Posted: Sep 05, 2012 8:00 AM
I know some women who wouldn't dream of going on a trip without their spouse or family. It's not always for budgetary reasons -- although often that's a factor -- but it's simply not a part of their lifestyle. As a frequent solo traveler, I'm here to tell you that short trips away can rejuvenate your spirit in the most unexpected ways.

Table for one

By the time you're a mom, wife, daughter, friend, sister, boss, you're so used to juggling the needs of everyone else that you don't even think twice about how often your brain works overtime. When I travel alone, I am shocked by the ease of just taking care of me. The airport security line? I breeze through without having to tie anyone else's shoes or fetch all liquids. Meals? I can eat whatever suits me, without having to plan around other taste buds. The first few hours, my brain is confused by this lack of constant conflict resolution, but eventually I settle in and there's a clarity there I don't usually have.

Do something you don't usually have time to do

I swear that you have to get away to stand back and appreciate where you are in life.

Traveling alone doesn't mean solitary confinement. Meet up for a girls' weekend, spend hours just talking to your cousin. Start a book and finish it in the same day. At least once a year I travel alone, but with a destination. I've attended blog conferences alone, met up with college girlfriends for a few days. The journey there, whether by car or plane, is always time to decompress. I'm thankful when the weekend is productive in some way, but I always manage to sneak away for at least a few hours to be completely alone. I treat myself to the alone time that feels different when it's more than a few minutes.

When it's time to travel back home, I'm usually homesick and refreshed, with a new perspective on my family and my time. I swear that you have to get away to stand back and appreciate where you are in life. A change of scenery helps, silence always helps.

If you've never done it, consider taking a small trip away from the happy chaos of your daily life. And if you're really brave, do it alone. There's no compromising on how to spend that time, the world is your oyster. Get back to yourself by being by yourself.

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