Most Popular Posts

Monday, March 05, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: Would you ever take a vacation by yourself?

My friend Sharon and I were hanging out this weekend--with four noisy little dudes in tow--and she told me that every year she takes a vacation by herself...

..."A motherhood vacation," as she puts it. Spending some time alone or with friends clears her head and invigorates her, and she returns to her family happier and changed, she says. One year, she went to a lighthouse hostel for $25; next, she visited a friend in Paris; this year, she booked one night in a cheap hotel room right here in New York. "I love that vacations by myself don't have to be overly planned or fussy," she said. "I set the pace and go for it."
Isn't that an awesome idea? Would you ever consider it? When she stayed at the California lighthouse, Sharon listened to This American Life episodes while watching the sunset; I'd love to eat a homemade cheesy pasta while dipping my toes in the cold, goose-pimply water! (Here's a list of lighthouse hostels, as well as list of other lighthouses in which you can sleep over.)

You could visit a big city and stroll around museums (and leave the second you got bored) and eat ice cream (as much as you wanted). You could take a hot bath, order room service and watch movies at your hotel; and then sleep diagonally in bed. Or you could visit old friends--college roommates, cousins, sisters--and flash back to your single days. Imagine just drinking wine and doing your own pedicures:)

It's funny: Ever since we've had Toby, I've never considered heading off on my own. Alex and I took a two-day getaway just the two of us, but, funnily enough, taking time away by myself didn't even occur to me. Sharon's tradition feels inspiring, and I love her line, "I'm not ashamed to admit that I need a break from motherhood sometimes." So great that she does this just for herself every year and loves it. Bravo.

Would you ever take a vacation by yourself? Have you ever traveled on your own, whether or not you have kids? I love hearing about people traveling on their own! SO awesome. Where would you want to go?
(Top photo by Charles Gullung; lighthouse photo by George Oze; and summer love photo from Erin)

226 comments:

1 – 200 of 226   Newer›   Newest»
Jes said...

i'm not a mom yet but i think this is something i would definitely consider. my sister will once in awhile go on a day trip by herself and she comes back so rejuvenated that i think it is a great idea.
xx jes
www.twosmuppies.com

Kate said...

My husband and I each get to take a vacation a year without spouse or the kiddo. This year I am going to New York for five days and seeing old friends. Last year I combined a trip to New York and my 15 year college reunion. I cannot recommend it enough. Sure I miss my guys, but bring completely on my wn for a few days is wonderful.

Gosia Myślicka said...

I remember first time when I HAD to go out without my doughter - she was almost two and I HAD to live her for about three days, I thought my heart will broke but I HAD to go to hospital to give birth to my son ;D

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Definitely! I'm a single mom with a 21 yr old back home and two 16 yr old international students living with me. I have plans to go to the city overnight in May -- all by myself -- stay at a lovely B&B, eat dinner downtown, shop at my favorite thrift stores and just generally meander. No responsibilities and no dinners to cook for at least 24 hours. It will be heavenly!

Lilac In May said...

It works! I do it and come back really looking forward to seeing my family again, and they me! I visit friends or go a weekend camping/walking with my sister. Reeecharged :) I recommend it highly.

Nomadic D. said...

There was a great post about this the other day over on Nyc Taught Me, you should check it out. I personally think it's a great idea, for moms and non-moms alike!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Casie Haley Photography said...

Oh my goodness would I ever! I have three boys under 6 & often dream of time away...

I'm thinking of taking a "think break" and renting a cabin in the woods for a weekend and planning out all the things I personally want to accomplish this year. A way to focus on myself without all the distractions of daily life!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea...for some people. This doesn't fit into my view of family life. I prefer my vacations boisy and crazy with my husband and kids.

sk said...

I looooove traveling alone! I don't do it very much, but when I do, I relish in eating whatever I want, whenever I want, and just walking around exploring on my own. I think a little goes a long way, though-- I am usually ready for company again after a day or two :)

Sandra said...

I do a few trips alone a year - mostly because I live in a smaller centre and I NEED to get some recharge to keep the creative juices flowing.

When my daughter was a baby, I would stay overnight in a hotel in town by myself just to have a break and get away. That evolved into annual trips on my own to NYC. We also do another annual trip to NYC as a family but the one on my own is all about feeding myself creatively.

On my five day trip last November I saw four plays, went to various museums and walked literally 100 blocks a day. It was excellent and such a recharge to just be looking after myself.

And each September I go to the TIFF in Toronto (the film festival) where I see four films a day. Again, it's a total immersion that I cannot do when with family.

Sarah @ Cole's First Blog said...

That sounds heavenly!

Erin said...

I think it's a great idea. Alone time reminds us of the individual who still exists within us when the family takes over, and also reminds us of the life we have at home with those we love most.

Rachel said...

I just read about this on her blog! I thought it was such a good idea. I have played with the idea of going abroad alone. The idea of eating, reading, sleeping, and sight seeing whenever I want is delightful :)

Kelly J. R. said...

Every time that I travel by myself I'm constantly wishing that I could share my nice meal or amazing vista with my husband. I want to share those moments with him. Traveling alone makes me realize what a wonderful man I have and it makes me miss him something terrible.

Unknown said...

I read the title of this post, sat straight up in my chair with eyes wide open and said, "YES!" (in my head). I don't think I would have appreciated a vacation by myself before becoming a mom. Now,I can't imagine saying no if presented the opportunity. I see all the benefits your friend shared. It would be nice to come home refreshed and craving baby kisses so much you run to the door.

Hannah said...

I would love to vacation by myself! I day dream about it every so often but have yet to actually take the leap. I am traveling to France this September to meet up with my brothers. I don't consider this trip a vacation alone but I am looking forward to flying all by myself. It will leave plenty of time to read and people watch. And I am sure I will come back a fresh and relaxed mother!

Jessica Brown said...

I go on an adventure with my favorite girlfriends at least once a year - a running race, or a weekend in a fun city. It is so freeing to be kid-free (10 kids between the three of us) for three days and gives us months and months anticipation looking forward to it.

angela said...

i do this every year. i am not a mother yet, but once i do become one, i just couldn't do it any other way. and as much as i love traveling with my husband, i like setting my own pace without having to worry if he is having fun or not.

i highly encourage EVERYBODY to do it whenever someone asks me why i do it. my reasoning is that it puts my out of my confort zone, but not completely. since i am such an introvert, i am more fascinated by peoplewatching then actually interacting (i like people, but trying to figure out people's stories from afar is just plain fun!), so i can go hang out in areas full of strangers and then go nap alone at where i am staying right after. :)

Jeanne said...

When my children were old enough for my husband to watch alone without too much stress (I think the youngest was about 3), my far-away bff and I decided to take a weekend trip away. It was so rejeuvenating that we made it an annual tradition.

Today the kids are older and our tradition has extended into week-long trips. But it gives us a chance to do all those things without having to worry about time schedules or meltdowns. I come home happier, well-rested, more relaxed and missing them too. It's a win-win for all.

It's so beneficial that if given the opportunity, I would most definitely do it alone. That's what a friend of mine receives every year for her bday...a hotel room for a weekend with all the massages, pay per view, room service and sleep she can muster!

Stephanie said...

Hi Joanna! I don't have any kids, but I do travel solo often (usually for work). I usually find that up to three days of alone time is nice - you can set your own schedule, watch cheesy movies in your hotel room, and stay up late reading. After three days, I start to get super lonely and tired of eating in restaurants by myself. Given the choice, I would rather travel with a buddy than by myself. I think travelling is more fun when you have someone to share it with. :)

Rachel said...

My mother had 4 kids and used to tell my dad that she was taking off for a weekend, about once a year. She did go with her girlfriends some, but would also just book a hotel room, to have some time to herself. It was a fun time for us, to have Dad all to ourselves, and we were always happy to see a refreshed Mom :)

Kristen said...

I'm not a mom, but I'm traveling to Savannah and Charleston solo later this month and I can't wait! I love being able to set my own agenda.

www.baublesandbeer.com

Red Penny said...

i'm all for this. i took a solo weekend away from my baby & husband last spring. i rode amtrak down to charlottesville, VA for a family wedding and found it to be so restorative and indulgent feeling. even just riding the train-- reading, napping, snacking, then napping again-- felt like a treat.
good reminder that i'd like to plan another trip!

Ashley said...

I think it's an inspired idea. I think that mothers should fill their vessels up from time to time. Relaxation and personal time should be a priority. Once a year sounds like survival, not selfish...and I'm on board!

