No one was available to come on the trip of my dreams, so I did it myself.
If it’s possible to feel homesick for a resort – and heartsick to have to leave – then that is what I truly feel for Noosa’s amazing 5-star Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa. I recently packed my bags for a one-night solo mini-break at the opulent resort; Noosa is on the Sunshine Coast, just over an hour’s drive north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Of course, being a local, it was only just up the road for me, but what a lovely and rejuvenating experience it was.
It’s rare to have an emotional connection to a resort – but I savoured every minute of blissful solitude at my spacious, stylish and cosy one-bedroom apartment nestled beside the Noosa National Park (pictured), also conveniently located right beside the idyllic Stephanies Ocean Spa, but more on the latter later. I just felt so ridiculously grateful to have chanced upon the award-winning resort. I mean, I’d heard of it – but I never expected it to be this good. Cue happy dance on arrival! Add this one to your bucket list, ladies!
Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa opened in 2010 and is the region’s first internationally-managed 5-star resort in 20 years, renowned for its environmentally sustainable resort design. My apartment was the perfect setting for a girlie escape and much-needed R&R – I immediately felt at home and had to force myself to get out and enjoy the sunshine exploring Noosa’s famous nearby shopping/retail hub, Hastings St. I opted to walk the scenic 500m journey, but a cute dude in one of the resort’s fab, new, solar-powered electric buggies offered to drop me off, who was I to resist?
The eco-designed resort offers self-contained one, two and three-bedroom apartments, plus villas and penthouses; all of which looked pretty damn fine as we whizzed past, but it’s the hotel’s rainforest setting that sets it apart. Upon my return (successful shopping mission accomplished, tick!), I sat on my private balcony, in the sun, soaking up the Zen, complete with rainforest orchestra. A whipbird (I think, I’m no bird expert) made its soothing, harmonic whip-crack call many times that day – indeed it woke me up the following morning. How cool is that?
But back to that magical day – I trotted off to Stephanies Ocean Spa in the late afternoon for a beauty treatment, as part of my R&R mission, and was immediately impressed with the large, tranquil, candle-lit waiting lounge (pictured).
I opted to enjoy a pedicure, but Stephanies offers the full gamut of your day spa menu, with a twist – there’s luxurious mineral floatation treatments, hot-stone massages and anti-aging vino therapies in 11 treatment rooms.
Post-treatment, all shiny and new, I floated back to my apartment for the night, opting to order in some culinary delights from the on-site View On Little Hastings Restaurant and Bar. I popped some bubbly, turned on Max Music and I was in heaven! Other resort facilities include a very purrty heated resort pool and lap pool.
Villas, penthouses and treetop villas also offer guests exclusive use of Brooke’s Pool (pictured below), with sweeping views of Laguna Bay and Double Island Point. All in all, I had a fabulous time and I can’t wait to get back there!
Travelling is one of the best things in life. It teaches you so much. It’s even better if you go on your own. It can be scary but is definitely something that you won’t regret. Here are five reasons why you should be a solo traveller at least once in your lifetime.
You will be more responsible
When you travel alone everything is on you – it is your responsibility to manage your budget, make things work and decide what the next destination will be. This can be very hard because we usually rely on other people so that we don’t feel guilty in case something goes wrong.
You will get to know yourself better
Being a solo traveller helps you to understand who you really are. You will spend a lot of time by yourself to think about the past and the future. This helps you to realise what makes you happy and what your needs are.
Nothing will be the same
Since you are travelling by yourself and you’re managing everything, your vision of the world will change. Everything will look different and eventually you will understand the world around you a whole lot better.
You won’t be shy anymore
You’re a solo traveller but you also want to spend time with people. You will realise how easy meeting people is and forget about being shy. You will make very good friends on the road and, since you will share overwhelming adventures with them, your friendships will last forever.
You will learn to trust people
Doing everything on your own can be hard and sometimes you might need help. You don’t know anyone so you have no option but trust the people you meet on the road. It might be difficult at the beginning because we are taught to be careful and not trust strangers but what you will learn is that most people are good and the world is not as dangerous as we think. We just need to be cautious.
At the end of your trip, you will feel like a completely new person, more aware of the around you and you will certainly find a new appreciation for life.
By Erika Cucchiara
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