The Life-Changing Power of Solo Travel
Theresa Polley
February 21, 2023
February 28, 2024
Be Inspired

Over the years many of our guests have come to a retreat by themselves. Before coming, many are nervous about being the only solo traveler. “What if I’m the only one that comes alone? What if no one talks to me?” (On average, 60% of our retreat guests are solo travelers!) By the end of the weekend, our solo guests not only feel empowered by their decision to come alone but grateful for the experience and the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and grow.

Retreat guests who travel together welcome solo travelers with open arms. Oftentimes I hear, “Wow! I can’t believe you came by yourself! I don’t think I could do that.” I interpret that to mean - “I’m impressed! I wish I had the courage and confidence you do. I’m really nervous to do things by myself.” You absolutely can travel solo—even if you are really nervous—and a retreat is a great place to start.

You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.~Diane Von Furstenberg

Just because guests come by themselves, doesn’t mean they’re not anxious. Encouraged by wanting to have their own experience, they push through the fear and discomfort and discover that  As women, we tend to nurture and take care of others. On a trip with someone else—whether it’s with a friend, a partner or with children—we focus on taking care of someone else’s needs instead of ours. The truth is, we deserve and need to nurture and care for ourselves. If we don’t, can we count on someone else to take care of us?

5 Life-Changing Reasons to Travel Solo

We become who we are by experiencing life on our own. The key is life out in the world (out of our comfort zone) versus life on our couch (very comfortable in our comfort zone). Standing on our own two feet while taking risks (like traveling solo) not only instills confidence, but it allows us to discover who we truly are. What we like and dislike. What brings us joy. What scares us. 

1. Solo Travel Forces You Out of Your Comfort Zone

They say all good things happen out of your comfort zone for a reason. When you get out of your comfort zone you’re usually experiencing a new thing or a new place. With that comes the feeling of accomplishment and maybe even the discovery of something you enjoy. When you stay in your comfort zone—sitting at home on the couch, mindlessly scrolling or streaming—there’s no opportunity for accomplishment or discovery. 

2. Traveling Solo Allows You to Grow

Fully taking charge of your life and standing on your own two feet builds self-reliance. Following the crowd and surrounding yourself 24/7 with distractions (whether that’s a partner, friends, social media, work, etc.) can lead to dependence on sources outside yourself for problem-solving. When you control your schedule you can take time to ponder your life. Where are you going? What are you doing? Are your actions giving you the reality you want?

3. When You Travel Solo You Build Self Confidence

When you are traveling solo, it’s up to you to make decisions. Everything from the small—what to eat for breakfast—to the big—climbing that mountain you’ve always dreamed of—gives you the confidence to continue to grow and discover your strengths.

4. Solo Travel Gives You the Freedom to do What You Want

There’s no need to worry about anyone else wants when you travel solo because you get the freedom to go and do what YOU want. When you are on your own, you get to make your trip exactly what you need. Eat and drink what you want. Choose low-key by the pool or busy sightseeing and adventures. Get up early to take on the day or take a leisurely morning. There’s no pressure to do anything besides what serves you.

5. Take the Mental Health Break You Deserve by Traveling Solo

Especially If you’re a caretaker and constantly in demand, time away by yourself can be the mental health break you need. Find peace when you are solely responsible for yourself.

My Solo Travel Experience

The first time I traveled by myself I was 14—it was my first time on an airplane, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be going alone. Many solo trips later, I still have that moment of anxiety at the beginning and the thought, “What was I thinking?!” But I never turn back. The older I get and the more I experience life on my own, the more grounded I am in the knowledge of who I am and the less likely I am to tolerate people or things that take away my peace. I know traveling solo has been a big part of that.

Travel Solo at Retreat in the Pines

If traveling solo has been on your mind, any of our retreats make a great place to start—they’re filled with women who are also going solo and you’re bound to find interesting women to connect with and maybe even a friend or two.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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