But No One Vacations Alone!

But No One Vacations Alone!

Vacationing alone just isn’t done. Even eating out alone has a stigma in our culture. I wasn’t the only one who considered this; More than one person asked if I’d be okay, vacationing by myself for a whole week.

But should the fear of loneliness cause me to turn down a free timeshare on the Atlantic Ocean? Isn’t that same fear of loneliness causing my friend to stay with her abusive boyfriend? And am I ever really, truly alone?

God’s Gracious Provision of a Vacation

I’d been yearning for a vacation for months. When I got desperate enough, I asked my prayer team to pray God would provide a vacation. Then I blocked off a week as a quiet staycation since I didn’t have the energy to plan a full-fledged vacation.

Then I asked some mentors if they had any ideas for how I could spice up my stay-cation. One woman’s response caught me off guard, “My husband and I have been praying about who could use our timeshare in Florida; we can’t make it this year.”

Come again?

God lavishly provided for me.

It didn’t take long for the details to fall into place. She okayed it with her husband; my boss approved the time off; a friend helped me find the steal of the year on a direct flight (no small thing when it’s just seven days out).

The only problem: I would be vacationing alone.

But No One Vacations Alone

Vacationing alone just isn’t done. Even eating out alone has a stigma in our culture. I wasn’t the only one who considered this; More than one person asked if I’d be okay, vacationing by myself for a whole week.

But should the fear of loneliness cause me to turn down a free timeshare on the Atlantic Ocean? Isn’t that same fear of loneliness what causes my friend to stay with her abusive boyfriend? And am I ever really alone?

I didn’t doubt there would be moments during my vacation when would I feel lame and left-out in this world geared for two. But in my friend Lina Abujamra‘s words, I’d use the bitter pill of loneliness during those times to press into the very heart of God.

Besides, there’s no avoiding the unannounced visit of loneliness—it sneaks up on the best of us—even when we’re surrounded by friends.

So I embraced this vacation as pure gift from God.

How My Solo Vacation Turned Out

I thought I’d bike and swim and get a tan, but the weather didn’t cooperate.

This is no Lake Michigan I breathed as I pulled up to my timeshare on the Atlantic Ocean at midnight. I’d grown used to the calmness of the lake, but this was alive—wild and churning.

That first night was eerie—thirty-five plus miles per hour winds howled under my door as if someone wanted in. Morning wasn’t any different. As soon as I opened my eyes, I threw open the sliding glass door to study the ocean, desperately wanting to go in.

But I wasn’t stupid. Red flags flew, indicating the ocean was not safe. No lifeguards manned their posts; no humans dotted the ocean. The beach seemed a ghost town, with meringue-like tufts of ocean foam blowing about like tumbleweed. Signs posted along the beach warned of rip currents.

Other than one evening when I spotted a couple swimmers and quickly pulled on my suit and joined them in a wonderful salty thrashing, I safely enjoyed the ocean from its edge. I wonder-walked along it each day, biked through its surf, and slept with the sliding glass door open so I could fall asleep to its steady pounding.

I binge-watched a show, bought not just one but two pieces of key-lime pie, visited SeaWorld, and more.

How about you? Would you ever vacation alone? Eat out alone? Why or why not?

“I will never leave you nor forsake you” –God (Heb. 13:5).