Almost like a gift to myself – actually, it IS a gift to myself – solo travel is a few days or a week of giving my soul a treat.
While I’ve been spending time in Taipei and preparing for a move to Paris in a few weeks, I haven’t been able to control the urge of planning summer solo trips (yes, that’s plural.) Especially if I’ll be in the heart of Europe, why not take advantage of affordable and short distance easyJet flights. But most importantly, I can’t wait for some time set aside just for myself in a completely new settings.
Call me a loner, but every year, I look forward to solo trips with infinite thrill. Almost like a gift to myself – actually, it IS a gift to myself – it’s a few days or a week of giving my soul a treat. I love traveling with my friends and family, but there’s nothing more rewarding than solo travel. No obligations to socialize, no need to compromise on what to see next, without the fear that your actions or comments may offend others and vice versa. While there’s nothing better than creating memories with the people you love; traveling by myself, however, delivers the kind of zen akin to personal moments I spend inside a temple.
To me, solo travel is about going by your own pace and having full control of your agenda. It’s about letting go of feeling humiliated by eating or drinking alone. In those moments, I always carry a journal and start writing. It’s about connecting with locals, observing their actions then learn about their lifestyles without being rushed or judged. So much of what I do is based on socializing that it’s nice to acquire silence on these solo trips. Without anyone to talk to, observations become introspective and somehow these thoughts feel closer to my being.
Two summers ago, I spent a week in Budapest with my good friend Meg from college. We had one of the best trips between two girls that one could possibly imagine. After Meg left, I stayed in Budapest for one more week. I sank in thermal baths by myself, ate in amazing restaurants alone and felt utterly satisfied. One early evening, I attended a classical music concert inside a church, and hummed along to every single concerto. Like any typical Asian kid, I grew up learning piano and violin, then became a piano teacher during high school and college years. That evening in Budapest took me back to my roots and reminded me of skills that I had long forgotten but always knew they were inside of me. I exited the church feeling so inspired that I nearly hopped back to the hotel. That’s the beauty of solo travel, which ignites inspiration at all times.
Having time designated for myself is a glorious present. Depending on my mood, I typically stay at a luxury hotel or a quaint B&B. It’s a treat for me, knowing how much I do work throughout the year. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze in a spa session, hours in a museum, afternoons of browsing through vintage shops (my favorite!) or indulging a fantastic Michelin-starred meal with a glass of wine. Some of my female friends would ask me: aren’t you embarrassed to eat by yourself? My response is always: No way! This is my time, my quiet moments. I need them.
With a busy summer coming up, I’m still determined to plan a solo adventure. Some cities I’ve been researching include: Berlin, Croatia, or San Sebastian. Any suggestions? Drop me a comment below. And I hope this summer, you’ll set some time to treat yourself too!