Friday, 31 May 2013

Travelling Alone

A rare thing occurred this week, a friend and I both had time when our children would be with their Dad’s, so we decided to make the most of it and go for a short UK city break. So a hotel was booked and train tickets were bought. But unfortunately my friend was not well so had to cancel at the last minute. So I was left with a choice, do I go alone or should I stay at home? As I’d already paid for everything I thought ‘sod it’ and went alone. It occurred to me on my way to the station that I’ve never travelled and stayed in a hotel by myself before. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Reading material is vital. Train journeys, a hot chocolate in Starbucks and dinner are all a lot easier if you have something fun, and non embarrassing to read (not the time for 50 Shades of Grey!). It also stops you making accidental, repeated and extended eye contact with the odd man at the next table or the couple having a loud ‘discussion’.
  2. Always check you have your purse with you before you go to the restaurant! Not realising it wasn’t in my bag till after I’d eaten, and with no one else to pay, lead to a fairly embarrassing conversation with the waitress, a quick run back to the hotel room, much relief at finding it on the bed and a big tip
  3. Pack baby wipes! After four and a half years of having a nappy bag almost surgically attached to me, travelling without it I realised how often I use them, and apparently the kids aren’t the only ones who spill food
  4. Having fun whilst travelling alone is without doubt a state of mind. There were certainly a couple of times when I thought it would have been more fun with two. But I spent 24 hours completely pleasing myself, I didn’t feel bad for wanting to spend an hour having one hot chocolate, wanting to go to bed at 9 and watch Forrest Gump or spending 10 minutes in admiration of a massive painting, although admittedly I was primarily wondering how the artist painted the top (art appreciation clearly isn’t my thing)

Ok I do know that it was one night away and not a solo round the world trip, but as with lots of things the first step is often the hardest, so making it a small one helped. I really enjoyed my solitary trip and most surprisingly I didn’t feel lonely or daunted, so I’ll definitely do it again, only next time I think I’ll venture further afield.

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