Hey, Mom. Remember the days when you wouldn’t naturally respond to that — the days when you had a first name? It wasn’t just a name, though. You were independent and dreaming about your future. You could pick up and leave for a weekend without much thought. Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to leave that all behind. In fact, getting up and getting out on your own is critical to continue developing “the self.” It might feel uncomfortable, but nothing fun ever happens in your comfort zone. It might feel selfish and unmerited, but that’s because you’re such a good mom, you’ve caused yourself to believe that. No need to fly across the ocean and spend nights alone in a hostel (those days really are behind you). Instead, consider some of these summer adventures to take solo.
A day of hiking: Pick a nearby trail, something with good distance and some elevation. How far is just far enough? Consider Naismith’s Rule, developed by William Naismith in 1892, a Scottish mountaineer, which stated that you should be able to travel three miles every hour. When you add elevation, tricky terrain like rocks or sand, you’ll add more time. Pack your bag, drop off the kids and hit the trail. Give yourself a couple hours to go for it; challenge yourself physically and enjoy the sweat. Stop for lunch, relax and take in the nature around you. Bring a journal, your camera (do not check Facebook, woman, come on), perhaps a sketch book. Take some time to meditate or lie in the sun. Continue your hike. Make sure you dress comfortably with a change of clothes just in case; bring sunscreen, plenty of water, food and wear the right shoes (see a more thorough checklist here). Afterward, treat yourself to a nice shower or stop by your favorite restaurant for a cocktail and a burger. You should feel refreshed, reconnected and probably exhausted. Once you conquer your backyard, aim for one of these 30 destination hikes that will leave you breathless.
>> Read more: How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
Other One-Day Adventures
- Outdoor: Kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing or repelling, special tours/guided hikes
- Storm Chasing (this is real; see how to get involved in a tour here)
- Amusement Park (it’s not just for kids)
- Workshops: Fine tune your crocheting hobby or any nerdy passion you want
- Community: Make a day of volunteering (obviously you’ll be with other people, but you don’t have to know them!), like cleaning up an animal shelter, serving food at a homeless shelter, contributing to projects like Habitat for Humanity
Come home and share your energy with the family. Click here for 50 ways to get them moving this summer.
Special interest trip: Whatever your special interest might, like painting, reading or writing, horseback riding, cooking, dancing, playing or listening to music, tracking genealogy, creating things and more, focus on this. Hit up a bed and breakfast, visit the horse farm for a trail ride or private lesson; find a writing workshop where you can totally escape and go inside yourself; sign up for a culinary class (check out these destination culinary courses!); buy a ticket to a music festival or locate some jam sessions (click here for some ideas on meetup.com). Don’t let the talent die just because you’re trying to bring your child’s talents and skills to life. Never forget your passions. Click here to start by learning how to love yourself with Skinny Mom’s Self Love Challenge.
Planes, trains and automobiles: The railway is still live and lines like AmTrak offer trips with some pretty amazing scenery. In fact, railways offer travel and lodging all in one (see specific tours and trips here). You can always hop on a plane for a nonstop route to your favorite little beach for some rest and relaxation. Get on the plane 24 hours later and act like it never happened. Keep your eyes peeled for low rates and deals. Be spontaneous! Finally, try a roadtrip. Plan this one with girlfriends. Pick a destination and meet there for some champagne and whatever it is that you do with your friends. The journey there, though, is important. Take some detours, stop for lunch and sit down to eat. Take photos, stop in shops and blast your favorite music.
Big girl, big cities: It’s tough to write this without at least suggesting a trip outside of the country. This is more ideal for moms with older kids who can hold their own, or perhaps the recent empty nester. Talk about hitting a reset button! The main concern for women traveling alone is safety. So do your research and pack smart. For an expert’s point of view on the matter, check out the Adventurous Kate’s blog, geared toward women on the move. Meanwhile, here are some tips to consider: Read the reviews and look for places with LOTS of A+ comments; give someone at home your itinerary and regularly check in with that person; put a little money here, a little money there, not all in the same place; dress like a local; consider private transport from the airport to your hotel (worth it); avoid night trains; keep your wits about you; be confident and see more here.
>> Read more: Running Alone: Safety Concerns and Procedures