Vacationing Solo

One of the hammocks on the Travaasa Austin property. September 2012.

This year, I took my first solo vacation. I've traveled alone aplenty, but work has been the main purpose--even if I did tack on time at the beginning or end of my stay for a museum or dinner.

I knew pretty solidly where I wanted to head--Travaasa Austin for a return trip--and what I wanted to do--read, write, relax, and rejuvenate--yet I still thought about inviting others, out of reflex. Thankfully, I resisted.

Even if at some point in the future I find a relationship, I'll do the solo vacation more. I loved it.

Traveling solo meant that I didn't have to worry about anyone else for even a second. I did what I wanted, ate what I wanted, and had full control of my space and time. Concern about whether someone felt bored, or annoyed, or inconvenienced didn't need to cross my mind. And it didn't.

My bedroom at Travaasa Austin. September 2012.

My porch at Travaasa Austin. September 2012.

Also, I felt no need to appear or act any certain way. I didn't feel self conscious about my activity and food or about how I looked while exercising, relaxing, or wearing my swimsuit at the pool.

Was I lonely? Not for a second. I reveled in quiet. And I enjoyed the times when my free-ranging-ness meant I encountered wonderful people that I luxuriated in getting to know. My first night I sat at the community table and shared a meal with the resort manager and another company executive. Amazing food and the company felt like a treat. The next night, I met a couple of friends traveling together; we shared a few lazy meals and had fantastic conversations.

Did I accomplish my objectives? Let's hold me publicly accountable:

  • I relaxed, exercised, and ate healthfully. Rejuvenation complete.
  • I read a sizable book a day. Reading done.
  • I didn't write as much as I'd planned. I blame my desire to stay as far away from the computer as possible.

Verdict: Two out of three. Not bad!

Pathway on the Travaasa Austin property. September 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

Depends on what type of vacation it is.

I tend towards two types of vacation; the exploration vacation and the relaxation vacation.

For the exploration vacation I prefer to go alone. I have no real set itinerary other than departure and return date and just go. I end up taking wrong turns and set off on different directions. If I see something that looks fun, I do it. I am constantly on the move. Very hard to find a partner that would vacation like that.

The relaxation vacation is one fixed place with fixed activities that I don't have to think about and just enjoy. It may be a place I discovered on a previous exploration or some place recommended by others. Now that would be a vacation I would share.

October 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Pora

We may be diametrically opposed when it comes to vacation styles, William! I thought both the trips you described sounded fantastic, but was on other sides of the fence when it came to solo vs. company.

If I'm having an adventure, it'd be far more fun to share it with someone. If I'm getting away to relax and recharge, I'd rather be solo any day. It's not nearly as relaxing with others there.


October 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

I haven't really vacationed solo for fun since 1996 when I traveled Western Europe on my own for about 5 weeks (spent first 3 weeks out of a total of 8 weeks with a friend) and I agree with many of your points. Sometimes I went a whole day or two without really talking to anyone and other days I hooked up with other travelers for a few days. I also visited many European friends I met while at Texas A&M (they had been graduate students) so I was not alone the entire 5 weeks.

Since then I have traveled with Kenny and fortunately he and I have similar travel styles (although he'd prefer to relax more and site see less than I do, LOL). Still, traveling with Kenny isn't the same as traveling with just friends. He doesn't care what I wear and if need be, we can go our own separate ways (but we don't usually). He is also used to how often I stop to take pictures (hey, that's a cool rusty bike...) so I no longer worry about that (it's a smoke break for him, LOL).

But, you mention travel for work and nowadays that is the only time I get to truly travel on my own. I like to tack on a few extra hours or even a weekend if I can. If I have friends in that town, I try to see them for lunch or dinner but even if I don't, I hit a few tourist spots and mostly enjoy meandering the streets with the camera or taking my time though a museum. It's relaxing to me to combine some site seeing but at my own place, on my own time.

December 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercybertoad

Sounds like Kenny is the perfect travel companion, Elaine! (Wonder what it would be like if spouses weren't well matched when it came to travel? Hm.) But I'm also really glad you still get some solo travel time. It's such a luxury!

December 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

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