Granted, I didn't exactly fly halfway across the world on my own. But I took a solo trip to Dublin for 4 days last month and it was a blissful 4 days of running on my own schedule with no one else to think about. Selfish? Absolutely. But taking time for myself (real time, not just 5 minutes catching up on Snapchat stories) was more valuable than I could ever have imagined.
From a young age, I've always enjoyed my own company. I'd sit in a corner and lose myself in a fictional world that existed between the pages of a book, I'd plug my headphones in to shut everyone else out and unlike many, have absolutely no problem with going out for a coffee or a meal by myself. In fact, it's something I really enjoy doing. Don't get me wrong, I have days where I crave attention, conversation, physical affection. But on the whole, I'd consider myself to be fairly independent and content spending time alone.
So on a whim, when a payment came in a few months ago, I decided to book a solo trip. I wanted to explore somewhere I'd never been before and I wanted to do it on my own. I'd always wanted to visit Dublin and the convenience of a short flight and the fact that it's an English-speaking city (as well as absolute adoration of the Irish accent) suited me. I had one in-person meeting during the trip and the rest of the time was mine.
In short, I explored the city by foot, ate in as many wonderful veggie and vegan restaurants as I could find and worked constantly. I carried my laptop around all day and at each pit stop, I'd resume with emails, editing and taking calls. Yet something about being in a new location and being on my own with no interruptions or distractions, made me more motivated and eager to work than ever. I just felt so full of energy and optimism.
It was during the brief moments of pause at mealtimes that I realised how valuable that time was. It's a bizarre feeling to really feel content in your own company, especially when you've barely made it out of bed some days in the past. It's strange how the mind can go from being an enemy to a friend. It takes time, a lot of self-love, acceptance and a solid support system. But being there, by myself, was just a confirmation of that. It was a poignant trip that really made me realise how far I've come over the last couple of years, allowing me to appreciate the journey and every experience that has shaped it. I'm still learning about myself every day and I love that.
Having boarded a handful of flights on my own and more recently, actively decided to travel alone, I can't wait for my next solo adventure. If you ever get the opportunity, I encourage you to grab it with both hands and not look back. And if you don't get an opportunity, create one. Because it's an experience like no other, learning about and understanding yourself and what truly makes you happy. You're allowed to be selfish without regret and for that short space of time, focus solely on your own needs and desires. Discover yourself.
Solo travelling? It's a yes from me.