All you need is love… or so the song goes. While that might be true in some situations I don’t think love is needed to fully enjoy a holiday in a romantic location. Travelette-in-chief Katja put the Maldives to a test for a kid-friendly holiday while I went on a different kind of trip: the elusive Solomoon.
For those who don’t know what a Solomoon is, let me enlighten you. A Solomoon is a solo trip to a place that is usually known for being the perfect honeymoon destination. Think desert islands, sunset, starry skies and jasmine-scented air – romance in a holiday package.
The Maldives are regularly leading the lists for the ultimate honeymoon destination and quite frankly I wasn’t having it. I wanted to go to the Maldives NOW and didn’t feel like waiting for my honeymoon to come around. Who knew if and when that would ever happen?!
Are you also eyeing the idea of traveling solo to a romantic dream destination but something is holding you back? Don’t worry, I got you covered! Here are some good reasons why a Solomoon is always a great idea.
You think you have time
“You think you have time,” says a famous Buddha quote. It is something I have always taken to heart in all of my life’s decisions and especially when it comes to my travel choices. Who knows how much time I actually have? I never wait for the perfect travel buddy to pop up to go on a trip and I definitely wasn’t going to wait for a husband to go to the Maldives.
So when the Park Hyatt Hadahaa invited me and an inexpensive flight was found on Skyscanner I didn’t stare at my empty ring finger and cry but clicked ‘book’ and got packing.
While the idea to wait for Mr. Right to see a certain destination may sound romantic it is also a bit risky. What if Mr. Right never shows, takes another 20 years to come along or simply doesn’t enjoy slurping cocktails on a deserted beach? Sorry to break it to you but a happily-ever -after is not guaranteed. However, I firmly believe in being self-reliant even if that means drinking sunset cocktails by myself.
Where to go and where to stay?
Many honeymoon destinations are quite far off the grid. That is sort of the point – you want to spend time with each other and not in the company of hordes of other tourists. That especially holds true for an island paradise like the Seychelles, Fiji or the Maldives.
Being remote is part of the appeal and one I truly cherished – I also don’t like hordes of tourists. But luckily not all resorts and hotels that you find in these remote paradises are geared towards romance. While most will offer a honeymoon package, many also have a kids club catering more towards families, evening entertainment and DJs, watersport activities and so much more for the non-honeymooner.
So just with any other kind of holiday accommodation, it pays to do your research. I was pleasantly surprised that I came across one lone white tent for a romantic beach setting at the Park Hyatt. There are two big communal pools but each villa also has its own plunge pool – not only perfect for romance but also great for me when I wanted to escape
pasty cute couples putting sunscreen on each other’s back.
You have picked your resort and what now? Resorts are wonderful little worlds of their own where you cannot only sleep and eat but discover and try an endless array of activities. My favorite at Hadahaa was, of course, scuba diving.
Diving in the south of the Maldives is truly something special and even just exploring their house reef was one of the best dives I have done in a long time. Newbies can do discovery scuba sessions or alternatively go on snorkel trips or take a glass bottom canoe out for a ride.
What all these activities have in common is that you don’t have to be in a couple to participate. In fact, they are a great way to meet new people who are either alone as well or have left their significant other for a bit.
For downtime and especially for dinners, I planned my own entertainment. I remember on my very first Solomoon to the Seychelles that I packed three books (pre-Kindle times back then) for two weeks. As I am a fast reader and due to the lack of any other entertainment I ran out before my holiday was over.
Stock up on some new holiday reads on Kindle (or even better and easier for beach time – audio books!), download the latest Netflix series and movies on your iPad. And if you need more solo inspiration on the go you can find my book here!
The art of doing nothing
During my trip I was not only not bored, I also really enjoyed the solitude. Honestly, I never understood why people equate being alone with being lonely. I love being alone at times; being an introvert this is when I recharge my batteries. No better place to do that than in the middle of nowhere.
I spent a good amount of time just sitting on the beach, staring at the waves or at the sky at night. Not having to talk – be it a deep conversation or small talk – was really restorative for me.
While I understand that not everybody likes solitude quite as much I recommend that you should still try it once in a while. Sitting still and doing nothing is a great exercise for mindfulness, gratitude and to reconnect with yourself.
While anywhere else in the world honeymooners are getting special treatment, in a honeymoon destination you will too. Is it pity or because you are the special one here? Who cares?! I found that especially when surrounded by honeymooners hotels go above and beyond to make my time memorable as well. Nobody puts baby in the corner!
Whether it is a relaxing bath for one (finally enough space in the tub!), a four-handed massage instead of couples massage or having the whole complimentary bottle of bubbles to yourself – sometimes treats are just as enjoyable on your own. And as far as desserts are concerned – I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t secretly wished that the waiter wouldn’t bring that second spoon.
Nobody is perfect
A few years ago I was in Rome with my ex-boyfriend. Seeing the Eternal City with my love – I was excited! That excitement lasted until the first morning when he declared that in order to save money for his onwards travels he needed to have breakfast at McDonald’s. And of course, I was declared selfish when I refused to join him (after offering to take him for a proper breakfast I should add!).
While I know that not every couples’ trip has to go that way, it also taught me that being in a relationship is not the solution for eternal happiness. Not even in the Eternal City.
And even being surrounded by seemingly happy couples is sometimes a good reminder. I was in the Seychelles years ago and came across a couple on the beach. He was wearing a red Speedo and lounging in the shallow waves, playing mermaid while his wife was jumping around taking pictures of him. They looked happy while everybody else on the beach, myself included, looked embarrassed. What if you marry a guy and you find out on your honeymoon that he wears red Speedos??
No, I was pretty happy to be all on my own on this beautiful beach and the fact that I could avert my eyes from the mermaid.
But Speedo or no Speedo, in the end, it depends on one person alone whether you have a good time or not – you. And you is what a Solomoon is all about!
Have you ever been on a Solomoon or would consider it?