Monday, March 2, 2015

Flying Solo & the BLOW OFF

Capri Hotel, Ojai
Last week, I did something I've never done before. I went on vacation by myself for four days. It wasn't the first time that I've traveled alone. When I was twenty-three, I went to a week long screenwriting retreat in Belize--- but there was an instant camaraderie with the other writers on the trip and after day one, I didn't feel like I was on vacation by myself. This was different. It was just me and my dog and a hotel room in Ojai, California.

Mabel relaxing in the sun
Initially, the H-bomb and I had a Hawaii trip planned that we had to cancel when a work conflict came up for him. So, I decided to go somewhere anyway. The thing about working freelance is you delude yourself into thinking you have a super flexible schedule and can travel anywhere at any time. In fact, the opposite is true. It's really hard to plan anything, because you never know when a job might come up and throw your schedule in disarray. And if there are babies in my future, there won't be too many opportunities to just take off for a week on my own so, I had to take advantage of the free time. And I have to say:

I really loved it.
obligatory vacation selfie. Trying out red lipstick.
Of course I missed my husband A LOT, but it was nice to experience a new place on my own. I watched a lot of Bravo, I had lunch by myself and read a book, I sat on the patio and wrote (yes, it was just as romantic as it sounds), I went on long walks with the dog. I wasn't beholden to anyone's schedule but my own. That's not true, my dog woke me up at 630am every morning to take her on a walk, but at least I started my days early. My bestie even drove up for a night to keep me company which was the perfect way to break up the alone time. I will admit, I got a little freaked out at night, but it was probably a bad idea to watch The Fall on Netflix just before going away.
Bart's Books. (an outdoor book store!) 302 W Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023
I realize getting to take the trip was a luxury. Most people with a regular work schedule have limited vacation time and can't use it to travel solo when they have spouses or kids or families they need to visit. And staying at a hotel isn't cheap (though the Capri hotel was very reasonable). But if you have the means and the time, you owe it to yourself to do it. Leave your sig other behind. They'll enjoy the alone time and so will you. Bring that book you've been dying to read. Or all those New Yorkers (or Us Weeklies) you've been meaning to catch up on. Bask in the glow of not having to ask someone else what they want to eat for dinner or watch on TV. Be okay with making decisions on your own. Rejoice over a beautiful view. And remember that the world is just as radiant even in the moments you don't have someone else to share it with. 

pretty mountain views

1 comment:

  1. I just went on a month-long solo trip to Europe (four countries), and it was excellent. I am also a freelancer, and I actually DO have that freedom you discussed because I work 100% remotely. My office can be anywhere and everywhere.

    I have traveled with friends before, and it's fine as well, but to do it all on your own time, to do whatever you want whenever you want, without having to accommodate anyone else's desires or moods, is ideal. (And I'm also very happily single, so I wasn't leaving a sig other behind.)

    I look forward to traveling alone again many times in the future. Everyone should try to do it at least once if they can (and, yes, I also understand the privilege I enjoy.)