How Solo Travel Can Help Empty Nest Syndrome In Single Parents
Updated: Jul 16
While empty nest syndrome can be tough for anyone, it can feel especially brutal for single parents. It involves a massive overhaul of your routine and can leave you feeling pretty lonely.
However, a change of scenery and a time to relax and rediscover yourself - especially if you’ve had a big part to play in helping your children move out of your home and into their new home - may be just what you need.
Solo traveling as a single parent without your children, extended family, or friends provides a massive sense of freedom and can be both a cultural and personal education. It’s never too late to learn new things or gain a new perspective on your life.
Plus, there is nothing wrong with rediscovering yourself rather than just being defined as a parent.
Yes, traveling solo can be an overwhelming thought, but it can also help you embrace the freedom that being a parent with grown-up, independent children has to offer.
Let’s take a look at how solo travel can help single parents with empty nest syndrome, and what to keep in mind before you make your first solo trip.
Gives You Time To Reflect
This may be the first time you’ve had time to yourself in years, and while this may take a while to get used to, during your vacation you’ll become more and more comfortable in your own company.
This increased time alone with your thoughts will also help you reflect on the time you’ve spent raising your children, how you’ve helped them become the people they are today, and put recent events into perspective.
Solo travel can help you discover and trust yourself because all decisions are up to you. You may discover that you’re more spontaneous than you thought, or you may realize that you benefit from being organized and that you have organizational skills you never knew you possessed.
Solo travel also helps you confront fears such as navigating airports by yourself, flying by yourself, and eating by yourself at restaurants. On family vacations, you have to compromise to make sure everyone is happy but with solo travel, you just have to please yourself!
Boosts Your Confidence
Your home changing from being filled with kids to an empty nest can be a hard transition, and it might leave you feeling purposeless. Your kids will always need you, of course, but when they’re no longer under your roof it’s easy to lose sight of this.
A solo vacation can improve your confidence because it’s full of small but significant achievements. You make new friends, have new experiences, and become more resilient and resourceful when faced with obstacles as you have to rely on yourself to overcome them.
Make New Friends
One of the best things about travel is how it opens our eyes to cultures we haven’t experienced before, and traveling solo prompts you to immerse yourself in the culture more by befriending those you meet on your travels.
It helps you become more open-minded and grateful to those who helped you make your solo vacation so memorable and enjoyable.
Tips For Solo Travel
Select A Location That Is Tourist-Friendly
When you’re making your first solo trip, we advise traveling to a country that has a high tourism industry.
Countries that rely heavily on tourism tend to be more used to visitors from other countries, and have established systems and infrastructure in place that are built with travelers in mind.
This makes these places easier to navigate and explore. Traveling to a country that has a large tourism industry also means you are going to stand out less.
It’s also incredibly reassuring to know that the structure for buses, tours, and everything else you may need is already there waiting for you. Plus, it gives you a chance to connect with other travelers.
After all, traveling solo can be a social experience too!
It’s up to you to decide the type of travel experience you want, and what kind of trip works for you.
If you visit a country that isn’t a tourist hotspot, it’s good to be aware that getting around will probably be more difficult, and you may stand out more as a tourist. But while traveling to countries that have minimal tourism can be tough, it can still be rewarding and enjoyable.
Take The Local Language Into Account
When taking a solo vacation, it’s important to take into account what languages you speak, and the widely spoken languages of the country you want to visit.
For example, if you want to travel to a city in rural China but you don’t speak Mandarin (or the local dialect, then it’s going to be a pretty challenging trip.
Still, English is a common language around the world. So if you travel somewhere where English isn’t the first language, chances are you’ll still get along just fine.
But if you’re traveling alone for the first time and you would feel more confident and comfortable visiting a country where English is the primary language, that is totally understandable.
It can make the thought of traveling alone a lot less stressful when you know you speak the same language as the locals! And as your confidence in traveling alone grows, you may find that going somewhere that has English as the primary language is less of a necessity.
Family vacations can be fun, and create memories you cherish forever, but when you’re a single parent organizing a family vacation it can be very stressful as you take care of your children and compromise to make sure everyone is happy.
But when you travel solo, it’s now all about you! You get to decide where you want to go and what you want to do on vacation.
Not only does traveling alone help you learn more about yourself, but others too. Listening and talking to people is crucial when traveling alone in order to find your way around, and it’s very easy to make friends when traveling alone.
While solo travel can seem daunting, it is a massive confidence builder and can be just what single parents need who are experiencing empty nest syndrome.
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