I sit quietly on the porch, sipping my big cup of tea. It is 9am and I am utterly relaxed, captivated by the flurry of life dancing around me. To my left, big fat bees buzz happily as they dive bomb buds filled with pollen. To my right, Blackbirds, Sparrows, and other birds I cannot name, perch briefly at the double-tiered feeder; with mere seconds to grab precious seeds before another bird swoops in. Just as I am typing these words, a cockerel appears; darting swiftly into the hidden layers of wild flowers that an avid gardener would simply call untamed weeds. This curious little cockerel is hoping to catch the seeds dropped by the birds during their visits. Today, I am surrounded by a variety of life that you could only find in a garden far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Yes, that’s right – I’ve gone away for a romantic weekend, on my own.
A lot of people would think I am bonkers, and although they would be right, I would strongly recommend a solo weekend away to anyone. I have an adventurous and fun boyfriend who I love to explore the world with, a family who I love to visit and friends who I really need to spend more time with. But here I am, on a Saturday morning, sat on the patio of a little cabin in Hereford, sipping on my tea – alone.
My morning tea, watching the birds and the bees.
I enjoy being alone in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I get extremely lonely at times – especially working away from home. But being alone here is different. It’s a choice. I decided I needed a break a few weeks ago after I had a mild panic attack and had to lay on a cold bathroom floor to stop myself from being sick. I spent weeks and weeks suffering from what I can only presume was stress; I was dizzy, my bones ached, I had a constant headache and I struggled every day to get out of bed, even after a minimum of 12 hours sleep. I had numerous blood tests, which all came back normal, and after feeling extremely lost for far too long, I decided to self-soothe. Alongside cutting out junk food, I went back to the gym, I started reading before bed and started meditating each morning upon waking. But, more importantly, I booked this weekend away. I restructured my life around me.
Luckily, I have the most accepting boyfriend who doesn’t think I am a complete weirdo and accepts with grace when I disappear for a weekend alone. Even though I have so much more fun with him – this weekend is about something else. This weekend is about getting away to somewhere that is just mine; somewhere I can hibernate and do exactly what I want, when I want – and somewhere I can write. Living in the cement saturated walls of a city can truly suck the inspiration right out of you; so naturally, if you’re looking for inspiration, go somewhere inspirational. What’s more inspirational than nature? Absolutely nothing!
This weekend will be about nothing and everything – and whatever I want. It will be about lying upside down on my bed like a child, listening to music; forgetting the time. It will be about reading my book from cover to cover, and browsing Medium for the answers to life. But more importantly – this weekend will be about nurturing my inspiration and writing whatever the hell I feel like.
If you don’t use Airbnb already; I would recommend jumping on that bandwagon and exploring all the random places you can visit. My first solo weekend away wasn’t until August 2015, where I escaped to Somerset for bank holiday and got lost hiking in the wilderness for hours. It was then I realised I could do so much more with my days, if only I was brave enough to go it alone. Last April, I went further afield to Geneva, where I reunited with some friends from my days in South Korea. Finally, last May, with the aim to get things moving on my book, I spent a few nights in Cornwall, where I sat on the beach with ice cream and ended up devising my entire book synopsis. The moral is, take yourself away somewhere – anywhere.
Kington Church; exploring on my morning stroll.
I truly am in love with weekends away; and if I could afford it, I would be on a mini adventure most weeks. Realistically, all you need is one weekend a year; a weekend of solitude to just re-centre yourself and remind yourself of what you love.
The beauty of a weekend alone is that not only do you come back refreshed, but spending a weekend completely and utterly alone reminds you of how much you love those around you. You have a renewed gratitude for those who love you – because if I’m honest, solitude is nice; but it’s only nice in small chunks. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive – it just has to be a break away from your normal surroundings; preferably surrounded by nature. I booked a cute little cabin for just £15 a night [see featured image] and it was perfect.
The farm where my cabin is situated.
Take time to nourish yourself. Until you start losing your health, you don’t realise how important self-care is. I read once that it’s not just about the big choices you make in life, but it’s about the small choices you make each day. At first, each small choice doesn’t make that much of a difference, but over time the consequences of these choices compound. Make the choice to spend a healthy amount of time alone; a weekend a year, an evening a week – take the time to switch off. You’ll benefit from this in the long run.
Be aware, however, browsing Facebook and chatting on Whatsapp, is not being alone. Social Media can prevent someone from ever truly being ‘alone’. Switch off your messages, tell those you love that you’re hibernating for a weekend and just go back to basics. Lose yourself in nature. It’s okay to be alone. I cannot communicate enough how important this is.
Now, I better go and have some breakfast before I start fighting the chickens for the discarded bird feed. Because, let’s be honest, I doubt I’d win that fight.
Go on. Explore. Be free. Be alone.
Enjoying my lunchtime stroll and the most delicious baked potato at The Regency Cafe.
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