Say Yes to Going Solo

I still get questions about my solo trip which is crazy to think was almost a year ago. I’ve since went on another one to Costa Rica and will be going to a yoga retreat by myself in October. I opened a can of worms with this first solo trip. I have been asked by people to share more so here’s the top questions. It’s kinda like a FAQ I guess so here we go.

1. “Did you feel guilty?”

This is a big one I heard and yes I felt guilty. The guilt almost stopped me from leaving at one point. At times out on the road I felt extremely guilty but as the trip went on the guilt faded because I realized my kids were fine and having an amazing time. I was fine and having an amazing time. Win-win.

I do know that “mom guilt” is a very real thing. I know this because I get it and there are a million posts on the internet about it. We have guilt over so much – not spending enough time with our kids, saying the wrong things, having to put them in aftercare, not feeding them healthy food or not giving them the things they want, not…..shall I go on. We have it. It’s built into us somehow I guess. Guess what though if you have others involved in the care of them they will be okay when you leave. My husband actually got to know the girls better and bond in a way he may not have with me at home. They got to eat all the crap they wanted and go to aftercare which for kids who rarely get to go to aftercare it is pretty awesome to them. Schedule fun overload. They will want you to leave again. They missed me and I missed them but they were okay. The kids will be okay and they will not hold over you that you went away for a few days to galavant.

Bottom line though is I deserved this trip. Mommas more than anyone deserve a trip to just be.

2. “Weren’t you scared?” or “It’s not safe to travel alone.”

Yes I was nervous and scared at times. Sometimes I asked myself what the hell was I thinking doing this alone then fearless 25 year old Amanda showed up to the party and said do this – be fearless. If you have common sense and the desire to be safe then there is no reason to use this as a reason not to go. I researched ways to stay safe. I had an app on my phone called Noonlight, a high pitched beeper style belt attachment that when pulled is ear piercing, the Life360 app so Jarred knew exactly where I was and had been and common sense. I had times I had to check in. I posted where I was and activities I did the day after I did them – not when I was in the actual place or heading to that place. Basically I was on 24 hour delay to share anything. I stayed on schedule and Jarred and a close friend had that schedule. The only time I was scared was when I got off schedule and had to drive through the desert at night. Number 1 rule in solo travel – don’t drive at night and especially areas with no cell service .That was me being irresponsible.

Bottom line is make a safety plan, stick to it and use common sense.

3. “I really have no desire to solo travel but cool you did.”

Bottom line is maybe a girls trip is your route. Plan it today!

4.” My husband would never let me.”

I actually heard this more than once and this one made me cringe inside. I do get it in a way. Marriages are two people creating a cohesive unit. Financial decisions and other decisions that dramatically impact the family are made together. However ask yourself why won’t he let you? If it’s safety please refer to #2 above.

I’m pretty open so I’ll say I don’t have the perfect marriage by any means. Does perfection even exist? It has ups and downs, ins and outs. We all have very different marriages but we need to be independent of our husband’s desires for us. If you have a dream or desire (like this solo trip was for me) those that love you should lift up and support you. Period. That’s just my two cents.

Bottom line is be true to you and your dreams.

5. “I don’t have time.”

Yes you do. Our time to experience this life is short. Make time doing things that bring you joy and love or spend your time not. The choice is up to you. Trust me I really don’t have time to leave my domestic life and adventure if I tie myself to my to-do lists and material wants in this world. Yes I get it you have to work for money to travel and that work takes up time. However a reasonable plan put into action will give you the time. While I was gone everyone was fed, bills were paid and my inner wealth quadrupled.

Bottom line is to come up with a plan to make time.

6. “I can’t afford it.”

This is a totally acceptable reason. I will say I have started to follow The Budget Mom and am slowly implementing in many of her tools and tricks so we can save money and we can afford more adventures. So far it’s working. I’m filling my envelopes and staying focused. Seeing my goals each morning reminds me why I need to fill those envelopes.

I wanted to stick to a budget for my trip. I wanted to do some more expensive things but I didn’t. Some nights were cheap hotels. I only splurged on one nice restaurant. I stocked up at Target on snacks and drinks so I didn’t have to blow money at gas stations. I used Groupons. I had a yard sale. I constantly posted on Buy Sell Trade. I book reservations well in advance to get better prices. I researched and researched and did more research. Where there is a will there is a way.

Bottom line is to make a plan.

7. “What was your favorite place?”

This is my favorite question. You ask me this and I will light up. I had many favorite places and memories that I hope last with me until my last breath but the place that made my soul dance was Moab. Funny to think it wasn’t on the original itinerary but a few months before a friend from college had posted it on FB and it became a part of the journey. The people and vibe were so chill and welcoming. Life came easy to them. It was simple. I camped under the stars, saw the Milky Way in it’s true majestic display, zip lined, rock crawled, shopped some unique boutiques, ate yummy-yummy food, photographed in Arches National Park and did some beautiful writing. Fear on so many levels was washed away here. It was truly where my soul found peace.

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

So what did we learn today? Basically screw mom-guilt, don’t let fear by you or others stop you, follow your dreams and not others, make a plan and visit Moab!