Photo Credit: Lydia Elle
Traveler Story: 'Solo Trips For Me Are About Celebrating Myself'
Lydia Elle says she’s been struggling with self-care as a Black woman and accepting that it’s okay to award herself with solo trips.
“I fell into the fallacy of believing it was a reward instead of a requirement,” she told Travel Noire. “But now, especially as I raise my own daughter, I want to introduce her to concepts like worthiness, ease, desire, and luxury as something that is her right, not some ever-elusive reward.”
For Elle, she says she fell into a trap that so many people slip into when they overwork, and over hustle to drown out the noise, including their own thoughts.
Elle is the founder of Supplies For Allies, an antiracism platform that provides resources on allyship.
At the beginning of 2021, what was supposed to be a birthday celebration for her daughter turned into an upsetting and emotionally triggering trip. Their vacation coincided with the insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6.
“I experienced major racial trauma, and to an extent, we all do. From that moment, I decided that as much as I am passionate about the fight, I need to be passionate about my rest and wellness,” said Elle.
And beyond the trauma she experienced in the nation’s capital, she was hitting major life achievements that deserved to be celebrated.
“As Black people, we have learned how to serve everybody except ourselves. Solo trips for me are about celebrating myself and reflecting on what’s next.”
Elle says when making a solo, treat it like you would treat any other celebration in your life.
“So, one of the things that I did my first night there was, I got dressed up, and I took myself out to dinner. I had to succumb to the belief that you needed to have an event to celebrate, as opposed to you being the cause for celebration.”
In addition to celebrating, Elle says solo trips should be used to reflect on what you want next in life.
“When we take care of ourselves, it’s not selfish. It’s self-full. When taking a solo trip, you need to take the time to be self-full to find out who you really are. I think a lot of people run away from those moments because they don’t’ want to take the time or afraid to discover the answer.”