I Googled my symptoms. Turns out I just need a vacation. Those were the words I posted on Instagram three days before I was headed down Route 50 on an impromptu road trip to Rehoboth Beach. Like many others during this “lockdown” season, I was badly in need of a vacation. At the minimum, a change of scenery. As a single person, I had the liberty of making a decision to book a trip and be on my way in a matter of a few days. (If you’re a single person reading this, count this as one of our many blessings!)
I’m used to traveling with a group but the urgency and purpose of the trip prompted me to do this one solo. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Here’s the main reason why. While the pandemic has isolated me in many uncomfortable ways that I never could have imagined, the solo trip actually connected me more to myself than any other single act in my life. I delighted in the freedom to choose what I wanted to do at any given moment for four days. I relished in my own amazing company and the absence of guilt for enjoying it. It was perfect.
Before I get too deep into the reflections on my solo experience, let me share with you a little bit about Rehoboth Beach and my accommodations. Rehoboth Beach is a small beach town on the Delaware coast known for its charming one mile boardwalk and family-friendly beach. Growing up, it was one of my family’s favorite vacation spots, but I hadn’t visited since I was in grade school.
After some research, I landed on a quaint boutique hotel just a couple of blocks from the beach. While I typically only look at four- and five-star hotels and resorts, the three-star Bellmoor Inn & Spa, which received a five-star rating on Trip Advisor intrigued me. After reading about the extensive renovations within the last two years and the glowing reviews about the cleanliness and quality of service from recent travelers, I was sold. Upon my arrival, I immediately felt at home. And this feeling persisted throughout my trip as every return to the hotel prompted a “welcome home” greeting from the hotel staff. Very nice touch.
While the two pools (adult and family-friendly) were basic at best and there was no restaurant, I felt everything else at this property was four-star quality. I booked a suite to make up for the lower star designation, and I received an additional complimentary upgrade for my affiliation with the travel industry. (Membership does have its privileges!) After having toured most of the other suites, I can say the junior suite with balcony was the most perfect accommodation for me as a solo traveler. The balcony was by far my favorite amenity. I spent a lot of time out there!
Being the beach girl that I am, I spent another good portion of my time at the beach. The hotel provided a complimentary shuttle to the beach, which was just literally a few blocks away. The hotel also offered a slight discount on chairs and umbrellas – another nice touch.
If you’ve followed Golden Life Musings for a while, you also know that I’m a foodie. I honestly did not go into my trip expecting culinary greatness, but boy was I pleasantly surprised! From delicious fish tacos and succulent lobster tails at Claw’s Seafood House to fresh sushi and an amazing vibe at The Cultured Pearl, I had some of the best seafood of my life! And I could not visit Rehoboth Beach without partaking in some traditional boardwalk favorites like Fisher’s gourmet popcorn, Thrasher’s hand cut french fries and funnel cake from the Funnel Cake Factory.
I should also mention that the biggest nice touch of the Bellmoor was they offered a delicious complimentary catered breakfast from Lupo Italian Kitchen, which included an omelette station. The breakfast was so impressive, I decided to have dinner there on my last night and the lobster bucatini did not disappoint!
Now before you go away thinking that I went to Rehoboth Beach to satisfy my gluttonous appetite, let me close this out by sharing with you my three most cherished moments on this solo trip.
Journaling and reading on the beach – I can’t even begin to tell you how cathartic it was to have this experience. Imagine hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the sand and the warm wind blowing across your skin as you get lost in a good book or a thoughtful journal entry.
Quiet moments delighting in and savoring nature – The serenity of sitting out on my balcony and simply admiring nature was priceless. Every day admiring the beautiful flowers or the love songs of my bird neighbors gave me a profound sense of peace and gratefulness.
People watching and making new friends on the boardwalk – When you aren’t accompanied by another person, it’s amazing how much more of an awareness you have of the things and people around you. Despite being in this season that’s isolated us with masks and social distancing, I experienced much more of a connection with the people I encountered.
For the reasons above, I recommend taking your own solo trip – even if it’s just one time. I can not tell you how liberating and soul satisfying it was to get connected to myself in that way. As a society that’s always so concerned with other’s lives, experiences like these help us to turn inward and explore all the beauty that lies within. Perhaps if we did things like this a little more, we’d appreciate all the things that really matter a little more.