Anonymous said...

I think every woman deserves a couple of days away alone or with a friends or sister or mom. It is important to have the time to think about your life and goals and to talk with someone without interruption. To be yourself - not for a moment in the role of mom or wife. It is also great for the dad to watch the children for a weekend on his own. We expect moms to do this, but dad's can, too. It might even deepen his bonding with the children (and appreciation of his wife!) I am all for it. Once I went on a trip for a week when my children were little. My sister-in-law and husband took care of the kiddos. (It was a planned trip where a friend couldn't go at the last minute, so I took her spot with a third friend. So restorative!)

Anonymous said...

My dad used to take us kids away for a 3 day vacation every summer and let my mom enjoy the peace and quiet. I remember feeling bad that my mom was at home herself, but now as a mother I wish I had that.

Christy said...

I do every year, at least once. Sometimes it's three days in a city with friends, other times I just go over to a friends house and spend the night. HEAVEN. Sleeping diagonally indeed!!!

Alice said...

I find the idea of travelling on my own weird and I have never done it before. Plenty of friends do it, but I would need someone to talk to! Then again, I'm quite shy with strangers, but I guess I would consider visiting friends - and I like the idea of pedicures! :)

Chessa! said...

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about this AT ALL. I personally don't think I would do it bc I really do love traveling with my husband but never say never. We are both so busy all the time that if I'm going to go away from home I want it to be with him. If I was going to visit a friend or something it would be different I think...that I would do. I've done it in the past many times but not since having the baby. We actually just got back from a long weekend away together and now that I think of it, I had plenty of alone time when I went to the spa or for a walk on the beach alone. And at home I have a PT nanny so I can work PT but every few weeks I take a day to do something for myself other than work...whether it's a movie, long walk, window shopping, lunch with a friend, whatever...it's such a treat to have that time and I really thrive on it. I feel like it makes me a better mother and wife and person to recharge like that.

HiLLjO said...

NO.

kel said...

i travel for work -- mostly alone -- so that is plenty of time away from my "sweetie pies".
if i'm in a new city or country i'll take a vacation day to go adventuring or at least find a great locals spot to eat dinner.

Lauren {Stylized Existence} said...

I am not a Mom yet, but I have done lots of traveling by myself and I found it invigorating and a bit frightening (I traveled to Prague to live alone for 6 months for my job and throughout that time I went to Paris, Rome, and Florence by myself). I like that it kept me on my toes and allowed me to feel a renewed sense of self-confidence, like "I can do this on my own, I can take on the world alone if I have to!" It really is something that every person should do. You learn so much about yourself and can really reflect on your own thoughts!

Jinnie said...

i love the idea of going on a vacay by yourself, but i'm too chicken. i think i'd enjoy it more w/my husband or some girlfriends... i still have yet to go on a mini vacay w/o my 1 year old...but i'm definitely getting to the point where it's needed! especially before we decide to have baby #2!

http://mybabykins.com

Amy said...

I did take little trips by myself before I had my 19-month old. My little sister is an airline pilot and for a while (before she caught a beau), I was the beneficiary of her flight benefits. I flew to New Orleans (a month before Katrina) and spent a whirlwind weekend by myself and it was amazing. A room at the W, fine dining, the Voodoo museum, tons of antiques shoppes, beignets, and of course Bourbon Street. At times, I would feel lonesome, because I was having such fun...if that makes any sense. But I love a solo trip. When you are by yourself, you can meet such interesting people along the way!

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I both do it, we go away together and we go away without each other and our son.
I've already been to Lisbon in january to visit my brother and in April my girlfriends and I are spending a night in a luxurious hotel in the middle of a forest.
It's such a healthy thing to do. I definately also want to go away on my own one day.
Myra

Deyse said...

I went to Italy for two weeks by myself and it was one of the best vacations of my life! My husband is going to Colombia this summer for 3 weeks, and I plan on taking mini vacations while he's gone. It's very liberating.

Libby said...

I spent five weeks backpacking through Europe in 2007. From Dublin down to the Greek Islands and back... It was the most liberating and exciting experience of my life.

pageonpaper said...

what a lovely idea!

Chantel B. said...

I'll be honest...I hate travelling alone! I've tried it and find it very boring and really miss having someone to share the fun with. I remember being in a museum on one of my travels and feeling so lonely not being able to discuss the amazing items I was looking at with anyone. It was a terrible feeling and I vowed to always travel with my spouse or a friend! That said...I am currently pregnant with my first so I have no idea what parenthood will be like! Eeek. So...if I feel the need I would very much love to have some travel time with my husband!!

Maryli said...

I loved traveling alone when I was single, but it's definitely not a priority for me now. My fiancé nd I got pregnant shorty after we started dating, so my big priority right now is a romantic vacation. Plus, we do everything on my terms anyway! ;-)

Shelby said...

I'm not a mom yet, but I definitely plan on taking girls trips with my college friends once we are all scattered. I think it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Fun post!

Anonymous said...

Most definitely. My friends and I try to meet up once a year to catch up and have a little adventure together. It's kinda turned into a tradition since we now live so far away from each other. We're all foodies, so we usually eat ourselves silly.
Our last 2 vacations were Chicago and a Bahamas cruise. It was so much fun! So much yummy food

Angry Asian said...

for my birthday one year i spent a weekend alone in gettysburg, pa. i went on the tour, walked around by myself, i even had dinner by myself at an italian restaurant in town. it was nice, i enjoyed myself immensely.

Trina said...

I've traveled solo to the U.K. and through Turkey (twice) and Ukraine while a Peace Corps volunteer, as well as Guatemala. It's liberating. I find that the roles I'm used to in the U.S. fall away when I'm on my own abroad. If I've convinced myself that I'm super-shy, for instance, that falls away when I get drawn into conversations with folks from other countries, especially as a way to combat any loneliness. But overall I like being able to do things when I want, how I want, and at my own pace. It's empowering to know I can be on my own and enjoy my own company.

Martina Egenter said...

I would go on a vacation all by myself if I had my mother near by. My mother in law is ... incompetent to look after my baby!I guess my husband would give her my babyboy if I were on vacation ...

simplydreaming said...

I personally would not enjoy doing this but I could see how other mother's/people would. I love doing/exploring new things with my husband and daughter and the one time I HAD to take a 3 week trip without my husband (no daughter at the time) I was miserable thinking of how fun all of it would have been if he had only been there to experince it all with me.

Welcome to the Laundromat said...

I read Sharon's post last week about a "motherhood vacation". I think it's such a great idea to get away and recharge.

The Teacher said...

My mother has done this all her life, her mother before her and so on AND even though I'm not a mother yet I know I will.
It seems like a nice treat, that is definitely well deserved.

www.toteachandtolearn.blogspot.com

Kristin said...

I took my first vacation by myself last weekend and it was awesome. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and am pregnant with our third. I thought if I didn't do it now it would be a long time before I had another opportunity. I met some college friends at a cabin in the woods for a weekend and it was so wonderful. Relaxing, fun, great to catch up with people...perfect. And the kids did great at home with my husband. I don't know why I hadn't done it before!

Leica said...

I couldn't imagine doing this until my children were much older, maybe middle school age. I signed up for a family, and while every moment may not be blissful, every moment IS precious! Plus, my husband is so busy with work (he is a Naval Aviator) that I can't wait for our first ever FAMILY vacation!

Brittany @ Pro-Soup Propaganda said...

I don't even have kids and I do this. I love getting away from my boyfriend and doing my own thing for a day or two. I don't have to worry about answering questions, him not wanting to do anything I want to do, I can sit on beaches and watch ships go by and listen to the waves and not worry about the fact that someone might be with me and is bored. I love doing my own thing and having my own adventures. Obviously, I love doing things and adventuring with him, too, but I think everyone should be able to do their own thing sometimes. It reminds you of who you are to get away from your "normal" life sometimes.

M said...

I've gone away with my husband a couple of times - once just an overnight in the city that we're 20 minutes from and once for a weekend about 2 hours away. I've also gone away once with girlfriends, which was a lot of fun.

Kinda off-topic, but I give your friend a lot of credit for staying at a hostel as an adult! No way I could do that!

McKnitter said...

