How a Lavender Festival Changed My Life

I was TERRIFIED to go alone. I had spent weeks leading up to this day asking all my friends if they were available, and not a single soul could come with me.

It looked like I would have to go to the Lavender Festival in Mona, Utah all by myself.

I hated the idea so much that I almost changed my mind and didn’t go at all!

I’m so glad I didn’t turn around on that day. My trip to the Lavender Festival changed my mindset about solo travel – and life – forever.

Gearing Up For the Drive

I consider myself to be a strong independent woman, but I also love spending time with friends. I’d dreamed of going to the Lavender Festival since the first time I went ten years earlier! I wanted to relive it, and I wanted to do it with my friends so they could experience the beauty of this place too.

But no one could come.

At first I was sad, then I started to panic and wonder, “What if people think I’m weird? What if it’s super boring by myself and this beautiful event is ruined for me? What if I’m so sad that I’m too distracted to enjoy anything?”

Motivated by my inner twelve-year-old who had dreamed of this day for years, I got in the car…

And almost turned around three times on the drive down to Mona. After 30 minutes of driving, I figured I was too far to turn back, so I just kept going.

I figured that if I was driving an hour to get there, I may as well make the most of it.

The Festival

I took a deep breath as I asked for “just one” ticket at the entry booth, took some more deep breaths as I surveyed the event map, and some more as I took in my surroundings inside the gate.

I felt a bit braver as familiar sights greeted me – local vendor tents, food trucks, a concert stage, a playground. I knew what to do with those things! So I started with what was familiar, talked with friendly vendors, and slowly embraced the fact that I was alone…

And I was having a good time!

Eventually I noticed that, unlike the other couples and families around me, I could eat whatever I wanted, take my time enjoying the sights and sounds, and walk as far and as long as I felt like it.

I took a ride through the lavender fields, visited the gift shop, tried frozen lavender lemonade (which is divine, by the way), took pictures of the darling paddle boats, and found some wild lavender that I picked and took home with me.

It was EVERYTHING my twelve-year-old heart dreamed it would be and more!

Changing My Solo Travel Mindset

The drive home up from Mona was very different from my drive down.

I was different than I had been a few hours before, and I couldn’t believe it! This event had completely changed my perspective about solo travel and experiences.

I learned that it’s okay to do things on your own. No one batted an eye at the fact I was there by myself. Most people were too busy with their own groups to even notice that I was alone. 

And even if they did, I was having a great time! What did I care what they thought of me?

I learned that experiences are what you make them. The festival could have turned out very differently if I hadn’t decided to make the most of my time there. If I’d maintained a fearful or negative outlook, I would have sabotaged the whole experience for myself.

I learned that I did NOT want to spend my life waiting for someone to be available to do what I wanted. I couldn’t believe that I’d almost missed out on such an awesome experience because a friend couldn’t come with me. 

From then on, I decided that I wouldn’t wait for anyone’s permission or availability to live my life the way I wanted to.

Eventually this shift in my solo travel mindset led me to leave my 9-5 job to start a business that would allow me to travel the world, find joy in my own way, and inspire others to do the same.

…And Changing Yours Too

Traveling with friends, family, and significant others is a fun, memorable experience. It feels safe and familiar and hey, you have a built-in photographer at all times.

But, my friend – please don’t shy away from opportunities to venture out on your own. Don’t let anyone else determine whether or not you live your dreams!

Take chances and make mistakes, girl. I know it’s scary, but the memories you make by yourself, for yourself, have the potential to heal your heart, fill your soul, and change your life forever.

If you’re unsure about how to proceed on your solo travel journey, check out my tips for wannabe solo travelers for inspiration!

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