So you’re thinking about traveling solo for the first time? I couldn’t be happier for you! Before you get to reading, I just wanted to share some more of my mindset leading up to and during my 100 Days of Self Love journey. I spent a lot of time alone, I mean I have friends and am very social at work, but whenever I could find time to be alone I would relish in it. In the past, I’d taken the role as planner in a lot of group trips and outings, and was protective and sometimes territorial of my friendships and relationships. But then there came a point where I simply did not want to feel responsible for anyone else besides my son and family. I had spent so much time distracting myself, judging, trying to control, and fix and “rescue” people; then I realized it was me that needed fixing. I couldn’t deny it anymore, and once my eyes had been opened there was no turning back. So I pulled back and stopped giving what I didn’t have to give of myself. And in that seclusion is where I grew to really enjoy just living for me (and baby boy of course) while re-educating myself on the power of the mind and soul, and remembering who I really am. By the time it came to taking a trip somewhere foreign by myself, I was scared but I was never worried that I would get bored or lonely because I already knew I love my own company.
Ok, so here are some tips I found useful when planning my first international solo trip.
1. Well, first and foremost your family and friends will most likely be nervous about your trip, so I recommend making an itinerary to leave with them. It honestly makes you AND them feel better having an organized and detailed document of everywhere you’ll be going and staying. If that’s something you probably won’t get around to, at least make sure to stay in contact and share details of your trip along the way and keep all your emails/confirmations together so it’s easy to find and accessible without internet service.
2. Do your research. Google and YouTube were my best friends leading up to this trip. I watched different videos about what to do on the islands, the ferries, restaurants, and the culture. But before I even did that I read blogs and watched videos of women and their solo travel experiences.
3. Find a top rated/trusted cab service (I suggest Trip Advisor to check reviews) to be your designated escort if you don’t plan on renting a car. Organize the airport pickup and drop- off so that everything moves smoothly. They tend to be very knowledgeable of the area and are most likely willing to negotiate a discounted rate in exchange for the loyalty. This is something I absolutely did not think of, but luckily the young lady I met was on top of it.
4. Utilize your resort’s Guest Services or hotel concierge. The guest services coordinators at Zemi Beach House Resort were so instrumental in my trip to Anguilla. They provided me with all the information (prior to my trip) from getting to the island from St. Maarten, they even included transportation from the Princess Juliana Airport to/from the ferry dock and organized the payment and schedule. Not all resorts do this so make sure to inquire because it’s a treat if they do!
5. Please use your “common sense!” This is simply to keep you safe, because while positivity and prayer will you make feel better, we still have to stay aware. Make sure to land in your destination during the day, not too late or in the middle of the night, because that’s just scary. Do Not tell people that you are traveling solo, nor should you trust everyone. It’s nice to drink and have fun but DO NOT get drunk or too impaired that you are not completely aware of your surroundings (and don’t accept drinks from people without seeing it being made.) Keep your money and various forms of ID/paperwork in separate places and consider using the hotel safe.
6. Lastly, HAVE FUN and do whatever it is that YOU enjoy to do. Reading, beach life, restaurants, relaxing, massages, zip-lining, sleeping, crying, meditating, photography, podcasts, blogging, vlogging, horseback riding, swimming, yoga, exercising, going on tours, or even just watching tv. Be GUILT FREE and unapologetic about how you spend time with yourself, because this is how you learn what you do and don’t like, and if you like or don’t like yourself or being alone.
P.S. Here’s a good blog to read if you’re a mom struggling with the idea of leaving your kid(s) and/or significant others home with no apologies.
Also, here is one of the videos that solidified my decision: