6 Things to Do Completely Solo at Least Once
I'll be honest, these things are pretty basic, and yet- I'm pretty sure there's a lot of people out there who hesitate to do them. Originally written for Elite Daily, here are 6 activities you need to try solo at least once, whether you're in your 20's or not! See my original article here.
Speaking as someone who moved to a foreign country alone, I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to solo activities. It might seem like an unattractive idea at first, but you should never underestimate the joy of doing things by yourself.
You may worry people will judge you or stare at you, and it’s entirely possible that they will. This shouldn’t matter, though, because doing things alone — while considered odd to some people — is actually a sign of being a confident and independent person. Not only that, but it is fun and satisfying in a way you can only understand once you do it. So trust me, you don’t need a friend, boyfriend, spouse, family member or furry animal to enjoy the following six activities solo:
1. Go on a trip.
I could write nonstop about the benefits of traveling alone, but for the sake of short attention spans, let me just say that traveling solo is single-handedly the best thing a person can do in their 20s. Wait until “someday,” and you may very well miss your chance. Jobs, homes, mortgages, marriages and children will soon stand between you and your dream backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, South America, Europe or some other equally amazing place. Traveling alone will empower and challenge you in unimaginable and wonderful ways, and you’ll see the world through a new set of eyes. You’ll learn invaluable lessons, create memories and develop a level of independence and confidence that will last a lifetime.
2. Live alone.
Like traveling alone, living alone is something everyone must try once. We live most of our lives with our families, roommates and eventually our own spouses and children, and this leaves very little time for having a place entirely to yourself.
Make time because living alone equals shameless freedom, and we all need that at least once in our lives. It means having the freedom to walk around naked, eat whatever you want, watch whatever you want, sing as loud as you can, pee with the door open and all the other weird things you don’t want people to know you do.
3. See a movie.
Some of the best dates I’ve ever been on are dates I’ve had with myself. Treating myself to a movie is one of my favorite things to do when I want to unplug and escape reality for a few precious hours. The best part? There’s no one to argue with about which movie to see. If you’re a 20-something and you want to see “Finding Dory,” no one needs to know about it.
(Not that you should be ashamed by this film choice, for the record.)
4. Go out to eat.
I’ll be the first to admit sitting alone at a restaurant isn’t the most comfortable thing to do. It’s something I warmed up to while living in a foreign country. For some reason, being surrounded by people who don’t speak your language has a weird way of making you feel like you’re invisible and somehow not being judged. Do it a few times, and that discomfort will dissipate.
Some days, you just have a craving and no one’s around. Who are you to deny yourself your favorite food and a fancy dinner?
5. Enjoy a spa day.
Going to the spa isn’t a particularly social activity, and this makes going alone all the better. Everyone deserves a day of pure relaxation, so splurge and treat yourself to a day of pampering. A massage, mani-pedi, facial or full-body wax will leave you feeling rejuvenated and confident (albeit a bit sore in a few places).
6. Go for a hike.
We all need a breath of fresh air sometimes, literally and figuratively. Channel your inner Reese Witherspoon in “Wild” and go for a hike. I’m not talking about an entire coastal trail, but hiking through a national forest or even taking a walk locally is a healthy and enjoyable thing to do alone.
The mental and physical benefits of exercising outside are plentiful, and it’ll give you lots of time to de-stress and clear your mind.
Just one final piece of advice: Make sure you know where you’re going. Hiking isn’t fun when you’re lost in the dark with no cell service.
See? Doing things alone is fun and sometimes even preferable. Make sure to do these things as much and as often as you can in your 20s, and do them unapologetically, when your time is your own.
One day, you’ll miss all that free time you had to yourself, so spend it wisely by exploring new places, eating wherever and whatever you want and being as weird as you want to be.