it. Novel, right?
I ordered a bottle of wine and went swimming in the hotels heated pool. Swimming is one of my favorite things to do. And I’m not talking about competitive swimming which you are bound to do when the son is around. No splashing, diving, timed laps but a relaxed connection with water. I felt so at peace. Back at my room I enjoyed the fact that I don’t have to unpack and pack for anyone. It was just me and my huge comfortable bed. I read a book, watched movies and explored the hotel gym. Later on I got dressed up, put on some make-up and took myself out for dinner.
Take your time. Dining alone is not about eating as quickly as possible and getting the hell out of there. You have ordered what you wanted to eat, now is the time to enjoy! Savour every mouthful, and if something isn’t right with the order then call over your waiter. Take advantage of the fact that you can order anything there’s no debating with your partner. Immense yourself in the experience.
Learnings from this Solo trip
On this trip I found the parts of myself that had been tucked underneath the cover of motherhood. I found the care-free MrsX who didn’t need to think too much or worry about the well-being of another person. It was freeing, and it brought me peace. I come back a better woman for my family because I’m renewed, refreshed, and replenished by the experience.
I wish for those moments of clarity and stillness for every mother.