Going to the Bahamas alone was an eye-opening trip in more ways than one. You really learn a lot about yourself when you step away from all the things that keep you content. I realized in moments of quiet reflection that I have taken comfort in my comfort for entirely too long and I happily immersed myself in experiences I never would have had if I had just waited for Bryan or a girlfriend to take time off to come along with me.
One woman in the Bahamas called me brave (though I’m not sure that’s entirely true). Another resort employee told me she could never travel alone but applauded my decision. Here are a few reasons why I think it’s important that we take that initial step and book a solo travel vacation.
- You’ll never regret a once-in-a-lifetime experience the way you might a pair of shoes, a handbag (guilty), or that Friday night movie that you knew would be a rental.
- You’ll come back with great stories. On the day I took a shuttle downtown to the Straw Market, I met a sweet man who offered to take me around “his” island (he also happened to be a licensed cab driver). He drove me to the fish stands where the locals lined up each morning to pick up dinner for that evening, he showed me where the first fort in the Bahamas was located (and he graciously pulled over so I could snap pictures of the surrounding islands), and he told me all about the history of the Bahamas. He also offered to cook me dinner when I came back (I noticed it was incredibly important to the locals that you don’t just visit once, but that you intend to return). Okay, so maybe he was hitting on me a little bit. That part was flattering, too.
- You’ll watch as couples hold hands and your first instinct is to work on the relationship(s) you left behind.
- You’ll gain confidence. Walking into a dining room and saying that YES! You are a proud party of one takes major cajones.
- You’ll have the freedom to do whatever you like, whenever you like. If you’re one to give up the prime seat at a restaurant to your partner, you’ll enjoy the views in a whole new way. Want to take a nap in the middle of the day? Have at it! You’re on your own time now.
- You have the choice to meet people or use this opportunity for quiet reflection. There were times when I wanted to make conversation, and so, I did. And when I wanted to meditate on the beach or be left alone, I simply stuck my nose in my journal or a book.
Here’s the best part: only you can decide on your next travel adventure. As they say, the world is your oyster. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you choose?