The past weekend something unusual happened.
I found myself without any children!
Two were at their fathers, two were on a road trip and one was working.
I had a weekend to myself! Nobody needed me! What would I do?
It didn’t take me too long to decide that a solo camping trip was in order, so I packed my bag and tent and headed off to Norah Head in NSW.
I have never been camping by myself, plenty of times with my family, but camping solo was new to me. At first I was excited, then I got a little nervous, not in my abilities to set up camp etc but in others attitudes to me. Would people think it was weird? Would people look at me and judge me because it’s not “normal”. Even though I overcome my anxieties of what people thought of me years ago… there is still that underlying self doubt, one that this trip was bringing to the surface.
Here’s some things I learnt, travelling and camping by myself.
You do get weird looks and comments when you travel solo, I don’t think people can understand why you would want go away by yourself, even the receptionist at the campground asked me three times how many people were staying.
I can confidently set up camp by myself!
It doesn’t cost much less per night then staying with the kids does. This doesn’t feel right… Shouldn’t it be half of what the two adult base rate is!?!
It’s peaceful by yourself. I could read my book without any interruptions, for as long as I liked!
The days were dependent on what I wanted to do. I spent most of the two days, walking along the beach, checking out the lighthouse and reading and when I decided that I wanted to get up early to catch the sunrise I didn’t have to convince anyone else to come!
I had trouble sitting still at first. I’m am so used to either doing something or being asked to do something for the kids, that there was a time of adjustment, I kept getting up and moving around feeling like I should have been doing something…. Anything!
There is so much more room in the tent! I could spread out and no one was breathing in my ear!!!!
I enjoyed my own company, my thoughts flowed easier without any distractions from others. I could think about myself for a change, my dreams and goals for the future and how I am going to tackle upcoming challenges.
I came back refreshed. Even though it was only one night, it was one that I needed at the moment, everything is going to be quiet hectic in the next couple of weeks, some down time for just me was definitely on the cards.
Even meals times were different when I was by myself. I found that I could eat when I wanted, and have as little or as much as I wanted without others having a say in it. I felt that I only wanted some fruit for dinner ( and it was quiet late! ), while I know that if I had the kids they wouldn’t have been satisfied with just that…they would have been starving!!!!!
I could have the music in the car as loud or a quiet as I wanted… and listen to the music I wanted!
I found that it was easier for me to have a chat and connect with others.. without any distractions.
I didn’t spend much money it was a cheap weekend!!! I took enough food from home to feed myself for all meals, only had to pay for one to camp (even though it was cheap, couldn’t have been cheaper!) and I could justify a tour of the light house because there was only me! A great weekend for only $35!
and lastly I realised that I did miss my kids….
This solo trip was a great way to spend my free weekend, it exposed me to many experiences that may have not happened if the kids were with me and I quickly realised that my fear of being judged or considered weird wasn’t really something I cared about anymore.
Don’t get me wrong…. I love travelling and camping with my kids, the memories and bonding is something I would never change, but camping solo is a different experience, something I know I will be trying more of!
Do you travel or have traveled solo?
What do you love / dislike about it?
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