Solitude (n): the quality or state of being alone or remote from society.
The word “solitude” has a negative connotation, as if being alone equates to loneliness. Today’s society encourages overstimulation, overcommitment, and over-everything (read: overworked). More than ever, it’s important to step back from the busy lives that we lead. I am a sensitive person with a need for regular disconnection from the world. I am also an “extroverted introvert”; I alternate socialization with setting aside time for myself. Solo travel affords me the opportunity to connect with new experiences/people while carving out space for self-reflection and self-care. On my latest trip to Julian, I found that traveling alone helps me achieve balance. A weekend in the mountains, away from other people and life’s responsibilities, was exactly what I needed.
I planned a two-day trip to Julian and booked an Airbnb near town (a studio at the top of a hill); what an incredible view! After settling in, I drove over to Integrity Stables for a trail ride through the grasslands and hills of the Cuyamacas. Whether it is your first time on a horse or you are a seasoned equestrian, Jennifer, the owner of Integrity Stables, will provide you with a memorable trip through the back country. I spent the rest of the evening reading and watching the spectacular sunset on the porch of my Airbnb.
The next morning, I beat the heat and went kayaking on Lake Cuyamaca. Lake Cuyamaca is a hidden treasure of Julian. It the perfect playground for people who enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, and outdoor activities. You cannot leave without having a slice of apple pie at the Lake Cuyamaca restaurant! After a “power hour” of kayaking, I headed into town for a massage at one of the area’s best kept secrets: Julian Mountain Spa. Vika, the owner, is amazingly talented at what she does, and her therapeutic treatments are life changing. She worked with my body to attain results that I hadn’t experienced before. I arrived sore and tense and left there feeling utterly relaxed and aligned. A sound bath or reflexology session is next on my list. Before returning to San Diego, I had lunch at Soups & Such Café, checked out the Old Julian Book House, and picked up a pie from Mom’s for the road.
Ah, the wonders of traveling solo. New to the idea? I suggest starting with local trips (like my staycation in Julian) and then working your way further from home. Before you know it, you’ll be traveling internationally by yourself! Solitude is not a dirty word; a few of life’s greatest questions were answered while I traveled alone. It may not be for everyone, but I urge you to try it. Your soul will thank you; what’ve you got to lose?
If you’re a solo traveler like me, please share your adventures in a comment below!