A few weeks before my 26th birthday I sat down and spoke to a few of those close to me about going on a much-needed vacation, either to Miami or Hawaii. I have family in Miami and friends, but Hawaii is somewhere I had never been before and didn’t know a soul. I love exploring, meeting new people and seeing new places. Plus, I had always heard great things.
My family supported me on the idea from the start. My brother was the only one who was little skeptical about it since I would be traveling to a place I had never been for a week and didn’t know anyone. But this was the great nature of the idea! I sat down one night, booked the ticket and the hotel. My excitement was in full throttle.
I sat first class on a United flight that departed LAX at 6am. I arrived in Honolulu around 1pm.
A friend of my dad’s met me at my hotel to hook me up with a killer room on the 24th floor, overlooking the beaches of Waikiki. I had lunch with him and his wife. He showed me around the hotel a little and gave me the G2 on where to avoid and what to check out. They took off shortly after and I headed out to explore.
Duke’s Ocean Fest was going on that week so there was constantly some water sport happening and plenty of surfing to watch.
My trip lasted 7.5 days. I spent my 26th birthday at Sea Life park swimming with the dolphin and finished it off at Top of Waikiki for one of the best dinners of my life. Delicious Poki, Filet Mignon, garlic potatoes, and veggies.
Some people I ran into were surprised I was there alone, especially for my birthday. Some couldn’t wrap their heads around it and others thought it was brilliant and amazing and YES, it was.
I could go on and on but the point of all of this is to show you the benefits to a solo vacation and how it can change your life and your perspective.
1. No stress.
You don’t have anyone with you worrying or concerned about flight delays, check in times or what to do. You are on your own. You make your own decisions and whatever it is you choose to worry about, it’s on you.
2. Boost in confidence levels
Traveling alone is a challenge and the more you challenge yourself and prove that you can do certain things you will gain more confidence.
3. Hungry? Eat when, wherever.
You can go at your own leisure. Not to mention you may meet the chef and get some free food, or become best friends with the waiter who takes you surfing and snorkeling on the north shore than dinner in Malibu 6 months later.
4. Meeting people is easier.
You are more open to making conversation with other people when you are by yourself. People are also more prone to approach you which is something you should be on guard about.
5. Sleep? What’s that?
There is no one there to decide when you are going to sleep, or when you need to wake up. Your sleep schedule is on your watch. If you are in Waikiki, and feel it in you to charge up Diamond Head (an old volcano) after an interesting evening to go walk it off and, then you can do that too. You can take a 2pm snooze if you wish and no one will judge you, or you can go to bed at 9pm and feel glorious in the morning. Do as you wish.
6. Limitless Activities
Plan your days however you want. Go on the tour of your desires and spend as much time there as you’d like. It’s your birthday and you want to swim with some dolphin? You should do that, and on a solo vacation no one is going to stop you.
7. Magic is what happens when you step out of your comfort zone.
Dare to be brave.
8. Alone time is a delicacy.
It is actually very important to be able to enjoy time alone and be happy without relying on the presence of other people. Never forget that you create your own happiness. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin starts with practicing to be comfortable, happy, and secure alone.
9. Creation of master conversations
This is a great tool to have and it doesn’t happen over night. It takes practice. We can all be a little shy sometimes and knowing how to ask questions, and getting to know people is a great way of networking. This will help you in the long run with your personal and professional communication skills. You may some really fun and interesting people. I know I did.
10. Simple joys are easy to find
When you have no one there to distract you, or listen to (no offense to anyone who speaks to me in the future) you are able to notice things more quickly and soundly.
Now go get out there and take a solo vacation!! You won’t regret it and chances are it will change your life.
Visit my Flickr account to view photos from my trip:
Photos from my personal collection.