My First Solo Vacation to Jamaica, and The Beauty of Traveling Alone
One of the items on my mental "to-do in this lifetime" list was to go on a vacation - by myself. It's something that I have sort of always wanted to do, but never knew when it would happen, nor did I feel I was actually brave enough to do it. I am pretty impulsive by nature, and even though I am aware that change is scary, and stepping away from your comfort zone to embark on new adventures gives most people anxiety, the truth is, change is absolutely necessary for growth - and sometimes, it doesn't take much for me to decide whether or not I want to do something. If I think about it long enough, I am going to do it. But was I really ready? There was only one way to find out.
I had a pretty rough 2015 - the worst year of my fucking life if we're being frank - so my parents wanted to do something special for me for the new year. I was gifted a 5-day trip to Montego Bay. I briefly debated back and forth with myself whether I wanted to embark on this trip alone, or whether I wanted a gal pal to experience this moment with me. My ticket was purchased well in advance, about six months prior, so I had time to decide; however, the more time passed, the more I began to feel comfortable with wanting, needing to experience this vacation by myself.
It was still pretty chilly in Columbus, OH when I left for the airport that morning (the trip was the first week of April), but I had no plans on taking anything with me that remotely reminded me of the end-of-winter season. I was just ready to get to Jamaica. I was so excited to leave, that I arrived at the airport many hours in advance, mainly because I didn't want to fall asleep and miss my flight.
Being in Jamaica was an experience. A beautiful, refreshing experience, and I can't wait for the day that I am able to go on a solo vacation again. I felt alive. I felt rejuvenated. I felt like a grown ass woman. I felt free from everything - stress, drama, worries. It was such a vibe.
Here's the thing - I don't require an entourage of people around me in order to have a good time, and it's been that way for some time now. That's the beauty of being a loner. You genuinely enjoy your own company.
There are many benefits to traveling alone. You don't need to wait on anyone. You can move about as you please, when you please, and do as you please. There's no pressure to party it up, or hit the town for sight-seeing and random excursions. I felt a sense of contentment, as I usually do when I am alone. I was comfortable with my book, my tunes, and all the free Rum and Vodka one girl could stand. I listened to reggae music for hours on end, danced on my balcony, and felt completely carefree. Carefree and drunk. I never left the grounds of my resort, and that's exactly how I wanted it.
Two words: all-inclusive. The food, the food. It was AMAZING. I tried to eat and drink as much as I could in those five days.
I packed my camera for the trip, but I didn't use it, which is why this post isn't dripping with photos and footage. I wanted to simply be present, and in the moment. I didn't want to feel pressured to carry around a big, bulky camera. I snapped random pictures on my iphone - a few selfies, a few videos, the hotel room, and the super fun bartenders whom I really enjoyed, by the way. I also met two ladies at the bar on one of the nights I went for drinks. Lisa and Megan, from Minneapolis. Fun girls. Months later, and we still keep in touch. I've added Minneapolis to my list of places to visit in the near future.
I don't think traveling alone is for everyone, especially if you're dependent on the company of others for your fun and happiness. If you're one of those people, challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and do something you never thought you'd do. Create your own fun. There's beauty in creating memories just for you.