Updated: Apr 1
The travel industry is always coining and spinning new catchy terms for different types of travel. Recently, I wrote about my uneasy feeling about the term "revenge travel", and today, I want to address another word making rounds in travel media: "singlemoon".
"Singlemoon" refers to the trend of single (i.e. romantically unattached) travelers going on self-indulgent trips by / with themselves. Instead of waiting for a love partner -- or wanting one at all -- single people take themselves on a "romantic", picturesque holiday full of treats, where they celebrate their love for themselves, life and whatever else they're happy about.
But singlemoon, of all things?? The word is good in the sense that most English-speakers will instantly puzzle it out as "honeymoon but for single people". But it's also such a ridiculous portmanteau that they will likely judge you for using it!
And, personally, I am just not a fan of anchoring new terms -- especially ones pertaining to the joys of solo travel -- to the metaphor of matrimony (as a sociologist, I associate the institution of marriage with organized control of individuals, genders, resources and property. Booooooooo!!! Not relaxing or sexy!)
Imperfect branding aside, the idea behind a singlemoon is not a terrible one. Why should only the horny newlyweds have an excuse for a celebratory trip? What about the single people ecstatic about being free of marital obligations -- couldn't they use a fun "hooray" in a sexy tropical or snowcapped destination?
To me, solo travel is an act of self-love and I approve of the idea of taking a love affair trip with yourself. I don't mean you've got to turn into a self-absorbed egotist with no regard for anyone / anything else: it's not about being obsessively in love with yourself -- it's about showing yourself love. And good times and excitement. I've managed to sweep myself off my own feet on several voyages -- and expect to do more of it in the future.
Currently, the term "singlemoon" is most used in and around luxury travel / vacation industry. By creating "singlemoon" packages, they are appealing to the same clientele that books luxury honeymoons. And it works. Many people's idea of fun travel is to pamper the hell out of themselves. This usually involves staying in boutique hotels with visits to spas and upscale shopping malls / streets -- or wellness / spiritual / yoga retreats that are also lavish in accommodation.
Despair not, however, broke babes: you don't need a huge budget to take yourself on a singlemoon of your own! You can DIY it just like any other trip. And there are plenty of ways to treat yourself inexpensively.
What I do is take myself to a tropical country that's also a "budget destination" -- where I stay in inexpensive super-centrally located hotels or apartments (for within $25 per night), eat inexpensive scrumptious meals ($4-12) and drink tons of natural juice ($1-2), take public transportation (for pennies), yak with everybody (free!), breathe in delicious ocean or jungle or mountain or desert air (priceless!) -- and just chill and let the euphoria of being alive in such a beautiful place do its job on improving my physical and mental health.
This is how I "treat", how I "pamper" myself, how I show myself love.
And in the meanwhile, I think about my shit. Maybe try to get right with myself about certain internal and external conflicts I may be having. To evaluate certain past as well as future decisions. I don't do any "guided" self-exploration expeditions, yet, almost every time I travel solo, my understanding of myself deepens.
Don't put pressure to "work on yourself", though. You're on a singlemoon, after all! Give yourself a break and procrastinate if you want to. Just the act of being by yourself is therapeutic in itself, so take it easy, it's your show, have fun with it -- just don't forget to live in the moment. In healthy doses, catering to what we want can be what we actually need. The key is not to feel guilty about all the things you could be doing. There's no apologizing for enjoying yourself on a singlemoon -- it's against the very essence of this made-up tradition!
Hey, if you need a silly pretend holiday to give you a reason to take yourself on a cool trip somewhere by yourself, let singlemoon be it -- why not! What matters is that you go out there and travel to your heart's desire and have fun on your own terms. Pick a cheap destination that sounds great, book an inexpensive accommodation -- and enjoy!
And if you really need for it to be demonstratively "singlemoon-y": dress like a hottie, take yourself on moonlit dinner dates in beautiful buildings or with fabulous views, sprinkle petals on your bed, etc. -- whatever makes it feel more romantic. You're in charge and nobody knows what turns you on better than you.
Consider, however, not needing an excuse to take a solo trip when the road is calling your name. How many official "moons" can you get away with before friends and family start rolling their eyes and referring to you as "our little singlemooner" (and so much worse)? Why not take yourself on exciting and interesting solo trips as frequently as life allows -- as part of how you roll, as opposed to a special, one-time celebration of yourself? The one travel partner you can't shake is yourself -- might as well romance 'em for life.