My friend Sharon and I were hanging out this weekend–with four noisy little dudes in tow–and she told me that every year she takes a vacation by herself…

…”A motherhood vacation,” as she puts it. Spending some time alone or with friends clears her head and invigorates her, and she returns to her family happier and changed, she says. One year, she went to a lighthouse hostel for $25; next, she visited a friend in Paris; this year, she booked one night in a cheap hotel room right here in New York. “I love that vacations by myself don’t have to be overly planned or fussy,” she said. “I set the pace and go for it.”


Isn’t that an awesome idea? Would you ever consider it? When she stayed at the California lighthouse, Sharon listened to This American Life episodes while watching the sunset; I’d love to eat a homemade cheesy pasta while dipping my toes in the cold, goose-pimply water! (Here’s a list of lighthouse hostels, as well as list of other lighthouses in which you can sleep over.)

You could visit a big city and stroll around museums (and leave the second you got bored) and eat ice cream (as much as you wanted). You could take a hot bath, order room service and watch movies at your hotel; and then sleep diagonally in bed. Or you could visit old friends–college roommates, cousins, sisters–and flash back to your single days. Imagine just drinking wine and doing your own pedicures:)

It’s funny: Ever since we’ve had Toby, I’ve never considered heading off on my own. Alex and I took a two-day getaway just the two of us, but, funnily enough, taking time away by myself didn’t even occur to me. Sharon’s tradition feels inspiring, and I love her line, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I need a break from motherhood sometimes.” So great that she does this just for herself every year and loves it. Bravo.

Would you ever take a vacation by yourself? Have you ever traveled on your own, whether or not you have kids? I love hearing about people traveling on their own! SO awesome. Where would you want to go?

(Top photo by Charles Gullung; lighthouse photo by George Oze; and summer love photo from Erin)