I have LOVED the trips I have taken with my Mom. I'm a mom of 2 boys and it actually makes me a little sad I'm not going to be able to carry on my favorite trip with a daughter... My Mom, Best friend, her mom and others do a trip to SQUAM for an art retreat. It is awesome and so fulfilling. this is our third year and we have made so many friends and new experiences together (first year we went I was 7 1/2 months pregnant). It’s an amazing experience http://www.squamartworkshops.com/ and one that has made us closer and also changed throughout the years and grown with us!

Shannon said...

YES! YES! YES!

Marge said...

I haven't done a trip yet but every 4 or 5 months I book myself a hair appointment and I take the evening to myself. My husband and I both work in NYC and commute from an outside suburb. I almost never get a chance to enjoy the city on my own anymore aside from these evenings. Sometimes I just go out for a solo dinner with some nice wine. It's an enjoyable evening that I look forward to. He watches the kids and I am not expected to return until I return.
I am hoping to expand it into dinner and a show at some point in the future but then it threatens to turn into quite an expensive evening (on top of the cut and color). I do love the idea of a solo trip but I fear that I would miss my husband and children too much. But who knows, perhaps I would LOVE it!

Ashley C. Ford said...

I'm not a mother, but I am a nanny on vacation by myself right now. I'm apartment-sitting for a friend in Chicago (Bucktown) and I'm writing, reading, watching movies, and visiting museums. I miss the boys like crazy, but I already feel so refreshed and know that I'll be crazy excited to see them when I get back, and even more motivated to be a great nanny to them.

{Liana} said...

For sure! Some time away for yourself, with a girlfriend, sister, or alone, is necessary- for guys, too!

Brianna Soloski said...

Yes! I really want to go somewhere for my 30th birthday without an agenda, stay in a hotel, eat room service, sleep late, and watch bad television. I don't have kids, but even if I did, that wouldn't stop me.

Chiara said...

It's something I have always aspired to. I think you would learn a lot about yourself just being in your own company on holiday.

Justine said...

Even though I'm not a mother, and I don't place on being one for at least 5 years I will definitely be taking vacations by myself! Heck, I would do it now if I had more money. I think there is something to be said about having time for yourself, and exploring a long the way. I love your blog!

Tara F said...

Right after my divorce was final and my daughter was 7 I took her to her grandma's and I went to London for 4 days by my self. It was awesome to stroll around that beautiful city at my own pace not having to ask anyone's permission to eat what I wanted or browse antiques in Portobello market. After day 3, I was home sick and lonely, and by day 4 I was on the plane headed home. It was a great way to unwind, clear my head and appreciate my life again.

Sarah @ Williamsburg Baby said...

As a travel writer, this is something I do a lot of. I think the logistics might be tricker when our baby arrives this summer, but I'm optimistic. I think it's a key life skill...and I always come back refreshed, more centered, and really happy to see the husband.

Becky said...

Several years ago, I had a week off work in December. I longed for a vacation with friends but no one other than me had the time or money to go anywhere or do anything. So I thought to myself, f*ck it! I'll go by myself! I planned a trip to Rivera Maya, Mexico. It felt odd at first, eating meals alone and looking around at everyone else who had traveled with friends or family. But then I realized that I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I lounged by the pool and at the beach reading for hours on end. I did everything leisurely, not feeling rushed by anyone else's time constraints. I was warned not to leave the resort, but decided I felt safe enough to take a taxi to Playa del Carmen for some shopping. It was exotic and fun. The trip was so relaxing and enjoyable. Although I have a boyfriend now, it is still difficult for us to get time off work together and I would definitely travel alone again!

Shayna Hodkin said...

I'm not a mom, but I just recently did this at the end of January -- after college I moved in with my parents, and I needed to get out of town by myself for a little while. I went to a beautiful, inexpensive hotel in DC and pampered myself, and it was amazing! I still dream about that pillowtop mattress. Totally recommend it!

Clare said...

I'm not a mother yet but I would most definietly do this! The first time I traveled on my own I was 18 and had 6 weeks off from college between Thanksgiving and the New Year. I went home for Thanksgiving and then flew to Oahu and spent 3 weeks there, before coming home just before Christmas. Technically, I was traveling on my own but I stayed in hostels so I was constantly meeting interesting people - many of whom were also traveling solo, so it was more than easy to make friends. I'm still in touch with some of them. At times I was sad to not have my best friend with me, it was thrilling knowing I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It was the best trip I've ever taken.

Maker said...

I take a girls trip every year The seven of us (same seven women - 8 years running - no kids, no spouses)pick a place and venture out together for a long weekend. The location is not as significant as the company and the specific activities not as important as the overall agenda
: eat, drink, read magazines, and be ourselves (which, I may note, is not always pretty). Each year is different; some years are better than others; but I always look forward and feel grateful for that time.

An unexpected benefit of this annual trip is that it has also encouraged my husband to take a guys trip with his friends. And I think it makes us both better people/spouses/parents.

ALEX SMOOKLER said...

The second lighthouse is right by my house where I grew up! I did a double take when I first scrolled down and saw the picture! I love what a small world it is and I loved seeing this picture! I live abroad now and it made me really happy to see an unexpected picture of my home!

As far as travelling alone I think it can be invegorating for both moms and non-moms alike. I travelled to London by myself last year and at first I was a little nervous but in the end, I had a blast. It served as a big confidence booster to see that I could completely rely on myself and that I did not need anyone else. It was also fun to be able to decide exactly what I wanted to do without having to consult with someone else.

Courtney said...

My sisters and I do an annual sisters retreat-- no kids or husbands allowed. It's the best! And last fall I went off on my own to visit my two best friends from college. It was the most rejuvenating trip I've ever taken. So nice to reconnect with my adult side and who I really am-- not just MOM. Plus, I don't worry about my daughter as much as when my husband and I take trips, because she is still at home with a parent!

Lucy Jane said...

Since traveling to see my dad by myself since I was 13 and then traveling back and forth to Canada from England to see my mum (my family is well traveled!!) I love having time to myself and traveling by myself. I luxuriate in long haul flights; having extra pretzels, some chocolate and wine with my in flight film and love the solitude that comes with it! Go for it- do something you really want to do! It's worth the little bit of money!

Hannah said...

I'd love to explore London or Paris on my own, just for a week or so.

Christine said...

As a Mom to two young boys, I find that I definitely need a little me time and alone time in order to recharge. I've gone away for a few days to a week to visit friends or my sister but I took my first solo vacation in August and loved it. I returned to a surf camp in Costa Rica that I visited with my husband (our first alone vacation together in a while since the kiddos) and it was fabulous. Since I was at surf camp, I was surrounded by like minded in individuals and wasn't totally on my own and I felt safe. I realized that it was the first time that I have traveled by myself in like forever. Needed it for my sanity.

Melissa Blake said...

I don't have kids, but I think I'd get a little lonely traveling by myself. I always love sharing vacations with people. :)

Meadow said...

I'm not a mom yet, but I doubt I'd like to go on a trip by myself... even if I had a noisy kid. I get lonely. A trip w. my husband, fine, but not alone. My sister has traveled alone and enjoyed it, but it's just not my thing I guess. Good for those who can do it, though! I think the most I'd do alone is a day of spa and shopping lol.

LilNikBigApple said...

I'm not a mother yet, but one of my birthday challenges for this year was to take a solo trip. I'll be traveling to Guatemala in April for a week-long trip. I'm really excited but also a little nervous.

Michelle said...

I went to Rome by myself when my little boy was only 2 years old. It was the most divine experience.

kaela said...

I am young single and childless and I adore traveling by myself :) The most recent trip was San Francisco. I was out there for work from Tues-Fri and then I stayed until Tues on my own. It's awesome. Of course I'd love to go back and do it all again with a good friend or boyfriend (if i can find one hahaha)....but it is so invigorating to go out and adventure on your own. You are so much more vulnerable and it's always surprising how many more people approach you and talk to you when you are alone. You see everything from your very own original point of view...nobody there to skew your opinion or to rush you out of the cute boutique store you love. You can eat whatever you want and heck you can go back 3 days in a row if you please! Ah, if I had the money I would travel alone once every couple months. It really brings you back yourself...if that makes sense? :)

goose and bear said...

I just did this over Christmas, flying south to visit a childhood friend, my grandmother and brother. It was so relaxing reading on the plane and only worrying about my own belongings/needs. I came back totally refreshed and ready to tackle the holidays with the family. At first I felt guilty about the cost and taking time away during Christmas break, but it ended up being just what I needed and I don't regret a single thing!

Anonymous said...

