I am not known for my intrepid travelling tendencies. In fact, my credo has historically been “I’m not bothered about seeing other countries.” I know – absolutely horrifying attitude. To be honest, I suspect that all stemmed from two things:
1. my haunting memory of being on a plane to Menorca when I was 5 and feeling so travelsick I promptly threw up my glace cherries (the token fruit-pot contents of airline food circa 1988) all over my nan. This travelsickness stuck with me (and continues to do so) on most forms of transport that exist.
2. having parents that never had the means (or real desire) to go abroad once my sister and I came along. So as kids, we had holidays to the exact same caravanning spot in North Devon every single year of our lives…until I turned 16 and decided I was too cool to holiday with my parents and kid sister. I never felt the need to go abroad…because I’d never experienced the joy of it.
I went to Tenerife when I was 18, and Gran Canaria when I was 25, but I still wasn’t SOLD on holidays abroad.
Something happened in 2013 though. The chance came for me to go to Barbados at a bargain basement price. I went, I loved, and promptly went back the next year. In case you’re interested…I felt absolutely fine on the flight (thanks to some drugs and a LOT of free BA wine) This gave me the bug, and so in 2015 I decided I needed to go abroad again.
Unfortunately, I am in my mid-thirties and single. Not a problem in general, but a problem specifically when you are looking for holiday companions and most of your pals are a) up to their eyeballs in shitty nappies, b) skint from that huge mortgage they just took out or c) just generally don’t have the same desires/budget/annual leave as you.
I let these barriers stop me for a while. I whinged and felt sorry for myself. Until something snapped earlier this year and I booked a solo holiday to Malta. I assure you, that level of spontaneity is highly unlike me, and I’m fairly sure most of my friends didn’t really believe I was gonna do it. I’m not sure what changed inside me exactly, but essentially I think I decided to just stop being such a knob.
Don’t get me wrong, I researched this whole solo-holidaying thing within an inch of its life. Trip Advisor became my bible and I scoured the internet for travel blogs that PROVED beyond any reasonable doubt that it WAS possible to go abroad as a single female and not get kidnapped and locked up in a dungeon by some mental opportunist. It quickly became clear that I was almost in the miniority amongst my friends when it came to solo holidaying – reassuring and humiliating in equal measure. There was I , freaking out about the thought of spending 5 days alone somewhere in Europe when my housemate spent her first ever solo holiday…in India. INDIA.
That was enough to give me the balls to put my debit card where my mouth was, and book. With some cheap flights secured (BA though dahhhling…I am an airline snob) and an excellent hotel booked, I started to get excited. This was really happening.