Whilst I was taking my two week hiatus from social media, I also took myself off for a holiday. On my own. This is something that I have wanted to do for a little while now and I was getting itchy feet to get on the road the closer Summer got. In my mind I had grand plans of going abroad (and I still intend to do a lot of solo travelling over seas), but with travel restrictions still in place (I didn’t want the stress of navigating those), I decided to visit somewhere a little closer on the Island we call home. Probably a sensible move also considering this was the first time I would be going somewhere on my own for somewhere longer than the day. I don’t count my yoga teacher training in this as I knew I would be meeting people there who had all come for a common purpose. This time it was just me, my luggage and my little fiat, Tallulah.
I stayed at ‘The Old Apple Store’ just outside of West Monkton in Somerset. I feel like Somerset is the hidden gem of the UK that no one talks about. Everyone goes to Devon and Cornwall, and rightly so. But Somerset has the same picturesque beauty, charm and quirkiness that it’s more Southern neighbours have. And it is also (I didn’t realise) a deeply spiritual county. I feel like I was drawn there for my holiday. Everything that happened, everywhere I went, everyone I met, I felt was constructed for me by the divine, because I left Somerset knowing myself deeper than I ever had because of each experience. From walking miles on end for hours with no telephone signal, no map and seeing more wild horses than people on the Quantock hills, to walking up to the Glastonbury Tor (associated with the King of the Fairies) in the pouring rain wearing wellies and a dress. To discovering hidden beach waterfalls, to dining out like it was an occasion even though I was on my own. Every experience helped me to uncover a little more of myself. And by the time I left I yearned for more than the 5 days I had scheduled for myself. Luckily my trip was rounded off with a few days in Falmouth with my cousin, which sweetened the sorrow of my parting with the West Country. Being on my own also gave me the freedom to meet new people and talk to whoever I wanted. Equally, if I wanted a quiet few moments I just wouldn’t speak. Which was bliss, quite frankly!
There are some key things I learnt from my time on my own. Valuable lessons that I only hope to explore deeper and confirm further the more I travel solo…
- I am perfectly capable in every way. I discovered a new level of independence whilst away. I had always known that I woukd be fine on my own, but it’s one thing knowing and another thing doing. I did everything for myself. From the booking, to the paying, to the planning of where I was to go, to the driving (just short of 1,000 miles over the week I reckon), decision making and everything in between. And I was absolutely fine. More than fine, I was great. In some respects, it was easier because I didn’t have to do any liaising with another. I just did it. I didn’t have to, nor need to depend on anyone else. Even though it’s important to both recognise and accept help with grace when it is needed, I have come to the conclusion that I am perfectly capable in every way.
- The most beautiful adventures are the ones you do not plan. Although I did many fantastic things that I had booked to do whilst in Somerset, the experiences that were most magical and touching were the ones I decided upon moments before they happened. Randomly pulling into Upton Bridge Farm Shop led me to meet wonderful people (and the most gorgeous puppy) and hear their stories over some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Deciding to go Glastonbury as the heavens opened one afternoon. Setting foot in that town felt like a part of me had come home. And possibly the most magical of all, stumbling across the coastal fishing village of Clovelly, with it’s stunning views of the areas surrounding the Hartland Peninsula and surprise waterfall at the end of it’s rocky beach. I only found Clovelly as I needed a place to stop on my drive from Somerset to Cornwall. I went ‘that sounds like they’d sell tea’, and indicated right! I just listened to my heart and said yes to adventure. Those spontaneous moments were the stand out parts of my wonderful trip.
- You do not have to look very far to experience true beauty. Being alone heightened my senses for sure. I had more headspace to focus on intricate tastes, smells, sights, sounds and details. Everything was exquisite. Our country is quite frankly gorgeous. I love flying to a far off land like the next travel enthusiast, but we don’t give our home enough credit. She has so much to offer in the way of culture, peaceful and lush green views and an excellent food scene. And it helped me realise something that is fundamentally important. Modern society tells us often that we need to go off and find ourselves. As if the location and how far away from home you go matters. The truth is, that you can find beauty and indeed yourself right where you are if you look hard enough. The true you is always there waiting to be uncovered. Yes, sometimes an eye opening experience can help bring that out a little more. But you don’t have to wait to know who you are. I felt the most connected I had ever felt whilst away. But I knew how important it was to bring that connectedness back into my day to day life, and that it would be my responsibility and inner work to maintain that. Imagine how gorgeous life would be if you made it your mission to find the beauty in absolutely everything. That’s what I will strive to do. I know that’s the life I wanna live.
I would encourage anyone to go solo travelling. It is not only monumental fun, but will serve as concrete proof that you are incredible and can do anything. I have officially caught the bug. I will be off again as soon as I possibly can. I count my lucky stars that my life was able to facilitate that time for me, and I can’t wait for the next one.
With Love, Light & Best Wishes,