As a grown, partnered-up, introverted extrovert, I sort of assumed going on vacation by myself was something I’d never do. Like, what’s the point? I’m not out here trying to eat, pray, love (tbh, probably just eat). Also, after months and months of seeing no more than the same four people, a group trip would be exactly what I needed.
No. It turns out, no, no, no, no. Solo travel offers so much more than post-breakup epiphanies—especially for anyone who’s been through 2020 and most of 2021. Allow me to elaborate based on my gloriously lonely vacay in the jaw-dropping Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire.
You can keep talking to yourself.
In the car, navigating without GPS on an island where donkeys and goats post up in the middle of the road (cute! and! scary!), I deployed my preferred love language, words of affirmation. “So, this is a one-way and we’re going the wrong way, but it’s okay!” I felt more emotionally supported by my own brain than ever before, and we’re still pals.
There’s no comparison BS.
Group trips with friends inevitably lead to at least one “Oh my gosh, you look so chic; I hate my outfit, hair, toenails, etc.” moment. But alone, I gave significantly fewer fucks. I even wore the same outfit two days in a row like the pandemmy blob I am. Jealous?
You’ll drink less.
To be fair, IDK your life, and there’s nothing wrong with drinking alone, but navigating a new place after downing margs is a challenge—I’ve learned. So most nights, I had a single cocktail, if that. ’Twas a dramatic transition. And hello, best sleep? I’ve had? In centuries?
You set the tone.
Taking yourself on a trip means nobody’s vibe (see: your roommate’s, your lovah’s, your parents’, or whomever you spent decades of quarantine with) matters but your own. So when I decided to jump off a 20ish-foot cliff into the Caribbean Sea, my overly cautious boo (love u!) couldn’t Debbie Downer me out of it. Who knew I’m so fun? Love that for me.
Heads up: Tourism Corporation Bonaire and its island partners picked up the tab for the editor ~researching~ this trip.