Why Every Mom Should Take a Solo Trip
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As a mom that travels frequently with my family, I finally took my first solo trip since becoming a parent. I’ve heard the word “momcation” thrown around to describe this type of getaway. There were so many thoughts running through my head as my own mother dropped me to the airport and I said goodbye to my kids. One was excited for me while the other cried because she couldn’t come.
I was torn. Should I really be doing this? How can I just leave my husband alone with a 2- and 4-year-old? What will people think, “Oh, I guess traveling with her kids isn’t as fun as she says it is.” Not to mention I was nervous! I’d never traveled alone before and all the scary things people had told me since I announced I’d be going to Mexico alone kept running through my head.
But there I was, sitting on my flight heading to Tulum, staring out the window. I never really get to stare out the window because my eldest daughter loves the window seat. While I gladly give it up, it was nice having it for myself. Honestly, it was nice only worrying about myself since I’d gotten to the airport. I wasn’t asking my tiny humans who had to use the bathroom before getting on our flight, making sure I had every kid item to keep them entertained or sharing my snacks (OK, maybe not having to sneak eating theirs).
It’s My ‘Momcation’ and I’ll Do What I Want To
My flight landed in Cancun and I took a 90- minute shuttle to Tulum. Before the trip, I planned on renting a bicycle and getting around via bikes and taxis. Upon arriving, I decided it was too hot and I wanted to rent a car, so I did. I did so without consulting anyone; I just changed my mind. It was such a liberating feeling!
After checking into my room, it was time to eat. I got some suggestions from the front desk and decided on burritos. I didn’t have to worry about if my kids wanted burritos or wonder if the establishment was kid-friendly. I got burritos because I wanted them. Novel, right?
Scuba diving is one of my favorite things to do. While my family goes on some pretty adventurous vacations, like taking surf lessons in Costa Rica or skiing in Colorado, scuba diving is off limits for a 2 and 4 year-old (though when they are a few years older, opportunity awaits). But for now, I rarely, if ever, get to scuba dive on most of my trips. Not this time though as I dove in the most beautiful cenote in Tulum: Casa Cenote.
You Can Really Relax on a Momcation
One of my favorite parts of my solo trip was being able to relax. Not sneaking in an hour of TV after cleaning the kitchen but really relaxing. I woke up when I wanted to, and if I didn’t feel like getting out of bed for breakfast until 1pm, that was just fine. Reading is one of my favorite things to do but I couldn’t remember the last time I read a book. On this trip, I was able to complete an entire book, all 525 pages! Whether I was laying in the hammock in my room or lounging at the beach, my book was cracked open and I lost myself in the pages with no interruptions in sight. It was beautiful and so was my two-hour massage.
Your Momcation Will Take You Out of Your Comfort Zone and It Will Feel Amazing
When traveling with my family I always have my husband or kids to talk to or turn uncomfortable situations into comfortable ones. My kids are natural icebreakers and they always get the party started. But here I was in Mexico staying, eating and sightseeing alone. The first day was a little nerve-wracking and uncomfortable but by the end of my trip, I was out of my shell and a whole new me. I went to a restaurant/bar alone and watched the sunset at a shared table where I met a lovely couple.
My last night was spent taking salsa lessons at a beach club with the sea breeze blowing in my hair. On my final morning, I proudly ate breakfast alone as I took in the beautiful sight of the ocean. I’ve always been an outgoing person, but before this trip, I’d never eaten at a restaurant alone. I left with a confidence I never had before.
My momcation was exactly what I needed. Of course, I love traveling with my husband and kids but this solo trip was so liberating. I took time out for me, made no compromises, rediscovered the things I love to do and pushed my comfort zone. Mamas, don’t ever feel guilty for needing some “me” time. If we don’t take care of ourselves, there is no way we can take care of our families. When I returned home, I was refreshed and ready to continue tackling motherhood headfirst. I’ll be making my solo trip an annual affair and I hope you carve some time out to take one, too.
Monet Hambrick is the mom and writer behind The Traveling Child blog where she shares tips on traveling with kids and how to afford travel as a family. Her motto is “if kids live there, kids can visit” and she and her husband have taken their 2- and 4-year-old to 21 countries on six continents. You can follow along their family adventures on Instagram and Facebook.
Images provided by author.
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