In the Brainerd Lakes area, alone and loving it

I have just returned from a trip to the Brainerd Lakes area, where I kayaked solo on a lake, hiked along a path (just me and the ticks), and ate dinner with magazines and my smartphone. Around me, families and couples chatted and laughed.

Being alone at a resort could feel strange. For me, it was wonderful.

A few things made it work, and chief among them are other people. When you travel by yourself, people in relaxed vacation mode tend to adopt you. There was the couple who entertained me during the entire hourlong pontoon ride at Grand View Lodge, and the bachelorette-weekend gals at Lost Lake Lodge who clued me in to the deer just up the road. I never felt lonely or bored.

It helps, too, that I kept my getaway short, staying just three nights. June is a good month for a quick trip since some resorts require a one-week stay in high season.

I planned activities for the trip ahead of time, which kept my days full. I stayed at two resorts (chalk it up to the curiosity of a travel editor) and knew what each one offered. I hiked and took advantage of the free stand-up paddleboards and kayaks on the calm eponymous lake at Lost Lake. At Grand View, I took a guided bike ride, got a massage at the spa and hopped on a pontoon to break up stretches of lounging on the beach with a novel.

It also didn’t hurt that my husband and daughter were on the other end of the country visiting family, so I didn’t feel the guilt I might have if I’d simply left them behind.

I relished my brief time alone, and it reminded me of a book I cherished in college, Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” Woolf’s idea that women deserve their own space and money was revolutionary at the time she wrote. Although I still adore the author, especially her writing prowess, I no longer feel the need for a room of my own. But a cabin of my own for a few nights? That is pretty sweet.

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