I have done it since my children were weaned. They are now teens.
Mostly in a hotel or country house, recently a girlfriend stayed, my family were away hiking overnight, and we went out to a concert and watched DVDs and ate toast, champagne and chocolate into the wee hours of the night.
Best trip that I did was going to India for 2 weeks with a friend , also a mother and we gave each other space and enjoyed the freedom from motherhood and running a home, our jobs...you get the picture and we immersed ourselves in this amazing culture and its chaos and it was totally life changing in terms of returning home feeling strong and capable in a totally different way and our families realising we are individuals.

Cathi said...

I have traveled on my own alot and I love it! I think Motherhood vacations are fabulous, as it's really easy to forget your own needs when you are caring for others and that is how we lose ourselves as individuals - valuing our needs are the most important thing. Great post! xxoo

Chelsea said...

After only a month of being a Mom, I'd say that this sounds like a great idea. I think regardless of whether or not your are a parent, a brief break from real life is something necessary to reboot and refresh.

asa said...

I used to travel a lot on my own when I was younger, backpacking around Europe for months, more sophisticated city gettaways as I got older and since I met my husband we have traveled all over the world.

I've always enjoyed company on my travels though, I like the shared memories. Especially with my husband and son.

And I don't think I'd like to go away for a long trip on my own.. but it is wonderful to have a day and an evening now and then to catch up with friends and being an adult without your toddler in tow.

I think every mom and dad needs that break, weather its just half a day or long weekend.

Maggie said...

I'm taking my first solo vacation three weeks from day! I'm leaving Indiana for NYC, and I couldn't be more excited. I'm not even making any plans, other than accommodations. I just want to explore!

Anonymous said...

since becoming parents, just over a year ago, i find i just want to take a break but with my husband. i don't have enough time with him. even a weekend away, without baby would be a good break. i take my saturday mornings and go out to do whatever i need to do on my own and it's a good alone time that baby has with daddy too.

Alexandrea Jane said...

You have to read this.... Its from the point of view from a very funny dad... Sometimes their view counts too ;) http://jasongood.net/365/2012/03/parenting-capital/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=parenting-capital

Elizabeth Benfield said...

i should be better at being alone than i am. i would totally make a point to get away and visit a friend but im not sure i would do well just going by myself.

Margaret said...

you make the single life sound pretty good-thanks for the wake up call!! I think I take those small things for granted-like figuring out at 11pm that I haven't had dinner and there's no food so pizza is going to be it. I'm definitely single, living by myself, with no kids (and I love it!)

Pamela RG said...

Traveling alone rejuvenates the soul. I have done it once to visit London. It helped me to reflect about my life and learned to be more grateful for what I already have. I was thinking of traveling to London again to see the many exhibits happening there right now. Then I read your blog about this. I am more decided to go for it again in the coming months. See, it gives you courage to travel alone!

mary straton said...

I'm not a mom, but I travel internationally for work pretty regularly, and spending time in interesting cities by myself is so wonderful. It's so cathartic to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want!

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, but I have traveled quite a bit on my own... mostly to North American cities, but I also took a 30th birthday trip, alone, to Paris and a couple Swiss cities. I hooked up with friends who lived in the cities, but also spent a fair amount of time touring by myself. Now I'm married, and I have only gone on business trips alone. But fortunately, my husband and I have a very similar travel philosophy - we fly by the seat of our pants and also don't feel bad if in the evening all we want to do is pick up a "picnic" (bread, cheese, cured meat, wine!) and hang out in the hotel.

I'm happy to hear of a mother who travels alone. A lot of mothers I know would feel really guilty if they did this, and quite frankly would feed me the BS line that their baby and husband make them feel SO fulfilled that they have no need to do anything alone. I know that's not the case and it makes me sad when friends can't EVER visit me and instead expect me to do all the traveling to them.

Diana said...

I have taken a vacation by myself! When I was studying for my MA in Yorkshire, England last year I assumed plenty of other international students would be hanging around for the holidays. I was wrong! All my friends flew home for Christmas.

I was beginning to feel rather sorry for myself when I decided to take advantage of the opportunity by taking a short mini-break in London. It was the first time I'd taken a vacation by myself, but I decided to go for it.

I had a fantastic time! I sauntered through several museums (Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Charles Dickens Museum and the Sherlock Holmes Museum) and saw two West End plays in the evenings.

While it's great traveling with friends and family members, it was nice having sole control over the itinerary and setting my own pace. I would definitely travel by myself again if given the opportunity. Thanks for posting on this, Jo. :)

Mimi said...

Growing up our neighbor would take a weekend and go to Boston without her family- 3 kids, husband and a lab!

She would get a new haircut and come back so happy and relaxed. Even us kids noticed it.

I think it is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I've travelled by myself through about 20 countries over about three years. It's challenging and scary and perfect.
Now I'm in love with a lovely man, in a mortgage with a beautiful home, in a happy tango with a precious toddler...and often feel overwhelmingly trapped. Not she-needs-therapy trapped, but...trapped.
I dream of central China. Those huge, lush, rolling hills with no roads, no schedules, no bodies.
Someday!

Mo (New on U) said...

I don't have kids, but I've traveled a lot on my own; South Africa, Scotland, Australia. Having a traveling companion is nice, but there is something to be said about being able to do whatever YOU want when you're someplace new and exotic. Also means you'll meet lots of new people if you're open to it!

rotsax said...

very good idea, but when you're used to noise of the house is difficult to be alone because you do not know what to do with so much silence!

Lisa said...

I've never really gone on a vacation on my own, but the idea of it has been on my mind for a very long time. Now that I'm seeing the lighthouses I'm REALLY intrigued!

I don't have any children of my own, but am in strong support of any mom who would want to take a break from motherhood. There's nothing embarrassing about it - quite the contrary: taking a break signals self-care, which in the end benefits everyone in the family.

I'm thinking about having an annual (healthy) vacation from my relationship. I love spending time with my partner, but I also think that it's important for every couple to have some time apart, where they can explore their own interests without having to compromise. I think this is also important for the purpose of keeping one's own identity. As a couple it's so easy to become one and we as women tend to lose ourselves a little easier in relationships than men. In some ways it's probably natural for this to happen (especially when you live together), but that's why it's so important to keep up one's own interests and take time apart every now and then. Your friend is right - it doesn't have to be anything fancy/far away, just a place that signals: time off! A place where there is no limit on the amount of ice-cream or cheesy movies :)

Thanks for posting this - I will now need to check out the lighthouses!

VintageDanielle said...

I actually another blogger who took just an night off and spent the day in her hometown of NYC and had a lovely time, she felt refreshed and independent. I would love to do a trip on my own. I would feel so proud of myself for handling everything on my own and being able to do what I want to do when I want to.

Eleanor Rae said...

I love this idea! I don't have children yet, but I do like time by myself, and living in a house full of people, it rarely ever happens! xxx

Pretty Clucked Up said...

I took myself to Bermuda for 3 days when my son was a toddler. I was a single mom at the time, and had a really stressful job. Thankfully, my mom ROCKS, and watched my kiddo for me while I took a break. It wasn't even "great" weather on the island while I was there. It was their off season (the only way I could afford to go) so it was chilly (for Bermuda), but it was so therapeutic to just hang out by the water with no schedule for a few days. Highly recommended...

Kelli Anderson said...

joanna, you actually commented on my post where i shared a video from a week vacation i took to nyc! i loved it, it was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. especially in such a concentrated time.

elisa said...

Joanna, you shoud definitely go away with some friends. Or even go to a conference by yourself. I am a jeweler and have to travel for craft shows. Although I hate being away from my 17 month-old, it is so nice to just be an adult for a while. I've also taken one trip alone to visit a dear friend in Colorado. It was wonderful sleeping in ( I slept 11 hours the first night!), and just going with the flow. Plus, it was good for my friendship, too. My girlfriend was so honored that I chose her to spend my weekend away with. I highly recommend it!

Bexando said...

I travelled round Italy for a fortnight all by myself last year. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I'd previously been caught up in thinking that I could only go on holiday if there was someone around to come with me. How wrong I was! Travelling alone was liberating: I was more focused on the present moment, I opened myself up to new people and experiences and I spent most of the time wandering around in a delirious pizza-filled daze, amazed at how much I was enjoying it. Ever since I realised I could travel alone the world has seemed so much more like my oyster than it previously did. I'd encourage anyone to give it a go.

katiedid said...

