“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” – Marilyn Monroe
There’s that word – selfish. It’s every woman’s worst nightmare to be called selfish, right? Well, I’ve decided to beat people to it and label myself as society’s perfect example of ‘a selfish woman.’ So, why am I selfish?
I dream of travel, not kids
Fast-forward five years and I’m not dreaming of walking down the aisle in a big, puffy white dress and sailing off into the sunset with the future father of my children. Instead, when I fantastise, I’m discovering grand castles in Prague and enjoying the amazing street art in Malta.
I’m not content with settling
Given my almost complete lack of responsibility (no partner, no kids, no mortgage), my soul rejoices in knowing that I can leave any situation that doesn’t serve me. Forget about gritting my teeth through that 9am to 5pm job I loathe or playing nice with a boss who respects no one. It’s quite liberating to know you can pull the plug on most situations at any moment.
I have made decisions that impact those around me
I see life as a wonderful cycle of highs and lows. Sometimes, experiences place us in a position that means we have to make difficult decisions that we know will have a negative impact on those around us. You know the kind of choices I’m talking about… the ones that have you tossing and turning at night. The decisions that give you belly rumblings. While I’m not advocating you go out of your way to hurt or impact others, sometimes, we owe it to ourselves to be honest, whatever that honesty entails. Otherwise, we’re doing nothing but lying to ourselves.
I say no to regrets
Anyone who’s lived long enough will be able to pinpoint situations where they could’ve (and probably should’ve) acted differently. However, I promised myself a long time ago that I would make decisions based on how I felt and what I knew at the time: not what surfaces with the benefit of hindsight. I don’t want to look back at my life when I’m 50 and think to myself, ‘I never made anything of myself because I was scared of hurting others’ or, ‘I didn’t believe in myself enough and now, I’m completely empty.’
Sure, these are the kind of things most of us associate with selfishness but here’s my question to you: am I selfish or am I just living my life, my way?
By Sarah Cannata
Eager to travel more in 2015 but don’t want to do it alone? Well your not. According to lastminute.com.au almost a third (32 per cent) of women are planning to travel solo this year. And lastminute.com.au spokesperson, Louise Ryan, said women travel solo for many reasons, and not just because they are single or lacking travel companions.
“From wanting to celebrate ‘me time’, to the desire to unapologetically pursue a personal interest such as yoga, surfing, shopping or cooking classes; the research revealed both sexes are equally likely to enjoy a solo holiday adventure,” she says.
“Our research shows that the number one thing people love about travelling solo is the freedom; being able to do what you want, when you want. Other benefits noted include being spontaneous, meeting new people and getting to know yourself better”.
Keen to give solo travel a go in 2015? Check out lastminute.com.au’s fave solo travel destinations:
Spend days getting lost in the laneways, sipping coffee, browsing galleries and shopping without any disruptions or places to be. Retreat in the evening to any of Melbourne’s cute CBD boutique hotels.
Regardless of whether you are after a yoga style retreat, surfing escapade, or a flop ’n’ drop style resort holiday, Bali is an accessible, affordable and relaxing escape for solo travellers.
Do what you want when you want in the city that doesn’t sleep! Spend a day in an art gallery, wander Central Park, grab last minute tickets to the theatre, pull up a chair and get to know the locals at a neighbourhood bar, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, you will never get bored in New York on your own.
This chilled out northern NSW town is the perfect place to start if you haven’t travelled solo before. The local mantra is all about relaxation and rejuvenation, so spend your days enjoying long coastal walks, sipping fresh juices at beachside cafes and refreshing dips in the ocean.
Visit the national home to some of the friendliest people on earth and you are bound to be taken in by the locals just by sitting at a pub and striking up a conversation. Keep costs down by staying in cozy countryside hotels.
Visit lastminute.com.au to start planning your 2015 solo adventure.
*According to lastminute.com.au’s 2014 Travel + Lifestyle Report which surveyed 5,700+ Australians
The best thing about websites like Airbnb is that they allow you to find unique accommodation all over the world. People offer travellers their homes, yurts and windmills to stay in, giving the adventurous souls an alternative experience of untouched locations. If you’re lucky, you might even find an entire island to call home (for a few nights at least).
Live like Marie Antoinette in this 17th century chateau in rural France (pictured above). Relax with a cup of tea in the library, or take a stroll through the surrounding forest and gardens.
Live like a local on the canals of Amsterdam in a traditional houseboat! It may be a houseboat, but this inside looks like a renovated Manhattan loft. It will certainly be a cherished experience.
