What my solo trip to Disney World taught me…
Back in April, I made a decision to complete my first solo trip in over seven years. I have travelled solo before after I completed eight weeks working at a summer camp in Maine in 2010. However, it was only for a few days right at the end of my trip. I caught flights with people I knew a little and shared hostels with camp friends for the majority of the time and didn’t spend much time alone. Fast forward seven years and Disney announced that they were ending Wishes, the firework show in the Magic Kingdom, and I knew I had to be there for the last one. Adam wasn’t game (he’s sitting Disney out in 2017) so I decided to go by myself. It never occurred to me to even ask anybody else. I decided that this was something that I really wanted to do alone. A solo trip to Disney World had been on the agenda for a while and this was the perfect opportunity.
I believe solo travel (including solo holidays and a solo trip to Disney World for the travel snobs amongst us) is good for the soul. It is the perfect time to get to know yourself better and evolve as a person. So what did I learn on my solo trip to Disney World in May…
I can handle life when it goes off plan
My trip did not have the best start. Having checked which terminal Virgin Atlantic flew out of Gatwick, somehow I still managed to get Adam to drop me off at the wrong one. After hot-footing it over to the North terminal via the monorail, I then couldn’t find my passport (In one of the pockets in my bag). Thinking the drama was over, it was then time for security where I not only forgot to take my Apple Watch off so I set off the scanner, I also left my Kindle in my bag (you need to take it out along with laptops and tablets) meaning my bag was sent down the inspection conveyor adding more time to my security experience. I was ready to just have a good cry at this point because nothing was going right but then I paused… I remembered that I was going to Disney World and I’d done this trip ten times before. I can handle when things don’t go my way, heck I do it every day at work. and with that notion, I finished up in security and headed over to the No1 Lounge for breakfast (and a prosecco).
Travelling solo means you can go for a substantial amount of time with nobody to talk to other than in passing. Now while at Disney World it’s not as dramatic as backpacking across Australia solo, for instance, there were still times where the only interaction I had was the cast member asking for $3.50 for my bottle of Sprite…. and it was bliss. I’m a confident person; I’m also loud and chatty and sometimes I burn myself out making conversation as I hate silence. On this trip I didn;t need to do any such thing. Even though I was surrounded by thousands of people, I could practise mindfulness and it was nice to have some quiet time. And anyway, if I did need some human interaction, there were plenty of people to stop and chat too. I met some lovely people in restaurants and in ride queues.
I can push myself out of my comfort zone
Back in 2014, my confidence took a knock after I was cheated on. I seemed to develop this anxiety directly affected to being alone in public; specifically bars and restaurants. My idea of hell was being the first to arrive somewhere – I just couldn’t bring myself to go in and instead would just loiter outside or sit in the car a while longer until somebody else arrived. If I did happen to make it inside before I knew I was the first, I’d constantly be looking at the door. This trip allowed me to get back to who I was before that incident. At the beginning of the trip I didn’t like sitting alone for too long; by the end I’d happily chill in the shade or in air con for two hours (like when I hid in Peco’s Bill because it was so damn hot!) By the end, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.
Self-care and TLC are finally getting the recognition they deserve in 2017. It is not selfish to want time out for yourself. In reality, after I complete solo activities, I’m usually a better person to those around me as I can give them my full time and attention without distraction. I’ve been an only child all my life and I’ve always been used to doing some things on my own. I know I can get very blinkered until I complete something that’s on my mind so being about to do something without worry of coming across as selfish to others was great for me. I felt relaxed and happy
Solo trips are an amazing way to get to know yourself better. Even if your head is crowded with thoughts like mine, there still some catharsis in it. I’m so glad I chose to do it as it felt like I’d gained another small piece of my confidence back and gave me things I didn’t even know I was missing. I’d recommend a solo trip to Disney World to any Disney fan – and I’d recommend a solo trip anywhere to anybody else. You never know how it will truly make you feel.
Have you ever taken a solo trip to Disney World – or anywhere else for that matter?
You also might enjoy…