Go on a solo trip, thank me later

We all know that 2020 has been a pretty tumultuous year. Things have been moving so quickly yet painstakingly slow. Everyone and everything is uncertain, and the world has changed in ways we didn’t see coming. So when it came to taking a week off work, the only thing that could possibly be nearly as enticing as an overseas holiday, is the thought of spending a few nights, by myself.

Since my return and my attempt to remain in the hazy, daydream of a cloud I felt I was floating on, lots of people have asked me about my time away. The overwhelming majority of people were shook that I would book an airbnb to myself, quickly followed by, ‘wow that sounds serene.’ I’m here to tell you – it was serene and these are the reasons you should book a little getaway for yourself as soon as possible.

When was the last time you did nothing?

Seriously, think about it. When was the last time you didn’t have somewhere to be, someone to meet, some timeline or deadline? When you can do what you want, when you want. When was the last time you laid on a pool chair and gazed up at the clouds floating overhead? Where you watched how the light turned from orange to pink? When you felt the cool change wash over you body as the sun set? When was the last time you just let time pass? No podcasts, no music, no phone calls, no pressure?

Daring to be present

There’s a lot of talk about being present and gratitude. Which can often take the back seat when we are stressed at work and in life. Being truly present can be scary, especially if you’re on your own. Sitting with and facing all the thoughts and feelings that you had pushed away, or weren’t quite ready to confront. It’s emotional, it take courage and it’s truly transformative.

What kind of cult did I sign up to where I thought that work was the be all and end all of everything?

Life is more important than work

What kind of cult did I sign up to where I thought that work was the be all and end all of everything? Having worked from home since March, there’s been a blurring of professional and personal life. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my job, for the people I work with and the fact that I’m able to work from home. But in 2020, work has become stressful, tiring, exhausting and taken over (it’s literally taken over my dining room). Why is the thought of turning on ‘out of office’ emails for a few days so radical?

By stepping away and taking a deep breath, I’ve realised the crazy idea that life is fucking important. Put yourself first. In 10 years time will your boss remember the time you stayed back an extra hour? Unlikely. Get your work done, work hard, make yourself proud, then log the fuck off and get outside to enjoy your life.

If you need a day off, take it. If you need to take an extra long lunch, do it. Work-life balance is supposed to be give and take, but work is greedy. Take time back for yourself.

Do what’s important to you

The best thing about a solo trip away, is that you don’t need to think about what anyone else wants to do. No compromising on whether you want Italian or Japanese, no having to wait around or rush along, no having to consider anyone but yourself. In life we’re always juggling what we want along with what other people want. What makes other people happy. Well forget about it darling, this trip is all about you and making yourself happy. Want to sleep in til 10am and get a bacon and egg roll for brekky? Do it! Want to go for a 10km walk? Do it! The moral of the story is that you get to do whatever you want to do. You’ll be surprised at how foreign and good it feels.

Let your mind run wild

I realised that I didn’t speak to anyone except the person I ordered coffee from, for 3 days. How did I fill the time you ask? How did I not go crazy? I let my mind run wild. I felt like a kid again, someone who was coming up with crazy, big ideas, who was looking at things with a fresh perspective, someone who was curious and driven. In everyday life, we’re so bound by time, deadlines an commitments… suddenly having none of those meant that my mind could explore thoughts and ideas I hadn’t had the chance. And not just explore but actually change the way in which I fundamentally think about things (like why do I try so hard for everyone to like me?).

The most important thing…

Now that I’ve convinced you that you need to book a solo trip away, let me just say this. Look after yourself. Stay safe and prioritise yourself. It’s not often we’re given permission to do so, but sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to take deep, true care of yourself. 3 nights away was perfect, I think if I spent an additional 3 nights away, I would have got even more clarity from my past and directing me in the right direction for the future.

Do yourself a favour, book a solo trip. You’re welcome.

Review: Airbnb in MELBOURNE

In a world where hostels are too crowded and hotels are too boring, the internet has given us Airbnb. For those of you who have been living under a rock, then I’m about to make your 2016 even better. Airbnb is an amazing website which allows for a truly unique travelling experience. You choose the place you’re going, punch in some dates, adjust the price range per night and voilà! It gives you so many different options, from a room in a house or apartment to the entire house and apartment! If you’re staying somewhere where your host is also living, it allows you to really immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are staying. Or if you opt for the entire place and share it with some friends, it gives you so much freedom to explore and do what you want to do.

IMG_0160
Our beautiful Airbnb apartment! 

So… my friends and I were planning to spend New Years Eve in Melbourne and we were looking at accommodation. Hotels were crazy expensive per night per person, and hostels just didn’t seem ideal. Then we came across this listing on Airbnb. A beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in central Melbourne. We contacted the host, Mel, who was extremely prompt in replying. We agreed on a price, we paid and we were booked in. Upon arrival we were blown away with the quality of the place we were staying. Across from Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and we could see Hosier Lane from our window. The place was beautifully decorated (and even came with some beer in the fridge). There were board games and DVD’s and when we were a bit worse for wear in the morning, we would lay on the fold out lounges that were incredibly comfortable. With such a perfect location and amazing people to spend my time with – we had the ultimate getaway. Though I believe our time was only so amazing after some solid planning. So here’s what I recommend doing when booking with Airbnb so that your time can be as amazing as ours!

IMG_0157
A list of sites and things to do in Melbourne. 

Do’s

  • Read the reviews. Airbnb asks people that stay at a property to review it. After you finish your stay they bombard you with emails reminding you to leave a review which is a win win situation. You get to read the review your host left you, plus add what you loved and what you thought could be better (if there’s anything). Reading the reviews are absolutely essential to secure the right place for you.
  • Contact the host. You’ll be staying at their property so make sure to carry yourself in a mature manner. If you’ve got any questions about the property, now’s your time to ask.
  • Google Maps It. Look up the location on Google Maps to ensure you’re in a good location. Look for famous landmarks or central areas.
  • Read the house rules. Generally each property has their own ‘house rules.’ This may include information like where to pick the key up, how to operate the air conditioning/pull out loungs, where you can and can’t smoke and if it’s ok to have parties. We were staying in a residential building so of course we couldn’t throw a wild party. It’s important to read these to make sure you get the right place for you.

Don’ts

  • Break the house rules. If they say ‘no smoking,’ then don’t smoke. If it says do the dishes before leaving, then do the dishes. This is out of respect to the property owner, and to ensure you don’t incur any cleaning or damage fees.
  • Try to squeeze more people into a space. The number of people the property sleeps is set at that for a reason. Any more and you’re at risk of breaking something or getting kicked out. Just be honest and I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate your needs.

IMG_0178
The view from our window. Hello Melbourne!

In Conclusion… Our 4 nights away in Melbourne was made more spectacular by us staying in such a beautiful apartment. It was honestly worth every cent and I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a group of 4-6 people looking for a great location.

If you want to stay at this apartment, you can enquire with the host here. 

IMG_0239