What to Do on 21st Birthday Without Friends

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  • Spending your 21st birthday alone has a world of benefits and can be fun and exciting. It gives you the chance to connect with the inner you. It also allows you to learn the art of enjoying your own company.
  • From a solo retreat/isolation aka selfcation, to taking yourself out and trying out your bucket list, we give you a very cool and shortlist of how to celebrate your 21st birthday alone.

Maybe you already have a head start on celebrating birthdays alone – perhaps you celebrated your 18th birthday alone for instance. Or you’re probably not used to the idea of celebrating your birthday alone and are dreading the whole thought of celebrating a milestone birthday like your 21st alone, but may not have a choice but to celebrate it alone. Or you’re probably looking to do something a little different for your 21st birthday that would not involve your friends and allow you some downtime with yourself. Whatever your crowd may be, this is just the right article for you. In this article, we have put together the most exciting and perhaps unusual things to do for your 21sth birthday alone. At the end of this article, you will know what to do on your 21st birthday without friends. You may also be interested in our article on things to do on your 21st birthday without alcohol.

Why you should spend your 21st birthday without friends

Let us start by telling you why you should actually consider spending your 21st birthday without friends this year:

  • It allows you to give yourself a good loving alone, without having to worry or fuss over others on your special day. As usually happens with any birthday party, we always have to worry about the guests and whether everyone is happy and having a good time. You will not have to worry about this at all; the only person on your agenda on that day will be your lovely self.
  • It also allows you to have a reflective time alone. Considering that you are getting older and moving higher up agewise in the world of adulthood, it would be a good time to stop and reflect on your life and where you want it to go.
  • Diane Von Furstenberg says “the most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” If you are always with a crowd of people; friends, and never alone and therefore get uncomfortable with spending time alone, this might be a good place and time to start cultivating the habit. While relationships with our fellow humans are essential and important, it is equally essential and important that you know how to enjoy your own company and be content with spending time alone. What better time to start than with your 21st birthday party.
  • The cherry on time, you save yourself some money. Yes, indeed you do. Think about it – if you had a party, you would have invited no less than 10 people and that’s actually a very conservative number. And then you have to worry about decorations for the venue; drinks; nibbles and food; and maybe a DJ if you’re feeling fancy. You’ll definitely agree that by cutting off that aspect, you save yourself a good hundred dollars, which could either go towards your savings or getting yourself something really nice.

What to do on 21st birthday without friends.

Let’s get down to it. How can you enjoy your 21st birthday without friends? Here are our 2 top picks of unusual and fun ways you can celebrate your 21st birthday alone.

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1. An isolation/solo retreat aka selfcation.

This is one very unique way to celebrate your 21st birthday alone. It’s also pretty cool and here’s why. It gives you a chance to intentionally spend time with yourself and plan what the next phase of your life should be or look like. A solo retreat with yourself is a time you sit down and ask yourself hard questions like what have you done with the past 20 years of your life; whether you are happy with where you currently are; and what you want the next 2, 5 or 10 years of your life to be like. In this retreat, you decide the image of the type of adult you want to be and what your dreams and vision for the next phase and journey of your life should look like.

A retreat would be pointless if you don’t actually write down what your plans and goals for the next phase of your life should be. During your retreat time, set out at least an hour or two to ask yourself and answer the following important questions – 

  • Who am I? How do I define myself? If you don’t know your personality type as yet, it would be a good starting point to take the Myers Briggs personality test which you can access here – and to read more on the personality types you can check this link. Knowing who you are will help greatly in making appropriate career choices; 
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are those things I know I am very good at;
  • What are my hobbies and interests?
  • If I could do one job all my life, what would it be?
  • What are my short term goals? – Goals in the next 6 months; 1 year; 18 months; 24 months?
  • What are my short term goals? – Goals for the next 3 years; 5 years; 10 years.
  • How much do I want my net worth to be by the time I am 25 years old? And 30 years old? This is because these are the next important milestones after your 21st.
  • What standard of living do I want to have and how can I attain this?
  • What are my career plans and plans for a family?

