One year ago this week, I took a vacation with myself to Heidelberg, right before starting my Master’s degree and right after quitting my job.
I had no expectations. I just wanted to eat soft pretzels and walk around for a few days. Read some books. Sit in some cute German cafes. Reflect on my life and be by myself.
It’s crazy to think this was my last trip outside of the Netherlands since then. I now have endless hours to look inward and be by myself, for myself, but then it felt like a treat.
There is a long laundry list of reasons why this pandemic is awful. Isolation is used to punish prisoners, after all. But there is also something calm and quiet about finding smaller things to appreciate in life. Being with yourself without the expectation of productivity or “getting things done”. That’s what my trip to Germany was last year. A reset. A bunch of books and me. Wandering around. Watching Netflix in my little single hotel bed after dark because there was nothing else to do, no one else to see. I didn’t know anyone in Heidelberg. I had no real reason to visit. I just went because I could.
Now, no one can go anywhere without a reason. The Netherlands has a curfew. People are rioting, destroying stores, fighting with police.
As we get antsy and angry and claustrophobic in this lock down, it’s good to remember that sometimes there is calm where you are. You don’t have to go anywhere to be by yourself. And sometimes a vacation alone is just what you need.