11 Reasons Every Parent Needs a Solo Vaca

The view of Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona. The towering rock formations stand out like beacons in the dimmed landscape of the Red Rock State Park.

I love traveling.  Like LIVE for it.  My family took one vacation during my entire childhood, which especially sucked growing up in Greenwich, CT, but at least when we went away, we headed to none other than the most magical place on earth, Disney World. Although it didn’t feel that magical in July, before they had FastPass.  I was 10, and my brother was 6, and I have only two distinct memories that were the highlights of this trip. The first was the joy of jumping from one queen size bed to the other in the hotel room, since we had never stayed in a hotel before. The second was drinking Mr. Pibb soda by the resort pool and feeling like that was the life.

When I was a junior in high school, somehow 3 girlfriends and I got the hair-brained idea to go to the Bahamas without our parents, and convinced each of our parents that the other parents were chaperoning for spring break, and since it was 1988, none of our parents bothered to check with each other, and the 4 of us headed to Nassau sans grown ups.  It worked so well that we went to Aruba senior year. I’m still completely mystified how I, a straight A, National Honor, rule follower managed to rationalize this, but I did, and it was awesome.

When I was in my 20s, I was one of the top sales reps in my company, so I won free trips to places like Bermuda, Bahamas, and other places in the Caribbean. Frank and I honeymooned in Zihuatanejo, Mexico which inspired a couple of trips back to other remote, local towns like Troncones. Then, the 3 years before Ryan was born, we did consecutive trips to Italy, Paris, and London knowing that we were going to be starting a family. We haven’t taken the kids to Europe yet, but now that they are 12 and 9, I’m scheming.

We made the mistake of taking our kids to Beaches in Turks & Caicos when they were very young, and then the Beaches in Jamaica last year, and now they only want to go to resorts that have water slides and free food, so my sales pitch on the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon and other national parks has gone over like a lead balloon.

My soon-to-be ex does a yearly golf trip with his boys, and I travel for conferences about once a month, which meets my need for variety on many fronts since I get to bond with my co-workers, meet lots of clients and recruiters, see old friends and colleagues, and learn and grow. I have made it a habit of always arriving the day prior to the event so I can check out the city I’m visiting, find the best smoothie bars, and get a good night’s sleep before my social self goes into high gear bonding mode day and night!

In my 40+ years, however, I had never really taken a trip alone before. I had done yoga retreats and workshops at places like Kripalu and Omega, but I’m talking about getting on a plane and exploring a new place, me, myself, and I.  They say when you are ready, Sedona calls you, and that’s exactly what happened. I got this sudden urge to take a spirit-excavating journey to one of the most sacred places on earth. The vortexes and power of this place, are quite real, but more on that in another post!

If you are feeling fatigued, uninspired, and possibly even burnt out by the the stress and monotony of “balancing” the needs of your family, your career, and your community commitments with your own needs for exercise, creativity, and rest, then PLEASE, by all means, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is sit down with a journal and ask yourself, “Where do I want to go?” and see what comes out on the page.  Then pick the place that you feel like you have no other choice but to visit, and GO!

Here are 11 reasons you need to take a solo vaca:

11) You rediscover the beauty of solitude and get reacquainted with yourself.

10) You don’t have to listen to your kids fight about inane shit.

9) You can read more than 2 pages of book that’s been on your nightstand for the last 4 months.

8) You get to sleep in past 5-6:00 a.m.

7) You get to do whatever it is you feel like doing. You may have to figure out what that is, exactly, since it’s been awhile since you’ve had that option.

6) You vaguely catch a glimpse of your fun, free self. You want to hang out with him or her more often.

5) You reconnect with your deepest aspirations and make some BIG, scary goals.

4) You give yourself permission to actually pursue them.

3) You hand over the keys to your Lyft service for a few days.

2) You don’t have to tell your kids to do stuff that you’ve been asking them to do for the last x amount of years and be exasperated as to why they still don’t do it.

1) You remember the truth of who you are.

So, where are you going to go this year ALL BY YOURSELF?! Your partner and kids will survive without you for  a few days.  I promise.

I would love to hear if you have ever taken a solo trip and where you went or where you fantasize about going and just need to pull the trigger.  Do it!!!