I am so over co-dependent relationships. This is why I’m so happy that Ben wasn’t phased when I told him I wanted to take a vacation without him. Yes, even though Ben and I just got engaged, he agreed with me that a holiday on my own wasn’t only “okay” but “a great idea!”. Thankfully, gone are the days of relationship drama (your teenage years are for learnin’ if not for anything else eh?), and this to me confirmed that I have a grounded, supportive and unselfish fiance.
Now, I am an only child and I am just not accustomed to having people and activity around me all the time. I have a pretty strong relationship with myself and need time devoted to this. My mother said she feels the same way – but she’s the eldest of five, so what’s her excuse?
We spend so much of our time taking care of others (loved ones, children, parents, work projects) that we forget that being alone allows a space for us to be creative and introspective. We all to decompress – and when we don’t, the busyness of lives surmounts and creates stress (on our minds as well as our tissues), leading to insomnia, tension in our digestive system and (gasp!) devitalized skin.
When I mentioned my holiday plans to a number of clients and friends, some were shocked and said they couldn’t imagine doing it themselves (one lovely client even called me brave…which is funny bc I never thought there was courage in booking an all-inclusive), while others said sounded like paradise, inspiration in fact (!) – but everyone seemed in agreement that they craved time alone.
So last week I packed my bags and left for Mexico last week and head off to an all-inclusive resort to be the only person there solo. The first few days were a bit strange (servers were always trying to set another place setting). I also realized that sometimes we are all a bit addicted to stress itself, as I embarked on self-made missions to scope out potential destination wedding spots (talk about make work campaign) and freaked out when reception told me the entire resort’s internet was simply “not working”. I did find an eco-resort that Ben and I are probably going to get married at, but after a crazy day of running around, getting quotes and comparing beachfront suites, I vowed to take it easy. By day three I began to settle in and begin to enjoy the sunlight playing on the trees and the salty smell of the air. And at the end, I returned with a tan, much more hydrated skin and a feeling of renewal. A solo vacation also can help refresh your relationship because I also came home so excited to see Ben again.
Though a couple of tips for any of you who decide to holiday independently:
1. Go to a Yoga Resort: At least avoid all-inclusives. While I thought it was the best, obligation-free way to vacation, if you’re a picky eater like me you’ll find limited options and the sight of other guests filling up their buffet plate and smoking in front of their kids. It makes it much harder to get into a spiritual space. I found when I traveled to Tulum where I checked out eco-resorts for Ben and I to be married at, it was much nicer, quieter and easier to relax.
2. Pick Somewhere Warm: There is something about heat and the sun which alleviates stress. You’ll find warming your body, catching some Vitamin D and super moist skin from the humid air will make you feel fabulous, vibrant and beautiful. This is the best environment for a vacation that is all about appreciating yourself. Though, with all this swagger you may want to make sure you have your wedding ring (or fake wedding ring) on, because for me, nothing was more disrupting and counter-productive than having to sit through being hit on.
3. Don’t forget sunblock on your feet: While I was so vigilant about applying my mineral sunblock everyday, somehow forgot places like my feet and ears. Guess where my skin burned fire-red? And I have the photos to prove it. Take the time to pamper yourself and remember the smallest of details, its therapeutic to pay so much attention to your own self-care.