Carving out time for yourself

 2019 for me means more upcoming solo trips that I have planned. More and more each year I realise that it's ok to travel alone and enjoy it. It's ok to feel happy and enriched by being alone. Others often look at me with either shock or sympathy because I am a woman travelling alone, but it's something that I have come to realise is very enjoyable and empowering.

 My me time is waking up alone in my van on the edge of a remote Scottish island, wild swimming to wake myself up in the early hours of the morning and then photographing the landscape. Solitude adds to the experience of my photography. I am instantly relaxed the moment I have pitched up in my chosen spot, turned the engine off, put my twinkly Christmas lights on in the back, cooked some basic food for myself and settled down to a book or movie, ready for the next day.

 After as little as 2 days of being somewhere that has no phone signal or internet but incredibly beautiful and quiet landscapes, I am revitalised and ready to face the world again.

 It got me thinking about how others enjoy alone time. What helps in your recovery and feeds your soul, your passion. My boyfriend can spend hours alone in his shed, fixing an engine or machining some intricate metal tooling to make part of a car. I had no idea what it is he does, but I know he’s at his happiest whilst alone with the radio working away. It enriches him, he comes away from those hours alone, happy, calm and driven.

 My elder son can spend hours in his room listening to his music ever so slightly too loudly, drawing incredibly unique pictures of made-up characters from his imagination. My younger son is still a mystery to us but is often heard from upstairs running around a room making a pattern of steps and retracing them over and over again. It used to be the living room, but it is now his bedroom, or occasionally the bathroom when he has forgotten the original purpose of going in there. For others I guess it could be burying themselves in a book, losing themselves in playing music, running, cycling.

 Can I go as far a to say that most people need to retreat, do something that revitalises them and then emerge, happier, more content and ready to partake in the world again? Or is it just me!  I’d be interested in hearing what you do to revitalise.

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