Before she headed off to Vegas by herself for a few days, a close friend told me, “You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.” And oh man, was she so right. She had been taking mini trips by herself for years, and I was always happy for her, but I had never truly understood why she had been bit by that particular bug until this past Spring. A solo trip means it’s all about you and your needs, your schedule, your interests, and your preferences. As I experienced my first ever vacation alone since becoming a mom, I realized how badly I needed that valuable time to recharge, and indeed, the peace of mind I gained from the alone time had no price tag.
I chose Florida because I’m a sun worshipper and love the sand, the water, the sights, and sunshine therapy. Plus, I have a lovely friend who lives out that way, so I could also visit with her and her family. During my time on my own, there were some days when I did absolutely nothing but lay on the beach, talking to nobody for hours, and it was everything I thought it could be. I’d pack a lunch, throw on my bikini and coverup, giddily slip into some flip-flops, wear ridiculously oversized polka dot sunglasses (because why not), and WOO HOO! I could relax and not worry about who needed a snack, sunscreen, or this or that. At first, I felt a little guilty, but as I spent more time on my own, I realized how badly I needed this break just to breathe, reflect and do nothing (because doing nothing is something)!
I am extremely outgoing, I love my job, and I interact with multiple people daily. But there was something pure and therapeutic awakened in me via my silence on the beach, my alone time at the gym, and in the private sanctuary of my cute villa. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t talk to anyone for four hours. There’s no gray area and no mincing words when I say this experience for me was absolutely incredible.
I squished my feet in the sand, closed my eyes, and snoozed a little. I walked into the ocean (but not too far, because, ya know, creatures), and I enjoyed the sounds of the water and felt the breeze. There was no “peopling,” no stress, demands, or worries: just me, the sunshine, the ocean, and relaxation.
I ate when I wanted, I went where I wanted (but let’s face it, it was basically the gym, the beach, and the pool), I watched what I wanted on my phone and my TV, I read when I wanted without interruption; I did ALL. THE. THINGS. By myself, for myself, and without distractions.
Nobody needed me to cook anything, clean anything, fix anything. I was FREEEEE! Not that I ever feel shackled with regular daily life, but let’s face it, our job as a mom is never easy, and it’s ongoing, day in and day out, with endless tasks. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because that’s not at all my intent. I LOVE being a mommy, and I feel so lucky and blessed, as cliché as that sounds. I truly do. But I also know that now that I’ve taken time for myself, I’ve come back from Florida with a clear mind, a recharged body, and a gratefulness to tackle each day in the beautiful balance of bliss and blunder that motherhood encompasses. I am better to everyone around me when I take time to invest in myself and ultimately reward myself with the gift of self-care and alone time.
Perhaps the only hiccup was an older man with tall white cotton socks who asked me at the beach if I needed help applying sunscreen. But if that’s the worst that can happen on a solo trip, then still count me in! And I wasn’t attacked by any jellyfish or Portuguese-Man-o-War like my mom feared, so that was a double bonus!
Undeniably, I agree with my friend; there is no price tag on peace of mind; so my advice, if you have never done so, is to take a solo trip! And if you have already plunged or dappled with this luxury (which some may also perceive as a necessity), then be sure to plan another one when you are feeling burned out. You deserve it.