Have you ever heard of the term ‘date yourself’?
It may sound silly, but they say it’s important to do. To really learn to love yourself you’re supposed to spend quality time with yourself.
I decided to try it recently. Not being one to do things by halves, I not only decided to date myself, but I decided I would take myself off to Bali for the ultimate date. That’s right Bali. Alone. Why not? Surely being alone in Bali has got to be better than being alone in Perth. Right?
I came to this decision because I had wanted to go back to Bali for a long time, preferably with a tall, handsome gentleman with killer abs. But you can’t always get what you wish for, right?
I thought I could travel with a girlfriend, yeah that would be fun! It gets harder to travel with girlfriends as you get older though. They get boyfriends, they get married, have babies and so on. If you’re the only single one, who do you travel with?
So, with no tall, handsome gentleman with killer abs hanging off my arm or a girlfriend in tow – I set off on the ultimate date!
In the midst of my excitement I posted a picture of my ticket on Instagram, with the hashtag “memyselfandI”. Corny I know. I didn’t get many likes. I thought at least some pity likes would be in order. But no, none.
When the day arrived I was feeling very excited. Admittedly, I was also a little nervous. Not really about the travelling part, but more about what I’m going to do when I get there and how I’m going to feel. I remember thinking “Is the hotel I’m staying at going to be filled with couples?” “Am I going to have to watch them play, kiss and laugh together whilst I’m lying by the pool reading the latest self-help novel?”
Negative thoughts aside, when I arrived in Bali I felt happy! I had escaped Perth’s Winter and was in beautiful Bali for the first time in three years. It felt good! I was immediately excited when I chatted to the driver in the taxi, as I remembered a little Indonesian “Selamat Pagi!” I shout.
When I arrived at my hotel I was told there was a problem with my room, but it suited me just fine as I was upgraded to an Executive Suite – Score!! Room service and a night in the beautiful big suite it is for me.
I awoke the next morning feeling a little unsure of myself. I seemed to be the only one in the hotel eating breakfast alone and the pool was surrounded by loved up couples. I thought, Shit! What have I gotten myself into?
I began to feel deeply sad and lonely, and wondered how I’m going to manage the next few days alone. I wondered if this whole thing was a silly idea. I worried that I may wind up feeling even more alone than I did when I was back in Perth. I didn’t even think that was possible until that moment.
I felt sad for a day or so, but then something hit me. How on Earth is anyone ever going to love me when I can’t even love myself and my own company? “Come on get a grip girl!”. So there and then I decided to just accept it.
I accepted the facts; No I don’t have a boyfriend who loves me and yes I am on holiday in Bali ALONE. But I realised then that I may as well just enjoy it, rather than wishing for the scenario to be different. Because really, what does that ever achieve? – Jack shit!
Having got a grip, I enjoyed! I spent the next four days reading books about happiness and mindfulness, Cosmopolitan and Cleo, whilst lying by the pool. In the evenings I got massages, went clothes shopping and then took myself out for beautiful meals and wine at some of Bali’s finest restaurants – Chandi in Seminyak was one of my favourites, I took myself there twice!
On one of the days I booked myself in to a Balinese Cooking class. I was a little nervous about going alone, but it was something I had always wanted to do. We started off by going to a local market and learning about the different types of Balinese produce and even picking out some of the ingredients ourselves. We then learnt to cook four Balinese dishes and ate them. It was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to do it.
By the last day I felt happy, humble, independent, calm and collected. By the last day I did not want to go home!
Travelling on your own is really so therapeutic. It is so important to learn how to just ‘be’ and that’s what I did. I learned to really enjoy my own company and value myself. I learned that you don’t have to be in a relationship to go out to a nice restaurant and you definitely don’t need a man to take you to one!
At the end of the day, you are the most important person in your life and you are so damn special! So why wouldn’t you spend time with yourself or treat yourself to a holiday?
Ladies, you deserve it! If you don’t believe me, keep telling yourself that and working on yourself until you do!
Whether it be a getaway to Bali, going to see a movie or eating at a five star restaurant, go on and do it. And do it alone.
Date yourself for once. Go on, I dare you!