I love traveling. Not being able to travel anywhere the past year has been less than ideal, but spending time on my own in my neighborhood has given me the chance to fall in love with myself. I’ve learned to love spending time alone doing things that make me happy. Recently, I took that self-love to a new level and went on a road trip to a secluded beach by myself and had the best time.
It all started with this Tweet:
I’m the type of person who is always coming up with wild ideas, but I rarely follow through with them. This time, I decided that I was going to do this if it killed me.
So I packed up my car, created a Spotify playlist with all nine of Taylor Swift’s albums in chronological order, and hit the road.
Monday, March 8, 2021
The drive from Missouri to Louisiana was a little more than ten hours. After stopping for gas a couple of times and taking a thirty minute lunch break at a park, I made it to Rutherford Beach around 5:30pm. I listened to Taylor Swift the entire drive and I loved every minute of it. Listening to her albums chronologically (all track ones, all track twos, etc.) helped the drive go by so quickly. I made it to the beach just in time for sunset!
Rutherford Beach is listed as a campground on the Internet, and the sand is hard enough to drive on. I parked my little Hyundai about a mile down the beach and felt very secluded. There were other RVs and campers parked on the beach as well, but they were far enough away that I felt like I had a little section of the beach to myself. I ate some dinner, played my guitar for a little bit, and then settled into the backseat with a book. Once the sun went down, I realized how tired I was. It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep!
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
I rose with the sun Tuesday morning, ready for a whole day with no responsibilities or deadlines. It was super windy right on the shore but I managed to get my yoga mat laid out and did some stretching. I definitely needed it after sleeping in my car the night before.
Then I had the whole rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. I played my guitar for hours until I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore, learning new songs and singing loudly since there was no one around to hear me. I finished reading the first Kyoshi novel (from the Avatar the Last Airbender universe) and traveled to Middle Earth through the second Lord of the Rings book. I walked on the beach with my feet in the water and danced to “Island in the Sun” by Weezer, finally reclaiming the song for myself. I ate sandwiches and Oreos and drank some cold brew coffee out of the cooler in my trunk. I watched Star Wars in the backseat of my car and took a nap with the doors open, the breeze keeping me cool and the sun burning the tops of my feet.
I took a ton of pictures of myself because I wanted to capture the pure joy and peace I felt that entire day. I was doing what made me happy, what made me feel like the most authentic version of myself. I didn’t feel lonely. I never wished that there was someone else with me- honestly, another body would have just gotten in the way of my happiness. I didn’t have to perform or pretend for anyone, and the world was at my fingertips. I had complete say over what I did for how long. I sang songs as I walked on the beach and didn’t worry about hitting the right notes. I laughed at my books and movie at parts that I found funny with no cares.
By the time the sun started to set again, I knew my time of blissful solitude was coming to a close. I slept in my car again that night with plans to head out in the morning. I will always remember this day as one of the best days of my life. And honestly, the beautiful thing about it is that I made it great. Don’t get me wrong, I adore being around my loved ones. However, there’s something special about there being an entire day that only I remember. Inside jokes with myself and memories that only I can reflect on. I made the entire day what I wanted it to be, and it was made better with my own friendship and love.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Wednesday wasn’t quite as blissful as Tuesday, but that’s okay. After reading and playing guitar on the beach for a little bit, I tried to leave the area only for my car to get stuck in the sand. Thankfully, a stranger in a Jeep was able to get me out and I was soon on my way out of Louisiana.
I drove seven hours to Mustang Island in Texas to visit my childhood best friend, Kathryn! I stayed with her for a couple of days and she showed me around the town. We drank coffee at a Harry Potter themed coffee shop, bought some books at a used book store, explored a Botanical Garden where we talked to birds and walked in mud, watched waves crash on the shore, and made vegan curry. I had a great time spending a day with her and loved getting to catch up!
After visiting with Kathryn, I drove back to Missouri to resume my normal life, which revolves around working, drinking coffee, reading, and petting cats. This trip was short and sweet but so good for my soul. I know spending time alone seems daunting for some people, but for me, it’s what I live for. It’s what makes me so happy and content with my life. After being at battle with myself for so long, I’m so thankful I’ve finally found peace with my heart. I am my own best friend and I wouldn’t change it for the world.