Solo Travels: Why Being Alone this Christmas Could Mean Adventure

Alone this Christmas

Image: lalo Fuentes

Christmas is fast approaching. Soon the stores will be filled with winter wonderland window displays, the streets will be filled with an endless glow of butterball Santas, and everyone’s spirits will be filled sugar plum thoughts of gathering with their family and friends. But what about the rest of us? The ones who don’t have close family, friends, or significant others. Just because society and every Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel insinuates we have to spend it with our most cherished people or we’ll be one depressed cookie doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and have fun alone.

Here are six solo adventures that’ll lift your spirits and create some adventurous, self-fulfilling experiences.

Take a vacation

machupicchuImage: Rachel Kulchin

After your initial bouts of fear and doubt subside, your soul will awaken from the exhilaration of travel. You’ll discover a new love in the form of wandering without boundaries, itineraries, or oversized luggage. For some inner soul-searching coupled with adventure, visit Machu Picchu in Peru. Incredible history, vast vistas and some serious adventure await.

Go shopping at the Mall of America

mallofamerica2Original Image: Michael Ocampo 

Santa’s made his list and checked it twice. So should you! Who said shopping isn’t an adventure? The hustle and bustle of the crowds, searching for a parking spot, and fighting over that last pink iPod you just have to get your niece? For an even bigger adventure, browse the selection of stores offered at the Mall of America in Minnesota. Stores will post their “After Christmas” sales online before the big day. The best part is that most of these sales start by lunchtime on Christmas Day. Take advantage of this by buying yourself something indulgent.

Challenge yourself—run a marathon


Image: Dark Dwarf 

Giving yourself a new challenge can be exciting. What better challenge when you’re going solo than running a marathon? Just you and the road, your own two legs carrying you the distance. Try the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run or the Liverpool Santa Dash in Liverpool, England. It’s a time to think, it’s a time to push yourself, and it’s a time to revel in the sweet success of crossing that finish line.

Take a road trip

grandcanyonImage: Grand Canyon National Park

Maybe you live in New York, but haven’t been to the Empire State Building. Maybe you live in Arizona, but haven’t been to the Grand Canyon. Maybe you live in Wyoming, but haven’t been to Yellowstone National Park. Now is the time to go. A Christmas Day road trip is just what you need to explore some of your state’s great destinations and have an adventure in your own backyard.

Donate your day


Image: Arturo Sotillo

If you’re alone, but don’t want to be by yourself on Christmas Day, volunteer. There are plenty of organizations that offer free meals to the less fortunate on this special occasion. They’d love an extra set of hands to ladle and pour. For real adventure, volunteer abroad. How about a volunteer vacation helping children in Costa Rica? Maybe you’ll want to totally get away from the Christmas chaos and immerse yourself in helping sea turtles in the Galapagos. There are many volunteer abroad programs waiting for you.

Go for a walk—in the desert

petrajordanImage: Sylvain L.

Christmas Day is the best day to go for a walk. But not just any walk. Walk somewhere full of majestic beauty. Everyone will be nestled in their homes partaking in all the appropriate festivities. You’ll practically have the whole great outdoors to yourself. Especially if you go to Petra, Jordan, when the heat of the desert finally subsides, allowing you to explore its beautiful desert floor and incredible mountain peaks.

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