Can you see how important this is? You already get the sense just by reading all these questions that by the time you are done with answering all of them, you feel really motivated and with a greater sense of purpose. You will get fired up to start pursuing your adult life real quick if you actually spend time and do some soul searching to answer these questions.

It will be very important to buy a good journal and take it along on this retreat. This journal is where you will be writing all of the answers to the above. And this is why it’s so important to write it down in a serious book like a journal – so that you can go back and review and see how much progress you have made and what you need to improve on. You will soon discover that the life of adulthood is not as rosy as being a dependent teenager, and this road map that you have written down is what will help steer you on when the going gets tough.

If you don’t have a journal already, here’s a link to a really cool one on Amazon that won’t break your account at all.

Activities that you could do to spice it up a little is to take yourself out to a movie and/or a fancy restaurant on say the first day. And then on the second day spend time indoors with your inner self and writing out the above-highlighted points. After writing, take another hour or so to just meditate either with yoga or whatever mindfulness exercise works for you, to get it all in. You can then wrap it up with another outing to another nice restaurant and then head back home.

If you cannot afford an Airbnb or hotel, you can still do this retreat in the comfort of your home, and enjoy your 21st birthday at home. You will just need to inform your family or the people you stay with, that as part of your 21st celebration you want to hibernate and engage in a solo retreat and spend some time alone planning for the next phase of your life.

A final note on this activity. It would defeat the purpose of being alone undistracted if you always have to worry about your social media pages. This retreat would work best and yield the best result if you can also “fast” off social media when on the retreat.

Planning a solo/isolation retreat aka selfcation

As we said, you could have this retreat at home if you are perhaps cash-strapped. But it would make it more enjoyable if you could have it outside your home so that you have the feel of a different environment. Being in a different environment is known to get the creative juices flowing. It is also known to infuse a different type of energy; good energy; and get one fired up and more upbeat than usual. You definitely want to feel more upbeat and energetic after celebrating your 21st birthday alone. So how do you go about planning this selfcation so that you have the best 21st birthday alone:

I. Set a budget. This is perhaps the first most important step for a successful selfcation. Your budget will determine travel destinations you will be considering, and lodging options you will also be considering.

II. Choose a travel destination: Yes, travel destination. You certainly don’t want to spend your alone time in a familiar environment that may actually serve the opposite purpose of exciting you, which is to bore you. Whether the location is a town not too far away from your locale or a holiday destination in Europe, choose a place that you haven’t been to, and which is not your current location. The United States is really big and chances are there are places within the States that you have not been to. A Google search of top places to visit in the USA would give you a really nice list to choose from. Travel within the States would be cheaper and very enjoyable at the same time.

III. Determine how many days you want to spend on your trip/selfcation/retreat. This will obviously be informed by your budget and how much you can afford for a room per night. Airbnb is always a very affordable and great option for such a trip. The home you will be using will have a homey and relaxed atmosphere that is also very private; luxuries you may not enjoy at a hotel.

IV. Start saving early. This also means you should start planning early. Once you have chosen your travel destination, consider looking for cheap flight options or buying tickets (whether flight or train) in advance, as tickets tend to be cheaper when bought in advance. Also consider paying in advance for your lodging, as these also tend to be cheaper when booked and paid for in advance. If you do not know yet the specific date(s) when you intend to travel, consider buying an Airbnb travel gift card for yourself and setting the money for your accommodation aside in that card. You can buy the card here

V. Come up with a list of activities that you will engage in on the days of your trip. Here is a helpful list of activities you could do by yourself and still have fun:

  • Visit any museum or artsy place in the city/town;
  • Find out if there are any live concerts or musical in town that you could attend;
  • See if there are any special events happening in the town around that time like maybe a carnival or festival or wine tasting. These would make the trip more fun.
  • Find out if there are any open markets you could visit to try out a local cuisine or just get a good feel of the market vibes. Be sure though to exercise care and be security conscious as you are in a new territory;
  • Try out all the nice restaurants and take yourself out to the movies and treat yourself to a nice spa treatment;
  • See if there are theme and amusement parks that you could visit and enjoy fun rides and other activities;
  • Find out if the city/town offers exciting adrenaline activities like ziplining, sky-diving and/or bungee jumping, and treat yourself to this. They may not have these but may have a private jet flight to capture an aerial view of the city. This would also be really fun.

