This was my first official trip on my own…….as a single person. I wasn’t traveling all by myself of course, but I was “alone”.
So what’s good about doing this? There are definitely some positives, the first being that you are responsible for only yourself!
– I only had to pack for me.
– I only had to pay for me (single supplement though….).
– I did what I wanted, when I wanted when we had free time.
– I ate what I wanted, where and when I wanted (sort of….group meals were organized on the land portion of the trip)
– I had only myself to look after (making sure I was where I should be, I had my passport and docs, I had my hat, my scarf, my bottle of water etc.).
– I met lots of people…I like to talk so this was easy to do…especially on the cruise part.
I had traveled for work so being alone in a hotel room was not a first for me. On vacations though I have always felt that it was my job to keep everyone happy…..this usually meant compromising something for me. I’ve never minded that and everyone being happy made me happy too!
This trip I didn’t have to worry about anyone being happy except me. If I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t…..there was no one to compromise with. The one thing that I really enjoy doing is spending hours in markets, just looking. Ken was good with an hour or so but then he was done. More often than not he’d find a place to park with a coffee or a beer while I carried on but I never spent a lot more time because I knew he’d had enough and really and truly I was seeing the same stuff over and over again anyway. He’d never get impatient but I also knew he’d rather be moving on and doing something else.
Where to eat…when not with the tour group…was good. Ken could be a little picky sometimes….he’d always find something wherever we went but we tended to stick to places that weren’t too specialized. He was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. This trip I ate falafel and more pita bread and yogurt and humus than I ever have. This was the food specialty of the region and stopping at the first place I came to that had goodies that appealed to me was a good thing. And I found that sitting on my own, eating meals, with a book, isn’t bad at all.
I’m an early bird. Ken was not. I would always get up, have my coffee and read my book for an hour or two, then go and get him up when it was time for breakfast…..I was his alarm clock. This wasn’t a bad thing…..it’s what we’d always done and it worked good for us. I liked the quiet time and he liked the extra hour or two of sleep. This time though, I’d get up, get my coffee, find a place to read and then go and have breakfast whenever…..
On the cruise part of the trip, when you are sitting by yourself and there is limited table space in some areas, people tend to ask if they can join you. This was great and I met a lot of people that were fun to chat with. Not that we didn’t meet people before when traveling, but when you are with someone, people don’t tend to approach you as easily. This also had its disadvantages too……will go into that later!
I could totally mess up my hotel room and not worry about it….I tended to keep things a little tidier when there were two of us….I also often had another bed to put stuff on (this could go into the bad category too…..especially when I had to repack it all!!)
The good was also finding out that I felt quite comfortable being on my own. I was a little worried about this and kind of felt self-conscious the first day but became much more confident and comfortable with the whole thing as the trip went on….you don’t really have a choice if you want to enjoy yourself.
I’m not sure that I would ever venture on a vacation ALL BY MYSELF, but in a tour group situation like this or with a friend or two, I would be just fine now. This is a good thing, because this is part of my “new normal” now.