I’ve Never Felt More Alone Than When I Went On A Solo Vacation

We’re always told that we should date ourselves – take ourselves out for coffee, go watch a movie alone, or even head out on a solo vacation. While these things seem exciting and definitely can be, I realized just how lonely I was when I decided to pluck up the courage to go on a trip by myself. Here’s what happened.

  1. I felt invigorated at first. When I packed my car to drive six hours to the coast, I felt empowered. I was going to the beautiful beach and would enjoy a week all on my own. I wouldn’t feel the pressure of going on holiday with a lover or friend, it was just about me. I could do what I wanted on my own schedule without having to worry about anyone else. I was sure it was going to be great.
  2. My car got stuck. About three hours into my journey, which had up until then involved me singing along to Beyonce in the car, I got a flat tire! Being stuck on the side of a deserted road in the late afternoon was scary, but I wasn’t too freaked out. I called for emergency roadside assistance and knew they’d be on their way soon.
  3. It took them two hours to get to me. I was stuck on the side of the road all by myself and it was getting dark. Emergency roadside took two hours to get to me, and during that time I really felt scared and frustrated. I craved the company of someone, even my horrible ex who probably would have blamed the whole thing on me.
  4. After that, i still had to drive. Once I got help and my tire was fixed, I still had three hours to drive before reaching my destination! It was dark and the weather was terrible. I hate being on the roads at night, and this was even worse because there were stretches of deserted land on either side of the road. I realized that as much as I pride myself on being independent, sometimes it’s really nice to have someone there for you during the tough times of life.
  5. I was so relieved when i got to the rental home. I was staying at a holiday home that an acquaintance was renting out, and I was so relieved to get there in one piece. I was also exhausted, so I got into bed and managed to get some decent sleep. I was amped to check out all the sights the next day, hoping that my solo vacation could begin and be awesome.
  6. I was surrounded by happy couples. During my time on the beach the next day, all I kept seeing were happy, madly-in-love couples who were holding hands and looking like they were the happiest people on earth. Yikes. There I was, all on my own, no one to talk to or enjoy the day with. It really sucked.
  7. I tried to have fun. I really did. I went to eat at a trendy restaurant where they made delicious french fries. I got a tan by sunning myself on the beach, then I hit a spa where I got a relaxing massage and a stunning manicure. I enjoyed doing all of those things, but…
  8. I had no one to share it with. Here’s the thing: I wanted to share all of the fun with someone. Sure, I could have invited my best girlfriends along for the ride and we would have had a good laugh and enjoyed each other’s company, but in that moment, even that didn’t feel like enough. I wanted more.
  9. I wanted to feel like i belonged. When I got back to the cold, lonely home I was staying in for the week, I realized that I wanted more than just company. I wanted to feel like I belonged to someone. I wanted to share my life with someone, someone I had intimacy with on an emotional level. A black cloud started to descend on me and I couldn’t seem to shake it off.
  10. I cut my trip short. I’d always thought I wanted to be alone, but when I was alone and out of my regular routine at home for a week, it just felt too lonely. I don’t feel bad or embarrassed to admit this because it’s normal for a forever single woman like myself to experience times when she doesn’t feel happy or empowered about being single. And that’s okay. I know that this experience will make me stronger and bolder. Hopefully when I go away next time, it will be with someone who can enjoy it with me.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.