Yes! I traveled to Martinique, New Orleans, Maryland and New York....some completely by myself, some to visit cousins, but I have to say there is not only a desire to get away that is fulfilled, but it also makes one feel so competent and self assured. A big component in feeling refreshed and ready to take on the bustle of family life again.

Votre Amie said...

I've gotta say this sounds like a pretty amazing idea. I've never been on a any sort of vacation solo style for more than a day or so while waiting for others to arrive, and during those days I can't say that I hate the solitude. It's kind of refreshing! On the other hand, I don't know if it's because I'm a relatively newlywed but I don't ever tire of my husbands presence and when I think of vacations and adventures I generally think about experiencing them with him by my side. I do value my time alone though, so I really do think it's a great idea!

http://iloveublank.blogspot.com/

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

traveling with friends has always been a priority for me. last year, when my firstborn son was 8 months old, i took a weekend vacation to reunite with some old friends. it was the best thing! now, in my second year of motherhood, i'm intrigued by the idea of taking a vacation entirely on my own. with personal time at an all-time low, it seems like just the thing to put a spring back in my step (and what a wonderful tradition it would make!). thanks for sharing your take, joanna!

xx,
Aja Lake
the gold hat.

micherobotica said...

I am married, no kids, but every few years I take a long volunteer-cation. In 2010, I went to northern Canada above the arctic circle to student teach junior high english for six weeks. In 2011, I went to Guatemala for five weeks to build houses. I plan to try out a volunteer summer educational program in NYC in 2013. I would 100% recommend this to anyone who has the time to do it. Although I certainly miss my partner, we appreciate each other so much more for it. Being married doesn't mean the end of pursuing individual goals. The right partner understands and supports this.

third room studio said...

ooh, I actually just got back from a 'holiday' by myself, visiting my sister without my children, and meeting her newest baby. I do find that I get a little nervous in the lead up to leaving my kids, but distance really does make the heart grow fonder, and I definitely feel rejuvenated.

Laura said...

My husband and I decided when we got married that we would take three vacations a year: one as a family, one as a couple, and one as individuals. In addition to being a mom and a wife, I'm still me, and I like to do things and go places my husband doesn't necessarily enjoy. I have a 7 month old now, and recently booked a yoga retreat in Italy with a girlfriend for a week right around the time he'll be 13 months old. It's nice because I planned to wean around then anyway, and after reading your piece about how weaning can sometimes cause depression, I'm glad to have something to look forward to!

The Cyclist's Wife said...

As a mom I can appreciate this. But I have to say, I don't think it's for me. My time is very limited with work, mommying, wifeying, cycling, running & LIFE. I treasure the time alone I have with my husband and step-son. For me, taking a vacation by myself would mean foregoing time with them.....to me, this wouldn't be worth it. Plus, I think I'd get lonely.

Erica E said...

Would I ever love to go way by myself! I dream of it. But I'm a single working mom of 2 young kids and I have the mommy guilt going on. hopefully one day.

Anonymous said...

I travel for work, so I do get time away from 'the fam'. But sometimes it would be nice to leave both behind for a few days.

I know a progressive and elderly friend told his wife she needed a break and sent her off to three weeks holiday while he stayed with the three kids. This was in the 1960s sometime. He couldn't believe how exhausted he was when she came home, which only solidified his belief in her need for a break!

annie gray said...

I'm doing that very thing right now. Two months in France! I'm in between jobs, have no little ones, and a supportive boyfriend, so the obvious choice was to see all te little spots in France that I have missed. It can be lonely, but traveling alone is always worth it!

etLeCygne said...

I have done a lot of traveling on my own since studying abroad in Paris three years ago. I've really come to enjoy traveling alone, even if it's just a day trip to the big city. I think you see and appreciate things differently on your own than with a partner or group. Both methods of traveling are enlightening in their own ways, that's why I still enjoy taking trips on my own sometimes as much as when I go with my boyfriend.

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness!! What a fabulous idea! I would love to do this. My husband is getting a 3 week "holiday" (he's a teacher and is accompanying some students) to Germany later this year. Perhaps once he returns I should get my own.

lia said...

i've never traveled alone really, but i've flown alone when i went to ireland and my friend had a different flight than me. i really liked that! something invigorating about walking through the airport all alone especially when arriving in a new country and having to figure out how to get where you need to be.

ps. love that you mentioned sleeping diagonally! my boyfriend is out of town right now and, although i miss him, i missed sleeping diagonally too!

shisomama said...

My husband surprised me with a ticket to NYC two years ago to visit my college roommate by myself. Last year, it became tradition, and this year it's turning into a business trip. But it gives me something to look forward to just at the right time, when the winter doldrums are really exhausting me. It's really wonderful and restorative, and hope I can continue it in upcoming years!

Emom said...

smartest idea......ever.....smiles

~ Faith said...

Oh, heck yes I would! In fact I think I need one right now... argh. My 14-month-old is testing a lot of boundaries lately...

~F

JustCharlie said...

Oh heck yes I would! I'm not even a mother yet and my boyfriend knows I take those types of trips already! It surely isn't going to change when I become a mother! :)

TheXtremist said...

Great article. Lots of clever ideas

Extreme Statistics: Everything Against Everything

Isabelle said...

Definitely! Being alone may be a scary thought, but sometimes solitude is best.

allgoodthingstoday.blogspot.com

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

I probably wouldn't do an all out vacation but I did tell my husband that all I want for Mothers Day for all the years until our kids are grown (we have a 1 1/2yo and one on the way)is a day of pure pampering. I don't want gifts, I don't want dinner, I just want to be able to go get a mani/pedi, massage, or whatever and spend the day by myself while he takes the kid/s.

He readily agreed and I am SO excited! I'll be a week or two from my due date this year and I know pampering will be much needed.

Marilisa said...

"Sleep diagonally" haha I love it. I don't have any children yet, but I imagine I will want a little getaway on my own every once in a while. My mom goes to the movies by herself and I always give her a hard time about it, but now I might realize why she does it...

postcardsfromthebay said...

I have thought about doing one of those meditation retreats, but it might be too painful!! We've had a couple of date nights away from our 9 month old but any longer we'd probably just miss her and talk about her the whole time! But I think a night off on your OWN would be awesome! Go shopping, sip cosmopolitans! Read, go for a long walk! Yep, a night on your own to remember what YOU were like would be grand!

JustCharlie said...

Jo! Something else I just thought of! Every year my extended family takes a trip on Mothers Day weekend. They rent a HUGE 17 bedroom house on the beach and it is only for Mothers in the family. Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, Nieces, granddaughters, etc. You are only allowed to go if you are a mother. I can't wait to go one day!! :)

linz said...

I love this post, because I think it's so important to take time for yourself (whether you're a mother, or not). I took a 5 day trip to Bermuda with a friend when my daughter was 15 months old. I read 2 books on the beach, stayed up late, went out dancing. It felt so decadent (after a year of being completely and utterly selfless). It's easy to take your life for granted, the every-day can become monotonous. A little getaway by myself gave me some perspective and helped me feel re-energized. You should try it :)

Stephanie said...

Oooh..I love it. I always travel alone, although I don't have kids. I take leave from my job and study things I find interesting. This year I'm taking two months off, as I did last year, to study Italian and art in Italy (of course I have another excuse - I met my amazing Italian partner on one of these trips years ago, and of course I'll be with him some of the time!). I think that for many women, with or without kids, traveling alone provides a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with different parts of a life. For me, getting away from my life as an economist and heading into my artistic self gives me the energy to return to my analysis. I love being someone else for a few weeks, meeting new people, etc. What always amuses me is that after a couple of weeks away I have to THINK about it when someone asks me what I do for a living - it no longer overwhelms my other facets!!

Samantha said...

I am not a mom yet, but this past summer I took a vacation by myself and it was amazing. My husband had to work and so I took 10 days and drove from Portland where I live down California. I stopped in Sacramento the first night to see an old friend, spent 5 nights in LA with my friends and cousin, drove up the coast through Big Sir, and then stayed in Santa Cruz for 2 nights with a friend and then back to Portland. I missed my husband but the solo road trip was so liberating and amazing. Plus, I got to spend time with some of my favorite people ever, that I rarely get to see. I highly recommend it!

Mari said...

