Do you have an unshakable desire to reconnect with yourself and figure out exactly the direction you want to take going forward and you just can’t figure it out with the “clutter” of every day existence? Have you ever felt like you want to run away from your life for just a little bit to maybe find yourself again? Well, I recently did just that, deep in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Not exactly Eat Pray Love but I am on a budget and it worked its magic just the same. 🙂 Thank God for Airbnb!
Being alone can actually be a bit scary. You wouldn’t think so but we are so inundated with words and thoughts and technology these days that we are rarely alone, even with our own thoughts. Getting away and unplugging can offer amazing clarity, especially if you go somewhere you have never been before. That feeling of being out of your comfort zone and in uncharted territory can be exhilarating and daunting at the same time.
When you take the time to check in with yourself you may find some astonishing answers to questions that have been idle in your brain for maybe years now. We are more influenced than we think by the people we share our lives with: their decisions affect our decisions, their moods affect our moods, their needs trump our own and so on. When you go it alone you will connect with the essence of who you are and who you are meant to be. Your needs will come to the forefront and make themselves known. You will no longer be influenced by what your kids want to eat, be reliant on someone else to tell you how to do something or how to get somewhere (well maybe still the GPS lady), or feel the pressure of someone needing your attention. You can dance in the rain instead of running from it. You can stay up as late as you want and sing at the top of your lungs. You can figure out what your ideal day looks like if you don’t have all those expectations put on you. You can let your body sleep and wake on its own rhythm and on whatever side of the bed you want. You can get naked…..for as long as you like (and have a chat with yourself in the mirror while you are at it). You can read a book in a day just because and you can flirt with the guy at Trader Joes (just don’t take him home).
I highly recommend that taking time out for yourself be about self-awareness and really checking in and taking notes about the thoughts running around the hamster wheel of your mind. Try to catch them, examine them, write them down or kick them out for good. Be quiet and see what comes up. In the busyness of life, we don’t always have the time to do that. The small allotments of meditation or stillness we allow ourselves is not always enough to get into the nitty-gritty.
Going away on your own also gives you a boost of confidence that you are ok out in the world just as you are. It is nice to have a support team but it is even better to know that you can rely on yourself no matter what life throws at you. I truly believe it is good for us to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Going solo gives you a taste of that, especially with flight delays these days!
In our daily lives we don’t always get the time to really rest and be in our bodies. When things get quiet, you can really check in and see what needs attention. Maybe rest is all you needed for your back pain to go away. Maybe you don’t have that “condition” you thought you had but more likely your body is reacting to stress in a very negative way. Quite possibly, some of your ailments are emotionally charged. There is this thing called a mind-body connection….google it. 🙂
Stepping away from your life and looking back on it from a different perspective can also help you see what you have to be grateful for. I get it, the kids have you wanting to kill someone and the hubby keeps you up at night with his snoring. There are many days that you have wanted to run away screaming. When you see it from a different place, literally and figuratively, then it looks different. You will miss some of the things that drive you nuts. You will see what you love about where you live compared to where you are visiting. The things that seem like a big deal may not seem so when you are displaced from them. All that being said, if you go away and look back and don’t want to go back to that life at all then there is something serious that needs attention and change.
Exploring a new place on your own gives you new experiences you might not have gained having had someone with you. You might want to take a class that maybe you would not have considered had someone else been with you. Maybe a cultural activity in that area is enticing you. I highly recommend that you try new things and explore as you never have, in a way you would not have done with your family or friends in tow. These sorts of new experiences can light something up in you that you never knew was there.
Escaping on your own solo trip does not need to be expensive or even far away to have the benefits I am describing. You could do a housesit for someone in your own area or check yourself into an Airbnb. Once a year is ideal. Wherever you go, it is really important that you go with the intention of self exploration. Be open and be brave and don’t let all the touristy attractions lure you away. This is sacred “me” time to become reacquainted with the glorious being that you are and have been all along. Above all, make it fun. Be in every moment fully and wholeheartedly. Hopefully, it will stick with you and carry over into the life you return to in a new more awake sort of way. Happy travels!
“Show up, tune in, be real, enjoy the ride”