Being surrounded by people constantly can take its toll at times, which is why a solo-break is encouraged every now and then. While family holidays and baecations are great fun and strengthen relationships, your primary relationship should be with yourself, and should be nurtured more often than not.
Dumi Gwebu from Jo’burg takes solo trips often and enjoys getting to know more about himself in the process. “Taking holidays alone is yoga for the soul. I learn to rely on myself for things and I really enjoy my own company. We often have group mentalities that compel us to be dependent on others. Go out and enjoy life on your own terms, not those dictated to you by social media.
“You’re under the impression that people think you’re a freak for being on your own, but it’s all in the mind.”
Solo travels are a great way to catch your breath after a hectic year, or even an amazing way to kick off a new phase (or year) of your life.
Here are some of the benefits of solo-tripping:
You have no time constraints
For some of us, this would be the only time we don’t have to answer to anyone and not feel guilty about it. You can plan your itinerary, but you’re under no obligation to stick to it (unless you’ve made bookings). Use your time to explore, laze around, read, sleep, eat, and repeat!
Meet new people
No woman is an island, so don’t isolate yourself from completely. Get out and befriend the locals and make new friends. Find out from friends who’ve previously visited this location where the hotspots are, or gather brochures from your hotel or accommodation reception. Lifelong connections are often made during one’s travels. Who knows, if you’re looking for love . . . You see where we’re going with this, don’t you?
Make new discoveries (about yourself and others)
This is a great time to try out new things. You might find yourself picking up a new hobby or even learning a new language. Find out as much as you can about your location and educate yourself and your friends back home.
Guilt -free shopping
We’re sure you don’t really need much encouragement here, but in case you do, guilt-free shopping is allowed. However, make sure that you stay within your budget. You don’t want to go home to face money problems.
Healing after a challenging time
If you’ve been through a rough patch, whether personally or professionally, a solo trip will do wonders in helping you regain perspective or simply just helping you to unwind and deal with your feelings. There’s nothing as refreshing as a clear mind! In the words of Chaim Potok: “I’ve begun to realise that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
Dr Mosadi Mahoko from Cape Town, who also embarked on a solo trip, says that everyone should take one at least once. “Everybody should be open to a solo trip. It’s good for introspection if you’ve come through a tough time, but also allows you to experience many different things. It’s a great idea even if you are in a great space. I just wanted to go away and no-one could come with me, so I figured: ‘Why not just go on my own?’”