I find the things you listed so funny, because that's usually what my free days are like -- visiting friends, going to museums on my own and leaving when bored, doing pedicures, watching the sunset, drinking wine... Only now it ocurred to me that one day these little lonely pleasures will end one day. And the other funny thing is, I can't wait for it to be over and to have someone (or a family) to share these moments with. Well, I better enjoy my alone time before it ends! Thanks for giving me a new insight on my single life. :)

J. Beaudet said...

Wow! Your topic got a big response! I don't think I ever took a vacation alone when my daughter was young. I actually think she was about 14 when I went to Mexico with my sister. It felt strange to not be with my husband or daughter. We were only gone for 3 days but it seemed like much linger. It was al lot of fun though! Many Margies and shopping! I can see how if you have the means it could be refreshing to take a vacation alone but I don't think I would make it a regular thing.
Jennifer

martini said...

Hey, that first photo is of the lighthouse in the National Park where I work! That's too awesome, to see a picture of my own "office" here! I love the solo vacation idea, too; it's right up my independent-girl alley. I remember reading an interview with Bjork in which she talked about taking some time off for herself while her son was a toddler, leaving him with his adoring grandma for a bit and riding her bike from village to village in Iceland, and stopping at all the cathedrals to play their organs. I loved everything about that story...

mommamcelwain said...

I didn't even have to read this post to know the answer is "YES." While I love being a mom, I do sometimes miss the single (and irresponsible and selfish) days that I had to myself to...read a book, watch movies all day, have wine and ice cream for dinner. I love this idea! But I'll start with a day to myself first and go from there!

Allison Claire said...

I think it's a great idea! I took a vacation 4 years ago by myself. I went to South Africa for 2 weeks! It was kind of far and crazy but it was just what I needed at the time. I needed some adventure in my life and I had been home with the kids for 4 years and I was in a rut. I have always loved to travel so this was a huge adventure. It was a pretty country and I got to see so many things. After being away for 2 weeks, I was definitely ready to come back and see my family. It was the break that I needed to make me appreciate everything I have and I also got to experience another culture. It also helped me feel more independent.I definitely recommend it!

Taryn said...

absolutely!! In fact me and 3 of my darling girlfriends are on our way to New York City all the way from Australia for 10 days in April!!!!!!!! SOOOO excited x

Elspeth said...

i don't think i ever would have thought this sounded fun before i had my daughter...i was never the type to need completely alone time. but now i'd take it in a heartbeat. even just leaving her for a few hours i come back missing her and ready to take it all in again. there's something to be said for only thinking about yourself for an hour, a day, or even a week when your job 24/7 is to worry about a little human.

L V said...

I'm a mom to a 2.5 year old and have gone on 2 international yoga trainings/retreats since he's been born, once to Mexico, once to India. While I wouldn't opt again to leave for so long in any given stint (India was 3 weeks), I would absolutely do long weekends and even a week for a retreat, meet up with a friend or something like that. My parents were great and helped my husband and son while I was away, so there's definitely a lot of help required behind the scenes, but everyone recognizes the importance of sanity!

Hannah said...

I can only dream of this...lol

colleen said...

I definitely see ditching kids, but probably not my spouse, at least not for a while.. My favorite part of traveling is sharing the experience with my husband. Trips always recharge our relationship. Weekends away with friends I wouldn't count as traveling alone though!

ErinEMurray@lovesomeblog said...

I forget to do this, but whenever I have in the past, I come back re-energized! A little distance from my family from time to time helps me see them more clearly and appreciate them!

asiajane said...

Since becoming a mom I've flown to visit a friend who just had a baby, I've gone on a week residency for graduate school, I've gone to a conference, visited friends with my husband in NYC, and have for the past two years reunited with friends at my alma mater. I find it essential, and yet, I know of a couple of friends who simply haven't gotten to that space yet, even with older children...

Heading to NY again the first weekend in April, sans kiddos, and CAN'T WAIT!

Marla Martenson said...

I love taking vacations by myself. I am married with no kids, but when I was single and lived in Chicago I used to hop on the train to the airport and go over to Paris or Rome for a week and just wander the city and see all of the sites that struck my fancy. I could do what I wanted when I wanted. I did have friends in those cities, so I would make time to catch up with them and have dinner or go to a museum, but for the most part, I enjoyed my own company and took the time to reflect on my life. It was always very helpful to take that time out alone.

tatum said...

What an awesome idea. I will have to consider this! I take "dates" by myself, which kind of counts, I guess? I bought myself the best Christmas present this past December: a year membership to a spa. I basically *HAVE* to go at least once a month (pull my arm). It's been the best splurge, ahem, investment, I've ever made as a new mom! My husband once mentioned that when my baby naps, doesn't that count as "me-time" ... um, NO!! Because I'm still mentally a mom and still responsible to care for my baby in other ways when she's not sleeping like laundering her pile of clothes or cleaning up the sticky mess around/in/under her high chair, etc. A real break to me means being physically and mentally disconnected.

Lomagirl said...

The year I turned 40 I felt I had to get away by myself for a while. I was hoping to go to NY with my bestie, but that didn't work out. (My parents gave my husband and I a trip somewhere together- I think they thought I should go with him.) Instead, I left my two kiddos- 4 and 6- at home with my husband and went alone to Philadelphia to a conference. I stayed in a nice hotel by myself and felt so refreshed by NOT being a mother for those 5 days. I long to do it again, but alas, it will be a while as a new baby joined our family and will be too young to leave with dad for a while. I did take hime with me to a conference and stayed with my folks, but still, not the same.

Alexa said...

I will absolutely do this! I love doing things on my own now, and taking time out for myself every so often will make me a better wife, mother, friend.

Bri said...

As a soon to be mommy in June, I will be taking her advice to heart.

The closest I've come to a day trip all alone was about a year ago I drove an hour to the coast to go on a long run along the beach. After I sat on the rocks overlooking the ocean eating the lunch I packed for myself. Picnic on the beach...very refreshing. I do love hearing stories from my adventurous friends who have traveled to Europe alone. So inspiring!

lou said...

I love traveling alone! I think it may be my preferred traveling style. I discovered it when my friends suddenly flaked out on me on my Japan trip 4 years ago. I hated them for that but then so many magical things happened on that trip. I realized they would not have happened if i weren't by myself. Do it! :)

kimberly said...

I stayed the weekend in NYC (after a business trip) by myself. I saw a Yankees game alone, explored museums alone, went to a show alone and it is one of the most memorable trips of my life...

Rebecca said...

I love that you posted about this, Joanna! I was just saying to my best girlfriend that I want to take a trip with her to Paris as soon as I feel comfortable leaving my baby for more than a day or so. It would take me back to my days before I got married and we can just sit in cafés, read books, have a conversation if we want, go off on our own adventure and regroup later, eat pastries, wander museums, go shopping, and just relax and let go of our responsibilities for a time. Sounds so amazing.

Allie. said...

This post came at a perfect time!! I have a few days off next week and have been debating where to travel to alone!! Good to see I'm not the only one who wants to or thinks to do this!!

Girlie Blogger said...

I would totally take a couple of days to myself. Possibly somewhere quiet and serene, like the beach.

Emerald's Cree-ations said...

I'm a mother of a nearly three year old... Next week I made plans to go to Florida with my sister -- all by myself! Yes, I'll miss my family -- but I genuinely need to take a few days to find my center once again, to remember that I am a whole individual, not just a mommy or wife -- just me! I am excited to share my adventures with my family -- and plan some fun adventures with them as well, but I need the break, and a Swedish Massage!

Sara said...

I'm single and always have trouble finding traveling buddies so traveling solo appeals to me. I do like the idea of making my own agenda. However, I don't know how to get started. Are there good traveling rates for solo travelers? Any good touring/adventure companies, etc?!

Ella said...

I'm not a mother, so I can't call it "a motherhood vacation" but I kinda already do this. My parents have a house up in Wisconsin and some weekends I drive up their and just spend some time with myself. I love that day or two of isolation and no responsibilities. I'll stay in bed till noon, read, go for walks, and crochet. I love it. Mostly, I go on these getaways when I'm feels stressed and just need some time to think about myself.

gnoriep said...

I don't have any kids, am single and prefers to travel alone. I have traveled alone to cities like, New York, Tokyo and Seoul. Pretty big and safe cities and so much fun! I can just do what I want! For example, spend as much time or as little time in a shop or a museum. I can sleep as late or as early as I want. I can come back for a short nap in the afternoon and then go our for dinner. Or I can buy some food and picnic somewhere. Rub shoulders with the locals. I once had a great conversation with someone I met while having lunch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York! Also shared a tiny table and drinks with an old lady in a small family restaurant in Seoul. Traveling alone can be a lot of fun! Highly recommended! ^-^

Anonymous said...