Uschi, the restored vintage bus, is located on the secluded Cala Comte beach on Ibiza. Enjoy a beautiful sunset with your significant other, dine at the nearby beachfront restaurants, then retire for a secluded night under the stars. A stay here will definitely make a holiday to remember.
Taking “lake house” to a new level, this cabin has its own island for you to explore. Take a group of friends this Halloween weekend and have the getaway of your life. What happens on the island, stays on the island, right?
This dome is on a 12-acre property in Woodridge, New York – far beyond the reach of civilization. Having said that, you’ll still get free high speed wifi! You’re welcome to bring a large group and crash all over the large floor (if you provide the mattresses). You can also buy eggs and veggies grown on the site!
Images via Airbnb
It is often said that travelling alone is a life-changing experience and one which will make you learn more about yourself, rather than about the world. Think about it – nobody knows where you are, and you have the freedom and opportunity to go and do whatever you want. Whether you’re planning your first solo trip or simply just flirting with the idea, here are a few tips which should help along the way.
1. Bring a journal
Even if you aren’t a big fan of jotting down your every move, it would be great to look back and see the emotions you felt during the entire trip. We’re aren’t suggesting you write the manuscript for your book, but even write places to visit for next time if you see yourself returning to this destination again.
Probably the worst part about travelling alone is the idea of safety, since there is no other friend coming along and watching your back. This means being on your guard a bit more, and making wise decisions since you can only take care of yourself. But also since you’re travelling alone, you can blend in with the rest of the population a bit better. It is important to know a few things however, and this includes the cost of getting into a taxi and a bit of the local customs and lingo so nobody takes advantage of you.
3. Look confident
Don’t walk around the main parts of town in a flashy t-shirt with your face in a guide-book. The key to travelling on your own is to look confident, even if you don’t feel that way at all. Do all your research at the hotel or hostel the night before, and don’t be afraid to wander around and lose yourself in the newfound city or country-life.
4. Trust everyone and no one
The entire trip doesn’t have to be completely solo, make friends with locals and other travellers who will be passing by just like you. Trust your instinct, if something or somebody doesn’t feel right, don’t stick around for something bad to happen.
5. Be selfish
Travelling alone gives you the power to go and do exactly as you please without waiting on anyone else. Sightsee, eat, drink and do whatever you want as many times as you please, since there is nobody to count on but yourself.
6. Stay connected
Don’t completely alienate yourself from friends and family back home, they might think that something’s happened to you! Consider bringing an inexpensive unlocked phone and buy a SIM card in every country you travel through. This will be cheaper to maintain and save lots of money. If you do plan to bring your smart phone, download Skype or Viber so friends and family can easily reach you.
7. Save your money
Try and save your money where possible, since there won’t be anyone else you can rely on to share a meal or split a cab. Make sure to have more than enough money on your trip, since this could easily turn things sour. Many tours still require a single supplement – which is a fee if you’re travelling alone, so be aware of how much money you will need before the trip.
Image via Tierra India
“Safety for the solo woman traveler is an important issue. It’s really important to be aware of everything that’s going on around you – and I don’t mean just taking in the sights! Try to walk with a purpose and be sure to keep an eye on your surrounds as you go. If you look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’re less likely to be targeted as a victim.” Julia.
“We’ve all seen the news headlines about girls who have stuff planted in their luggage only to become unwitting ‘mules’ for drug couriers and other scumbags. Keep an eye on your bags at all times and don’t leave your luggage unattended, especially not with the nice young man who just befriended you in the departure lounge!” Christine.
“Travelling solo can lead to some great moments of introspection and reflection. Try keeping a travel journal of your trip, recording not only the sights, sounds and smells of your travels, but also your inner thoughts. Solitude can conjure up all sorts of surprising revelations and a journal is a great memory aid for future years!” Sally.
“Emailing family and friends throughout your journey is a great way of keeping your family and friends up to date with your travel plans. Before you head off, set up a free web based email address that you will use just for your travel emails. You’ll find internet cafes almost everywhere and they are a relatively cheap was to stay in touch (and a lots more reliable than some phone services!) You can research the location of internet cafes around the world at www.cybercafe.com .” Jess.
“Don’t stress about having to write individual emails to all your mates. No one will expect you to write personalised emails every time. It’s a good idea to set up a group email address of friends and maybe a separate one for family so you can send a single email to each group – a no-holds-barred account for your friends and a g-rated version for your folks!” Melonie.
“With no one else to consider, travelling solo means that you can indulge in any daggy activity you desire. Immerse yourself in the culture of your destination by attending at least one event whether it’s a ballet, football, opera, bullfight or sumo wrestling match – whatever! If you can, find out what the locals do for fun, get yourself a ticket and enjoy!” Helen.