I have just come back from 2 weeks of sun, sand and sangria, my first big vacation all on my lonesome.
Before I left for Mexico my inner critic was loud and proud telling me I was about to embark on a disaster, a lonely, sad time away and I should just stay home.
I have travelled alone lots of times and been on shorter vacations alone, but this time I would be spending 11 whole days eating alone, entertaining myself alone, making all the decisions.
If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would trip solo I would have said “Oh Hell no!”, it was not an option in my brain and there is no way I would want to do it or enjoyed it.
6 years ago, I went to New York for work for a week and decided to spend the weekend exploring the city. I felt so damn awkward that weekend. I barely ate as I felt so embarrassed that I was alone, I almost didn’t visit the sites because I feared people would judge me. I pushed through, but it was as much as I could handle at the time.
Now that I have spent years working on my confidence I am totally comfortable going to the movies alone or having a nice dinner by myself. Sometimes though, it doesn’t come without growing pains.
That’s why the morning of my holiday I woke up to a voice that said, “Don’t go, you’re going to have a horrible time, you’ll end up dead, you won’t be safe!”.
Thankfully, I recognized this voice as my old faithful inner critic who was just trying to keep me safe. Our inner critics are like toddlers who we must drag around with us through life.
Sometimes they discourage us from growth, because with growth comes inherent risks. It’s scary trying new things.
The difference in me now is that I can hear my inner critic and I can choose to ignore it. I can hear all those fears which may or may not be based in reality and move forward regardless.
And how was the vacation? Great! I spent days on the beach, by the pool, bike riding, snorkeling, cenote swimming, massage getting, strutting my stuff in sexy swimsuits, ancient ruin climbing, eating great food and napping.
Were there times where I felt awkward, lonely or overwhelmed? Yes. But the incredible moments significantly outweighed those other feelings, and I know next time I vacation on my own, I will feel even more confident.
Do you want to be more independent? Then start with small steps. Challenge yourself gently. If you feel too overwhelmed then take a step back. You CAN do it, if I did anyone can.
What would you do today if you weren’t afraid?