Finally, remember that the main highlight and high point of this selfcation are not just to have fun, but to spend time with yourself and write down your action plan for the next months and years of your life. In having your fun, do not forget to set out enough time to meditate and spend time with your self and the journal we earlier spoke of.

For a comprehensive list of items to pack on your travel, check out this really helpful list from Amazon.

2. Take the day off and treat yourself.

You could call this selfcation lite. Maybe you are unable to go off on a solo holiday for say two or three days, or maybe you cannot afford the holiday or do not want to take one, you can still enjoy the day of your birthday alone. And this is the same, even if you are single and alone on your 21st birthday; you can still have a blast.

For starters, it would be a good idea to take the day off. If you have some leave days outstanding, consider leaving one for that special day. If your birthday will fall during the school term/semester, you can still make it work by setting aside some hours on that day, just to spoil yourself. Whatever happens, spoil yourself on that day by doing the following:

I. Start with an enjoyable and decadent breakfast. You could either prepare the breakfast yourself and savor the process of preparing it, as part of spending time with yourself. If however, you are too busy, you can find a place that offers a really nice breakfast, and treat yourself to one. 

II. Book yourself for a (full) body massage and pamper your body; you deserve it. 

III. Take yourself out to the movies and a really nice restaurant thereafter. Dress up; it will make it more fun and exciting.

IV. Buy yourself flowers on that day. To spice it up a little, you can have the flowers delivered to you on that day with a special message in it to/for yourself, as a “surprise”. It would be fun.

V. “Surprise” yourself with a birthday present. You can buy these in advance and wrap them up and “surprise” yourself with it. You can even buy it online in advance and ask that it be delivered to you on your birthday.

VI. Buy yourself a birthday cake. Preferably, bake the cake yourself so that the baking time also allows you more time with yourself, and also to savor and enjoy the process of cake baking.

VII. Come up with a bucket list of things to do before you turn 25 if you don’t already have one. Drafting that bucket list would be fun trust us. You can put absolutely hilarious and outrageous things on that list like kissing a total stranger just for the heck of it, or serious things like having a saving of at least $100k or an investment portfolio of the same amount or more by that age. 

VIII. You can wrap the day up by coming home, kicking your legs up, and reading a book or at least starting one. We have compiled our top 5 books to read to motivate you as you turn 21 – see below. 

And here is our list of Top 5 books that we highly recommend for you to read – 

  1. Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers;
  2. Mark Mason’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k;
  3. Time Ferris’s Tools of Titians;
  4. Robert Greene’s Mastery and
  5. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

You may be wondering? Frequently Asked Questions:

No friends for my 21st birthday, is it the end of the world? 

No honey, it is not the end of the world at all. On the contrary, you can enjoy your 21st birthday without friends. As we have shown you in this article, there are immense benefits to spending your 21st birthday alone, and you will definitely have the time of your life doing it alone. Having any of the 2 unusual and unique activities of what to do on 21st birthday without friends listed in this article, will see you having the time of your life on your solo 21st birthday.

What if I want to celebrate my 21st birthday with my family? What fun things can I do for my 21st birthday with family? 

It is understandable that while you may not want to spend your 21st birthday with friends you would, however, want to spend it with your family. Family is after all a very crucial aspect of our lives, and we enjoy immense benefits in having a close relationship with our family. Here are some things to do on 21st with family – You can have fun with your family maybe by going to the beach with them or having a 21st birthday anniversary celebration get-together with them.

Conclusion.

Celebrating your 21st birthday alone is fun and exciting, and has immense benefits as well. Carrying out any of our two unusual but fun activities would definitely have you enjoying your 21st birthday celebration alone.

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