Every February, it seems that most publications start putting out content on romance. Travel publications list the 10 most romantic destinations in the world. Food publications list the top 10 romantic restaurants to dine with your boo. Fitness magazines list creative fitness activities that couples can do together.
As a single person, sometimes when I read these, my eyes roll so far to the back of my head that they pop out of my face and roll down the street. The market is oversaturated with fun things couples can do to reignite the passion, creative gifts to get that special someone, etc.. So, single people can feel a bit invisible.
Well not here, and I hope that my fellow single peeps who are reading this feel seen and heard, because this article is all about self-love.
First things first, I think a lot of people don’t understand what self-love is. In the context of this article, I mean that it is an ongoing action; not so much a feeling. In the same way that farmers love and care for their crops, self-love is the ongoing action of loving and caring for yourself, with intention.
Traveling can be an incredible way to cultivate self-love. For a lot of people, travel is something that is best appreciated with others. In the past several years of being single, I have taken dozens of trips by myself, and I have to tell you, I absolutely love it, which is ironic because I am an extrovert and love being social.
In fact, one of the best trips I’ve ever taken in my life was to a destination that is known for romance, couples, and honeymoons: the Maldives. I was supposed to go for two weeks, and I extended my stay to be three and a half, because I was having such a good time… alone.
When I tell people that I went to the Maldives for almost a month, the question I always get is “what did you do for that long in the Maldives?” The funny thing is, as I reflect on the trip, I was so busy doing fun things every day that I cannot remember a second where I felt bored, uninspired, or that I wished to be any place else. I didn’t even really feel the desire to have someone with me. Most of the time, I just felt so overjoyed to be doing exactly what I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it, however I wanted to do it, without having to check in with anyone else to make sure that we were on the same page. It was my page, it was my book, and I had the pen.
The Maldives is known for its snorkeling, and yes, I did snorkel a lot. However, I really feel that snorkeling in the Maldives is like snorkeling on steroids. It’s just abounds with wildlife like you cannot imagine. Every day, I saw more than 100 different kinds of animals. I was surprised that I didn’t get bored of it, but I didn’t. There was always something cool to see.
However, besides snorkeling, especially since I was traveling alone, I did so many things that I wanted to do that I wouldn’t have done had there been someone else with me. This included antigravity yoga, water yoga, about three other kinds of yoga, biking, multiple spa sessions, cooking lessons, surfing lessons, a special tour of an environmental recycling and treatment plant (because that is a special interest of mine), lots of beach time in general, other various tours, and of course I just took thousands of photos without having to worry if I was boring someone or if they weren’t into it. I even went ice skating– yes that is a thing in the Maldives. I ate wonderful healthy food, exercised daily, visited the spa, and met new people at every location.
In other words, I loved and cared for myself with intention. I literally had tears in my eyes when I left the Maldives. I have had romantic trips with boyfriends in the past, but I have never felt like that when leaving the destination.
This is just one example but I have had incredible trips by myself to destinations all over the world, most recently, to a wellness retreat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
If this article in any way encourages you to take a self-love trip all by yourself, then It has done its job. For the past few days, in preparation for this article, I have been reflecting on the benefits of traveling alone, in comparison to traveling with a romantic partner. I narrowed my thoughts down to the 10 best benefits of traveling alone.
10 benefits of traveling alone:
1. You do exactly what you want, when you want, where you want, and basically how you want, without having to check in with someone else, or question if they are OK with what you are doing.
2. You take a shower whenever you want, and you don’t wait for anyone to use the toilet as well. It’s yours… all yours, baby.
3. There will be no one snoring next to you, and no one next to you to notice any gaseous emissions.
4. Presumably there won’t be any arguments with your traveling companion, assuming that you get along with yourself.
5. You only have to look after yourself. If anything goes wrong someone won’t be blaming you. It just is what it is!
6. You may often have a larger variety of experiences if you are traveling by yourself. When traveling with a significant other, a lot of that time is spent doing coupley things together.
7. On the trips where I am traveling by myself, I have engaged in more physical fitness than when I was traveling with a significant other. When traveling solo, I just find that I work out more.
8. Just because you are traveling alone without an intimate partner doesn’t mean you have to be alone. As a single person, taking a trip with friends or with a gay tour group is a fantastic way to love yourself, and to love yourself as a single person.
9. If you are like me, you will meet more people while traveling as a single person than when in a romantic relationship. Because I do not have my boo with me, I find that I make a bigger effort in communicating with other people. Sometimes I have made really cool friendships that I know I would not have made had I been traveling with a significant other. Also, people are more likely to approach me when traveling alone. Since they won’t assume I am otherwise occupied with my traveling companion.
10. The experience is yours. I don’t care how many people say that they don’t care what people think about them, everyone does on some level. Everyone. When traveling alone, the experience is yours, without judgment of any kind from anyone else. When you travel alone, you feel so completely free to be whoever you are, however and whenever you feel like expressing that part of yourself.
There are actually many more, but I don’t want to appear negative towards people who are traveling and in a relationship. There are certainly benefits to that as well, namely reliable sex. Woot-woot!
A lot of people don’t travel alone because they think that they will be lonely. In my experience, with today’s countless avenues for connection, you basically have people at your fingertips whenever you want. However, you’ll end up finding that your favorite moments are when you put your phone away and truly enjoy your time by yourself, in your surroundings, completely in the moment.