Solo Time

Liv’s Letters
October 8, 2021
blog image

Spending time alone is one of the most daunting, yet rewarding things we can do for ourselves.

Alone with our minds, thoughts, feelings, emotions. I often compare it to when a little kid is fighting with their sibling and the parent puts them in a room together and tells them to work it out.

That’s how I feel on a solo trip. I have no choice but to face my demons, the negative narrative that’s been running my mind, the stories I’m telling myself, and ultimately how I am feeling when I remove all of the noise and business that distracts me in daily life.

The universe is saying, “you need to work this out”, as I’m thrust into a new city and environment with no one but myself to talk to about what’s going on.

A little scary, and SO powerful.

I remember the first time I went to a dinner by myself. I had just gone through a break up and I was determined to not let the break up ruin my favorite ramen place. So I went to ramen solo, without a book, without my phone, with myself. I sat at the bar and stared off into space, felt anxious, felt weird, wished I could leave, ate my ramen, calmed down, watched the staff work and the people eat, and left feeling incredibly accomplished.

Whether you’re ready for ramen or a full-blown solo trip, here are some tips that helped me build up the courage and confidence to embrace, and now seek out, solo experiences.


How to Spend Time Solo

  • Start small. Start with your equivalent of the ramen place! If dinner seems too intimidating, start with breakfast. I encourage you to leave your phone behind so you can be fully present with yourself.

  • Make an itinerary. If you’re taking a trip, plan out activities and meals that you’re excited for while leaving room for spontaneity. Having a purpose and direction for each day will build your confidence.

  • Read. I can’t emphasize this enough! I find a lot of comfort during solo travel and in solo settings from books. I can find inspiration and comfort in a new story, and before I know it I’ve been sitting in a brewery for hours (admittedly the reading pace slows down after a beer or two).

  • Breathe. There will be moments where you feel anxious, you wish your friend was with you, or you want to grab your phone. I promise that the moment will pass. Breathing will help it pass more quickly. I recommend my favorite breathing technique: Inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 8.

  • Journal. Like books, journaling is a great outlet during solo time. You can write down your thoughts, write letters to friends, gratitude lists, or whatever comes to you in the moment. I shocked myself by writing POETRY on my most recent solo trip, which was really cool to connect with a whole new creative side of myself .

  • Take photos! I promise you, when you look back at the experience you will be so grateful for it and you will want to remember it. Capture the food and take selfies proudly. This is a big moment for you and there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • Be kind to yourself. This is huge. It makes me sad when I think of the things we say to ourselves, the things I say to myself. When you’re spending intentional time alone, practice speaking to yourself the way you would to a friend who is traveling with you. “You look so good tonight!”, “Wow I’m impressed how quickly I finished the hike.”., “You’re so independent and brave”. Why would you want to travel with someone who’s mean to you the entire trip? Be kind.

  • Remember this. When you see someone out at a meal alone, what do you think? I usually think “They must be in town for work” or “Wow how cool, what a boss.”. Never have I EVER thought “What a total loser, I can’t believe they’re eating a pizza alone.”. EVER. You are a boss! You are not alone. You are WITH yourself. (Plus, you have me. I’m always sending you my love and energy).

Comment below and let me know how you spend time with yourself, and how it feels!


My solo trip journal

Related Posts

Liv’s Letters Aug 27, 2023

What do you subscribe to?

We always talk about how time is our most precious resource, so why not free up some of our time by literally unsubscribing from the things that no longer serve us?
Liv’s Letters Jul 30, 2023

A letter to my younger self

I appear to have much more compassion for my younger self than I do for my present self. So, I would like to challenge you to write a letter to your younger self, too.

We’re all about connection

Join our community on social @liberatestudio