This year, I decided to go on holiday by myself.
I decided that I want to spend some time away from the city and be serenaded by the sounds of the waves splashing onto the shore and breathe air that’s not infused with exhaust fumes. I wanted to do this by myself, which for me was something out of the ordinary.
I was nervous at first because I’d never been on holiday by myself, and my family and friends thought that it was weird to do so. But none the less, I booked my flights and accommodation, and as soon as I took leave from work, I headed to a quiet beach resort in KwaZulu Natal.
It was one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating holidays that I’ve had in a while because it was much-needed me time. I spent endless hours by the beach, strolling barefoot on the shore, meditating, praying and enjoying the warmth of the sun and the sound of the ocean’s waves.
I woke up when I felt like it, went sight-seeing to places I’ve wanted to visit and even had time to sit on the beach and read books that I haven’t had time for because of my busy work and life schedule.
It was great to have some time of solitude away from work and people. Not to say that I don’t love those in my life and my work, but it’s great to reconnect with myself and not have to do anything or talk to anyone for a while. It was great to not have schedule or a list of responsibilities that needed to be attended to.
Solo travel broke all self-consciousness I had about traveling on my own. No one actually cares whether or not you’re eating at a restaurant or going for a massage by yourself. Everybody is too busy enjoying themselves, and all the self-consciousness I was feeling was by my own doing. Once I let go of the illusion that everyone around me was judging me for being alone, I felt empowered because it showed that I could do anything that I wanted to do, and that I was my own person and could fully enjoy my own company.
It felt great to create the holiday itinerary on the go. Holidays require lots of planning and working around people’s preferences, but with solo travel, I had the freedom of doing what I wanted because my time wasn’t shared with anyone.
If you haven’t gone away on holiday by yourself at least once in your life, I would encourage you to do so. It’s great to detach from the world, to chill out and be by yourself.
And it doesn’t have to be an elaborate holiday in a far-away destination. Just going down to the coast or a nature resort by yourself will do you a world of good.
*image from Urbanswank.