I did this recently and it was heaven. I even like eating out alone (I am always hopeful they will think I am a food critic). You do go home with a spring in your step.

Lisa said...

I don't have kids, but I've often thought about taking a vacation on my own. I traveled a few times solo for work and loved the time I had alone to explore the cities. It's refreshing and also a bit reassuring to know that I can handle things on my own.

Shawnee said...

as soon as i saw this post title, i knew that i had to read it!! i'm not a mother or married, but i looove traveling/vacationing alone! i think it's so good for your soul and self.. i certainly don't do it enough but love the idea of it too:) xo

ps you should travel alone and do a post about it! i'm curious!

du said...

Coach leather goods,coach outlet stores 60 the past five years has become one of the representatives of the American fashion symbol.coach for sale Its predecessor,coach factory online is a Manhattan loft in 1941 a small,such as family workshops.coach factory online By six renowned master craftsmen in the field of leather goods production,coach online production to create a series of sophisticated small leather goods. Today,coach outlet online the master of the Coach leather goods production still delay the passage of hand-tailoring leather goods, and over the years established Craftsmanship.




Pinnacle Series package is the most expensive leather hand-made models are elegant and stylish luxury. coach online store Among them,cheap coach the Pinnacle Leather Louisa Dowel Carryall is the best choice for spring,coach factory outlet its new dual-pin design is extremely fresh,coach factory online store quite a modern flavor.coach outlet Pinnacle handbags, Louisa series of delicate tubular handle decoration, coach factory outlet onlinesophisticated technology, coach factory outletthe full three-dimensional zipper brand using bomb leather Seiko secret agents. All Pinnacle series leather flash all hand dyed, add a touch of traditional crafts charm.coach factory store



Coach full range of accessories goods: purses,coach for salebriefcases,suitcases, travel bags, wallets, jackets, gloves,scarves,watches,glasses,shoes, coach outlet onlinefashion jewelry, and other.

Briel79 said...

I have taken a few vacations by myself. One of the biggest was when I went to Europe for a month! I went to London, a week long horseback riding trip in Wales, Paris, Venice, Rome, Florence, & Cinque Terre. It was great. I don't mind traveling with other people but most of my friends can't afford to travel like I can so I end up going alone usually.

Anonymous said...

When my twin boys were two years old I flew to Sydney from Melbourne by myself to spend 3 days with friends and had a fantastic time! My girlfirends and I every winter spend a weekend away without husbands and children at a beach house and we spend the time walking along the beach, cooking and chatting. We find it so refreshing.

Lindsey Fyfe said...

Oh my gosh, yes! So much that it's almost strange to have a travel partner. (I'm single and without kids, so it is easy).

I liked in the UK for 2 years so every month would jet off to explore britain and europe on a cheap flight. The best is to go close to where you have a base of friends/family, stay for a day or however long to get oriented, and then take all of their advice!

Anonymous said...

I married a jealous man... after three kids and 12 years married I need this kind of vacation I'm just 34...

I will go to Providence Island in the Caribbean sea... no TV, no cell... only these two books that i need to finish...

maybe in another life ;_(

Amanda said...

Last night I was talking about how it's hard for me to eat alone while my husband is out of town.. now a vacation all alone.. don't think I could hack it!



Check out my blog:
http://amandagrisham.blogspot.com/

Amanda

Sara B. said...

I would love love LOVE to take a vacation by myself! When I was in college I traveled around the south island of New Zealand by myself and it was magical. I don't see that happening again until my kids are off on their own (in about 18 years!) but I might be able to swing a weekend away once a year. :)

Deirdre N said...

My husband and I did New years competition diets this year and our rewards were two whole days by ourselves without the kids. Neither of us faltered on those diets and they were strict! Time away whether it's by yourself or with friends is very therapeutic and precious. Especially with two because when I leave (for work or play) I know my husband is outnumbered and sometimes outmatched. ;-)

Somehow these days there seems to be some judgement about that you're not a good parent if you need some space from your children. I spent every saturday night at my grandparents house while my parents did who knows what. It was great for all of us. Go on a solo/girlfriend jaunt Joanna!!!

Amanda Mae said...

I'm not a parent, but I would take pretty much any opportunity to vacation alone. I'm very introverted, and I enjoy doing pretty much everything alone. I also think that adding a couple of days to a conference/work trip is a nice way to sneak in a mini vacation alone. I just did that in January.

Stephanie said...

I'm always so anxious to leave my little ones.. but a break does do one good =) Plus I love to sleep diagonally!!! I just don't know why it's so much more comfortable.

Margo @ Spine of Style said...

I'm not a mother, but the idea of an actual personal vacation sounds amazing! Sometimes it's nice to enjoy guilty pleasures — like spending hours reading magazines, or gorging on unhealthy snacks — without loved ones' watch (even if they aren't judgmental :)

Fashion Blends said...

Love your post! Love for you to check out my blog!

http://fashionblends.blogspot.com

Shannon Buell said...

I stayed at that lighthouse when I was 15. I was at summer camp through the Marine Mammal Center. 20 years later I can still remember the amazing time we all had there. I live just down the road in Santa Cruz. After your post, I'm tempted to leave the boys (5 & 1) with my husband for one night, head back to the lighthouse and just... sleep.

Jessica Matthews said...

Being the mother of a sweet 5 month old boy, I can't fathom taking a trip by myself right now, I think I would miss him too much! But, as I envision the future (I'd like to have a lot of kids, at least 4) I could def see myself wanting/needing a short break from motherhood & a trip to myself sounds fun!

Michi said...

I travel on my own several times a year. I'm not a mom, of course! One of my favourite trips is to Madrid where I visit museums, go to the movies and just stroll around the city discovering new and amazing spots. I also do it on my home city, Barcelona. Sometimes I take a day on my own to wander. I cherish my time alone so, for me, traveling alone is one of the best ways to travel, you can do as you want and you are more open to meet people. I'd love to stay in a lighthouse, sounds amazing.

anna said...

i'm not a mom, but i've been daydreaming lately about taking a solo vacation. somewhere sunny, with a beach and good food. i would just pack a pile of good books and spend a few days reading and chilling out by myself...

claireb said...

There is something invigorating about traveling alone. It's something I've done for years now. (This year I'm off to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. Last year was Slovenia. The year before that was Kenya and Tanzania. Etc). The thing that makes solo travel most enjoyable, I think, is the self discovery. Placing yourself in a new environment, alone, is the best way to do so. Plus, it causes you to reach outside of yourself and meet people you wouldn't have met otherwise, had you not traveled solo.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joanna: This is MArta fron Spain!!!!
I am not a mother..... yet. I take a international trip with my two old sister every year!!!! This next Holly Week we are flying to....BEIJING!!!!!
My sister has got a littler beautiful girl and even thought she never forgets about her child, she needs this king of break.....
When i became a mother...I hope will keep the tredition!

Ronnie said...

Yes, definitely! I considered doing this last year some time but life got away from me. The best thing is when your spouse is supportive of the idea so you don't have to feel guilty the entire time you're away! I think something like that would be so super refreshing. Not that I don't love my little boys to bits, but a recharge like that can only be good for the whole family.
Ronnie xo
p.s. Probably first time commenting but a super fan of you and your blog. :)

hannah said...

Hi Joanna,

I'm a huge fan of your blog and was wondering if you would be interested in supporting Kony2012. It's a campaign to bring Joseph Kony (head of the Lord's Revolution Army of Invisible Children in Central Africa) to justice. Here is a video that explains our cause: http://vimeo.com/37119711.

It would be a huge honor if you were to support this cause and bring it to light to all of your blog readers. Thanks for your time.

Charlotte said...

This sounds like such a great idea, the world would definitely be a happier, less stressed place if more people did this x

elizabeth said...

I love traveling by myself! I never wanted to be one of those girls who didn't go on adventures or do the things she wants to do, just because she didn't have someone (in particular, a guy) to do it with.
I finished college two years ago and moved to South Africa for a year...but I'm still living here! And I fell in love! That is changing my opinion on traveling by myself a little bit, but I think I will always want to do it. There are too many places to see to wait for someone to come with you everytime. :)

lisanne said...

I love traveling on my own. I spent a month in Scandinavia, and a month in Nepal :)

Чучулигата said...

