7 Reasons Taking A Solo Vacation Is One Of The Best Ways To Help Yourself Heal
Sometimes, life goes entirely as planned, giving you all that you dreamed and hoped and worked for since you were a child. Other times, it decides to smack you right across the face, knock you down a few pegs and sarcastically say, “Nice try, kiddo.” It’s in those latter moments that stepping away – physically and mentally — can be the best medicine you could ever prescribe yourself. And yes, by that, we mean take a vacation.
Sure, you might be accused of being an “escapist” or attempting to run away from your problems, but ignore the naysayers and tune into your own needs. It doesn’t matter what type of trauma or hardship you’ve recently experienced, be it a breakup or getting laid off or losing a loved one. If it’s critical enough to rock your world and flip it upside down, you need to take some “me” time to press that reset button. And sometimes, leaving home for a little while in the name of solo travel is the way to do that.
1. It removes you from the stresses of daily life.
It’s incredibly difficult to focus entirely on what you’re going through personally when your boss is asking you to do a hundred different things, your roommate is inviting random people over at all hours of the night and your to-do list is staring you down the second the weekend rolls around. In fact, some would say it’s damn near impossible. In order to truly prioritize your own need for self-care and recovery, you need to step away from the daily stresses that overwhelm you. And a solo trip, whether you head down the interstate or across the globe, is a great way to create that clear, effective boundary.
2. You get a chance to be truly selfish.
One of the most beautiful aspects of solo travel is that you are 100 percent in charge of what you do, where you go, what you eat and when you sleep. If you don’t want to do something, cut it from your list. If you want to tackle a dozen touristy spots in a day, good for you. On these kinds of vacations, you get to be your own boss, which rarely happens your typical day-to-day. So take advantage of this chance to indulge yourself, only think of yourself and tap into what that little voice inside your head is saying to you.
3. The change of scenery refreshes your perspective.
There’s something seriously powerful about uprooting yourself and relocating to an entirely new place. The views look different, the air smells different and even the vibe feels different. Surrounding yourself with this sense of novelty can help pull you out of or away from the struggle that seems to be pulling you down or holding you back. Then, all that is left is the authentic version of you. And it’s at that point that you can genuinely begin to heal.
4. It frees your mind of responsibility and expectations.
Most of us don’t exactly know how to react when we wake up to a new day and find that there’s nothing we have to do or should do. But when you create this situation for yourself, magic happens. Your mind is suddenly free to roam and wander, connecting with things as you move organically through your new locale. It can help you find a new sense of clarity, as well as reconnect with the vision of yourself and your life that you may feel like you’ve lost. And that openness can feel mighty inspiring, igniting a new sense of optimism within your mending body.
5. The new experience can help you learn about yourself.
While solo travel doesn’t leave you entirely isolated, it certainly gives you a lot more time than you typically have to simply spend with yourself. And as you navigate your days as your own BFF, you naturally pay close attention to yourself — how you react to particular situations, the roots of what is causing you distress, the things that make your soul come alive. Take the time to lean into these lessons. And don’t forget them — bring them back home with you.
6. It can increase feelings of joy.
Hello, Captain Obvious — taking a vacation from the daily grind is straight-up enjoyable. Exploring new places and eating new cuisines and going on new adventures is fun. So even if you start off with soul-searching intentions, know that you’ll like find a few slices of happiness along your journey, too. And not only is that a beautiful thing, but it’s also a key component to healing.
7. You’ll come home feeling more in tune with yourself than ever.
As your little “escape from reality” comes to a close, you might not return the 100-percent version of yourself. But you will be on the mend. And some of those stitches will be a stronger connection with your own intuition, a clearer acknowledgment of who you are and what you want and need out of this life, and an understanding of what you’re willing to do to find that place of peace, satisfaction and fulfillment. Those elements don’t heal all wounds, but they will always make you a stronger version of your former self. So hold on to them.