Solo Travel: Refreshing And Restorative

03/10/2015 11:40 am ET | Updated May 10, 2015

With the first day of spring less than two weeks away, I am mulling over plans for a vacation to someplace tropical. Booking a trip for myself was one of my top "new year, new you" resolutions, and it's time to start planning!

A few years ago I took a very big leap and decided to go to Europe on my own. Since childhood I'd traveled all over the world with family and friends, but I'd never gone on a trip by myself. The very idea terrified me. I like being with other people, sharing experiences. I'm an extremely social person. At times I find it challenging to be alone for long stretches of time. I don't even like to go to movies by myself. However, I needed a break and couldn't figure out a mutually acceptable schedule with any of my closest friends, so one day, on a whim, I decided to call my travel agent and find out about the options for a trip by myself. She ended up booking me a two-week cruise to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Monaco. And then, surprising myself, I actually went. Even more surprisingly, one of the things that made the experience so enjoyable was traveling by myself. There was no one to check in with to see if they wanted to do the same things I wanted to do. I went wherever I wanted to go, ate whatever I felt like eating. It was, in short, divine.

Yes, the places I visited -- Bordeaux, Biarritz, Seville and Lisbon, to name only a few -- were stunning. But even more than the destinations, the feeling of freedom was astounding. I slept late if I wanted to. I got up early if I wanted to. Many mornings I would go up to the deck of the ship and have a cappuccino while I watched the sun rise. Sometimes I went to the spa. Sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I went shopping. Sometimes I just read a good book stretched out on a lounge chair by the pool. Sometimes I stayed up late after dinner. Sometimes I went to bed early.

The point is that I luxuriated in having no one but myself to please for two whole weeks. I wasn't antisocial -- far from it; in fact, I made some good friends on the journey, and I'm still in touch with them. But I didn't feel tied to someone else's whims and having to constantly make compromises in one direction or the other.

I think that if you can take a trip on your own, you might find that the peace and tranquility are worth it. It's just you and the universe -- no one to answer to! You may see, as I did, that such a scenario could be very restful and transformative.