I loved travelling by myself when I was single and now that I have a three-year old son I see no reason to stop. :-) When I was six months pregnant I went to Cologne (Germany) to spend a week with a friend who was an exchange student there. Last year I spent nine amazing days in Cornwall (England) with another friend. This year I'm planning a week in London with that same friend and maybe even a few days in Paris. The best part is that my husband doesn't mind my roaming on my own at all. :-)

marketa anna medas said...

http://marketamedas.blogspot.com/2012/03/waiting-for.html
:)

Anonymous said...

I've always loved to travel alone. Did a lot before I had a kid 4 years ago. Since then my husband sends me to NYC for 3 days right after x-mas every year. So amazing to have that freedom. I am hoping to go somewhere in SE Asia on my own in the next year - Laos or Sri Lanka.

Quiqui said...

Once before I got married I took a vacation by myself. But now, I wouldn't consider be far from my baby. I miss him so much!!! It is a great idea, though!
www.notasinfashion.blogspot.com

megan said...

i love this idea! i am traveling to whistler, BC this august by myself for a little food photography workshop (and some sightseeing). it will be my first "by myself" trip, i'm nervous but really excited!

Yolanda said...

I dont have children yet, but growing up (and still to this day) my mum had a holiday alone most years. She would meet up with her girlfriends and they would have a girly weekend somewhere. Growing up I always loved hearing about it, but most importantly it made me see that my mum had friends & a life outside of the family. It also made me realise the importance of friends to adults.

Anonymous said...

I commented before about how I don't have kids, but I do travel alone. I was thinking about this a bit more, as I read through the other comments. I think there are just people who like to be alone, and people who don't like to be alone. There are also people who like to have an "authentic" experience when traveling, mingling with locals, seeing off the beaten path areas, and those who don't care about that and just want to have fun with the people they're with. Throwing motherhood into the equation might guilt a small minority of those who like to be alone into feeling like they can't possibly leave their child. But, I suspect that in most cases, motherhood doesn't make a difference... if someone liked to be alone and to travel alone before having a baby, that will remain the same afterwards. (The ability to do that might be hindered, though.)

What I'm seeing in some of the comments is just someone who doesn't know how to be alone. It makes me wonder the ages of the commenters, not to criticize, but out of genuine curiosity. This is a very broad generalization, of course, but with younger 20-somethings today being so constantly "plugged in," they tend to dislike being alone or not know what to do with themselves when they are alone, more so than is the case with earlier generations. (As an educator of "Millennials" I have read a lot about this, although of COURSE there are always exceptions.)

Anonymous said...

...I also wish I knew where everyone lives. I grew up in a rural area and probably even when I graduated from college, in a suburban area, I would have been utterly embarrassed to eat in a restaurant alone. Fast forward to living in a big city, and it is completely and utterly normal... there's no nervousness, no wondering what I am going to do or look at while I'm waiting for my food to arrive. I'm curious, from a sociological perspective (though taking the comments way too seriously! :-)) to know the background of the commenters with different perspectives. I suspect older people in urban areas (particularly those who moved to those places, not those with strong family ties to the area) would be more apt to travel alone.

Anonymous said...

I am not a mom yet [and probably won't be for a while, if all goes to plan, lol] but this sounds like a grand idea for moms and non moms. I wish my mother had taken more alone trips when we, the kids, were younger. There were times where I could tell she needed to recharge and didn't take the opportunity to step out-- except she would occasionally leave the city with my aunt and head to atlantic city over night. This "by myself vacation" sounds good for me and I'm w/o my own nuclear family, very young, and still in school-- imagine a getaway where you didn't have to plan or coordinate anything with anyone [friends, babies, spouses], where you could sleep late, eat crap, be moody or cheery, and do whatever you wanted! how nice! i think i'll plan this into my spring break or long weekends this year....

Oana said...

It's wonderful. We all need time for ourselves...to do something fun, just for us. Love it.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous who made ageist assumptions about the younger generation "not liking to travel alone:" It's true this generation is very plugged in but that exact fact is what makes it so easy to leave and go someplace alone. Why hesistate when you have all of your entertainmetn with you, if boredom hits you, when you can contact friends across the world, when lonely on your trips, when at the tip of fingers are maps, gps, apps telling you where the best local spots and hot spots are? If anything, traveling alone has been made a lot easier. Pair that with getting married later, or not at all, having children later, or not at all, and being in a nwly formed "Rent instead of Buy" society and you have nothing holding you back from travelling. I don't doubt that this generation has travelled more and more often alone than previous generations. I agree with you that some people don't like being alone and others are okay with it but despite what your "research" says [remember, facts are random compilations of stats that can be made to 'prove' anything] surely, it's not generational in the way that you imply. Some people are more comfortable in there homes, without leaving their families or children or comforts, and others are not as beholden to these things.

Jo said...

Oh, I have a little fantasy about this! My son is 6 months old and until a couple of weeks ago when we introduced solids he was exclusively breast fed, and I mean exclusively - he will not have a bottle! I am so grateful that I've been able to feed him for so long but sometimes I long for a break - I have this dream of going to a hotel by myself, just nearby and just overnight, but just for one uninterrupted evening reading or watching a film, and one long bath and long sleep! It won't happen though because I can't bear to leave him and I'd need to pump while away so it wouldn't work out quite how I imagine, but it's a nice fantasy nonetheless!

carolyn said...

yes yes yes! i don't have kids (and ahem, anonymous, i fall smack in the middle of the 20-something category), but last fall i was in london for a conference and decided to extend the trip with a week in paris. it was the best choice ever. i felt like i was in my own movie--wandering the streets wherever i felt like wandering, eating TONS of pastries and drinking cafe cremes, people watching at sidewalk cafes, and exactly what you metioned--visiting museums and landmarks, and leaving as soon as i got bored. it was such a unique and refreshing experience. while it would have been fun to have my boyfriend or a friend along, it was great to have a personal adventure, listening to only myself and doing exactly as i pleased for a whole week.

Petites Merveilles said...

I think this is a great idea but I have a hard time not feeling guilty for leaving my baby behind. I realize though that its something necessary for my wellbeing. You're after all a better parent when you're a happy person.

Kate said...

Yes! I just returned from an overnight away with college friends and it was lovely. We started teh tradition even before I had the baby! The hubs and I have been away from the baby (together) a handful of times, but this was the first night I've been away from him since the baby. It was really nice to miss him, and to be missed!

Lindsey said...

I have taken quite a few vacation by myself. I am single and not a mother, but I even find I need away time for me. It is in those moments I can find the most clarity and truly feel happy...
http://lindseyyoung.net

Allison said...

I'm not a mom, but I HAVE taken a vacation by myself. Five days in Mexico...and it was heaven. I woke up early, read on the beach, ate great food, and slept like a rock. I'd love to do it again.

Clara said...

Wise woman! I think time alone, in general, is really important. That could mean time away from your husband and kids, time with just your husband, time with just one of your children- the list goes on! But I'm a huge believer is being able to spend time completely alone. Every time my boyfriend heads out of town for work I really look forward to the time on my own in our apartment, but by the end of the week I'm dying for him to come back! I'm sure he feels the same way. It really keeps the love for one another alive in our relationship!

Haydee Rodriguez said...

I don't think I'll do it now that I'm a mum of two. I'll miss them like hell

kisses from Spain!

Sammi said...

I don't have children, but my boss and his wife do this. Usually just a day or two here or there where my boss will go and visit his best friend and then on another few days his wife will go back to where she grew up and visit her friends for a couple of days. I think it keeps the sanity for them.

As for me, I travel alone all the time! I went to Germany a year ago in September for 2 days and stayed with a group of women I had never met. Even just a trip an hour or so up the road to Bath Thermae Spa with a 2hr pass can be enough to make me feel sane. I am planning to go to San Francisco this September- I will be staying in a hostel which has communal kitchens and organises excursions, so I can make friends and do things in a group if I want to. I think, sometimes, when you do things with others your ideas of how you want things to go don't always match up, so it's nice to have a bit of time alone. Xx

*** KITSCH *** said...

Yes!
Not alone but me and my husband has had some weekends off, without the baby, and i think it is necessary.
I do not like to go alone... Twice i went with my friends and it was very funny and relaxing... sleeping till 11 am! ha ha
But i NEED time for me during the week... for running, for my DIY... these moments actually are a luxury


kss

http://mykitschworld.blogspot.com

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 226   Newer› Newest»
Site design by Apartment One
Federated Media Publishing - Style