“I used to have this appetite for food, for life? and it’s just gone. I want to go someplace where I can marvel at something.” Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth (Liz) Gilbert

It’s been a while since I’ve written about solo traveling mainly because it’s been a while since I traveled. COVID, right?

The last time we spoke on solo tripping I had just lost a parent and was spiraling from the demands of life. In true fashion, this trip was centered on many of the same emotions; burnout, being overwhelmed, and uninspired, I decided to kick the dust off of my suit case and PTO to enjoy life.

However, this time the movie that I felt most like was EAT, Pray, Love (Yes I’m the movie BUT I am reading the book!); from the foods I ate to the adventures I embarked on. I touched my divine energy through culture, adventure, isolation, and self reflection.

I found myself settled on a place not too far from home because again, Covid..right?…I settled in Asheville, NC.

The Stay

I always surf the Air bnb app focused on two things; how does the image of the place make me feel and what is the bathroom and bed like?

When I look for a place it needs to inspire peace and comfort simply from the images alone; from there I sift through endless reviews to gain an understanding of the host, vibe, and location. It’s actually a past time for me if I’m honest and it’s saved me from booking with places that would have sullied my experience like a racist host or an intrusive one. I was booked for two days and decided to extend an extra day.

I was in a private guest suite and didn’t see my host once even though she was always prompt and available for my questions or concerns. The flat that I choose was simple, elegant, and beautiful (and OMG the Shower!). The location was wonderful, nothing I did was more than 15 minutes away while most things were within walking distance. I was able to truly rest.

The Food

You know that scene in eat, pray, love when she’s on a solo date and enjoys a plate full of spaghetti?

Well, that was me with this delicious steak that should’ve been too big for me to finish but with every bite and every sip of my wine it was an enlightenment on the small joys life holds if we just allow ourselves to experience newness. I ate the steak medium-well even though I’ve always been a well-done girl and enjoyed the food the way the Chef intended with all the garnishments/sauces.

I was skeptical at first sight but at first bite I was a believer in culinary art. That’s what the dinner was, art in my mouth *chef’s kiss* the dessert was even more delicious than I had anticipated and lucky enough for me it was the first day many of the items I’d chosen had been placed on the menu. It was hands down one of the most delicious meals I had ever had, the name of the restaurant is The Admiral and its located on a small downtown strip in West Asheville.

Delicious just thinking about it!

The Brunch

To kick off the next day of adventures, I did a quick morning walk and then headed to one of the closest breakfast spots I could find. I came upon Early Girl Eatery and went for a classic; chicken and waffles. I was served a mason jar of mimosa and a big plate of gluten free chocolate chip waffles with crispy, fried chicken.

Doesn’t sound too special? What if I say that it came with a habanero and sweet potato hot sauce that was literally the best condiment I’ve ever tasted? Besides that, the way the chicken was battered and crispy was out of this world too which made the combination a must have again; I went back the morning before heading home.

The Adventures of Solo Girl

I visited the Biltmore Castle; one of the oldest homes in the U.S. to date. Now I won’t lie and act like the little black voice in my head wasn’t saying slick shit the entire time I was at the castle hearing about the history and knowing it meant something totally different for those of my hue but as someone who equally enjoys history and architectural beauty; i thoroughly enjoyed it all.

My favorite part however were the gardens filled with light and life; plants manicured to perfection. You feel like a goddess of the world while walking the endless acres of plant life. I even wore a top with a scene that looked as if it were painted by Michelangelo to fully embrace the moment; a bit campy maybe but I looked damn good.

There was still so much I hadn’t seen on the grounds which are massive because I had a spa appointment that I needed to attend. Still, there were more things I could’ve partaken in like petting the animals on the farm, horseback riding, enjoying wine tasting, or restaurants. The possibilities were endless because I didn’t even see all of the house or garden and I was there for only two and a half hours.

I rushed from the castle to my next adventure at a spa.

The Salt Water Float therapy was a surreal experience. It was amazing and I’m definitely looking to trying it again locally. The premise is to be put into a meditative state by floating in water filled with thousands of pounds of salt; think of the concept of the Dead Sea.

I laid booty, butt naked in a tank with a few feet of water in the absolute dark, alone…for an hour. I won’t lie, me and the dark don’t really see eye to eye; for the first 20 or so minutes I left the door cracked because I was convinced that Nasty Ole Ms. Vera was rising up somewhere at the end of the tank to choke me just like she did that little girl in the show THEM. I’m sorry if you don’t get that reference but it’s true.

Once i did finally relax and allow my body to settle on top of the warm water, eyes closed, it was the most freeing and liberating meditative state I had experienced in a long time. For an hour, I only had to pay $69. Seriously, not bad for a whole new experience is it? You can find the place all of the places I’ve mentioned by clicking the highlighted text as a link.

Not only did it help with all the stiffness, soreness my body held from being overworked but when I say my skin was glowing (After, it was glowing after I washed all the salt away and deeply moisturized my skin) but yes; the benefits were amazing.

Deeper Thoughts

I’m convinced that this trip was linking me to my divine feminine energy.

Being gentle in the curation of events that spark joy and satisfaction in a place much deeper than my heart. I was able to just be. To celebrate, to release, to express, and experience. I had a few days where the only words I spoke was to order food; I needed that as an introvert who constantly finds herself standing out and in leadership roles.

I had whole day where I laid in bed watching Seinfeld and eating junk food; enjoying the luxurious shower at least three times that day just because. I photographed myself and captured the peace I was then experiencing. I took long walks around the local park along the lake and just listened to the birds and trees talk.

I allowed myself to feel whatever it was that I felt moment to moment and day to day; giving myself the space to process it. I lived instead of just existing as I was doing for weeks before trying to just make it to the end of the work day. What would life be like if I curated my whole life around allowing this instead of the hustle. What if I curated a life that didn’t require such a need for vacation. I wondered. And then I set about doing just that; focusing in on the things that didn’t add to this vision to correct or remove them.

It was necessary for me to find a piece of myself that I had not lost but locked away. So often many of us push parts of ourselves aside for the benefit of building a life, a connection, a career…we lock away those parts because we’ve given away the time, attention, and energy it takes to embrace them.

More and more I realize that locking parts of myself away for lack of those things isn’t conducive to the life I truly want. I want to invite into my life that which feeds my free-spirited, peaceful, adventurous parts instead of encouraging me to ignore it or depleting me to the point where I have to ignore it myself. Finding things that are more compatible for my unaltered self. Adjusting my life extensions to who I naturally am and not the other way around.

My solo adventures always bring me back to myself and reveal something new. I don’t disregard the fact that as a true introvert doing everything alone is a part of my nature and that asking others to embark on a solo adventure may not be an easy request.

There were indeed moments that could have been uncomfortable had I not the affinity for those moments. An example of this is being in the restaurant during dinner reservation hours; dressed like a trophy wife and eating alone. There were looks of confusion and wonder at the table of women eating together across from me and also on the men who there with their colleagues talking business. But what made me not care was the look of intrigue. I had the same looks given to me when I visited the castle and frolicked through the gardens. I’m so comfortable in my own skin and in my own aura that I’ve grown to expect intrigue with a shot of confusion from those who wouldn’t dare be so free.

Do something so freely that people both judge and marvel. Dare yourself to be so bold.

Builders! What’s the best solo trip you’ve ever had? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

Free to be whatever I am

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LBF Episode on Closure

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