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Tips on Traveling Solo

Happy Monday! Spring Break is officially over but I thought I would share a little bit more about my experiences traveling alone.

For starters, taking solo trips (even if it's just for a day or afternoon) is amazing for our overall wellness. They reset, refocus, and refuel our minds and bodies. And I just had a conversation with a friend who reminded me that traveling and exploring different areas by yourself is such a positive, empowering, and valuable experience. Sure, they can be stressful if you're not open to the idea, but if you are, they are healing in so many ways.

It was exactly a year ago that I took my first solo trip to California to visit my brother and because and I knew I wasn't going to be alone for the entire time, that helped me with feeling more comfortable and less anxious. For the first 2 days, I stayed in LA with him and then headed to the beach where I had a day in a half to do whatever I wanted.

In California and Hilton Head, it was definitely overwhelming to not have someone else fill the silence at meals or take in the beautiful views with, but l quickly got over that because that is the whole point of these trips, to appreciate the moments of silence, beauty, and feeling strong and independent. Once you realize that you don't need someone to have a good time, spending time with yourself becomes that much more enjoyable.

Overall, having a mixture of both socializing and me time works well and would recommend doing that if you want to ease into traveling alone. I've listed a few tips to keep in mind before and during your solo trip!

1. Choosing your Destination: Go somewhere that makes sense for you YOU, it's common sense but everyone is different and going somewhere that doesn't fit in with what you're looking to do is a waste of time (don't go to Vegas for a low key getaway).

My experience: Hilton Head was very low key, it's not the busy season so it wasn't crowded and it's a beach town, so I was able to lay out, relax by the water, and watch these beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

2. Where to stay: Depending on what you're looking to do, (outdoorsy things, concerts and events, beach/pool, etc.) find an Airbnb or hotel that's close by to those activities.

My experience: I decided to go a few days beforehand so I stayed in a hotel on the water but usually prefer an Airbnb and would book that a few weeks out. I was able to step outside my room and pretty much do everything I planned (bike and walk on the beach, swim, bike to restaurants etc).

3. What to do: Plan ahead and research the area; what time restaurants or stores open/close so you can map out your days.

My experience: Even though my trip was last minute, I researched where I wanted to eat each meal and what I would do to fill the time between. Luckily, I wanted to bike a good bit so getting to and from breakfast and lunch filled most of that time. But if I had more time in between meals, I would have found another spot to explore or would have taken a workout class.

4. Eating Meals Alone: This is probably the most challenging aspect of traveling alone because of how public it is. Again, depending on where you go, it'll vary on how comfortable you fell with sitting at a table or the bar.

​​My experience: I ate almost every meal at the bar (except in Palmetto Bluff). I'm a pretty independent person, but I still ​​really enjoy meeting new people, so the bar works well for that. And after a full day of just hanging with yourself, it's nice to have a conversation with other people. Eating alone is not for everyone, but over time, it becomes easier to do. Also, there is no way I was going to eat my meals in my hotel room..I do that every night at my apartment!

If you're not a bar person or if the restaurant doesn't have one (like the one I went to in Palmetto Bluff) you can still make it work. I ended up sitting at a table and starting asking questions about the area and the waitress, and I talked for 15 minutes. That's not always going to be the case, but because it wasn't crowded, it worked out well.

It's good to challenge ourselves every once in a while and step outside our comfort zones.

5. Stay Active: I had to throw this one in there:) If it's your first time traveling alone you might feel a little and that better what to release that than a workout?

My experience: I've only traveled to beach town's so biking was my preferred form of working out. In the future if I travel somewhere without the beach, I'll definitely be taking some sort of class to 1) working out is a part of my everyday routine, 2) it helps me feel less anxious about traveling alone, and 3) it breaks up the day and it's an alternative way to meet other people

I hope these were helpful and that you are a little more open to the idea of traveling solo :)

Thanks for reading!

xx maria

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