The internet is filled with articles such as “Why you should travel alone” or “10 reasons to travel alone”. But I have to confess that I have never traveled alone. But I was set on changing that before turning 30 or having kids. And when Kim went on a weekend trip with her colleagues, I put my plans into action.
My first idea was to go Paris but then I heard about srprs.me, a Dutch travel organization with a destination unknown concept. This sounded like the perfect solo adventure!
And so I sent them an email with my availabilities and budget. They offered their broke option: a low budget trip with ‘meh’ flight times and a room in a hostel dorm. I decided to go for it an pretty soon after booking, I got my very own webpage with a countdown clock. All I could do now was wait in excitement.
My mother however was scared to death and worried when I told her I was going on a holiday but that I had no idea where I was flying to.
A week before departure I got a letter with the hour that I was expected at the airport and the weather forecast. And that’s when Kim sort of blew the surprise.
You see we decided to book a city trip for the holidays to Dublin a few days before my departure. And when Kim noticed my destination unknown flight hours she jokingly said: ‘Hey those flight departures hours look familiar. Imagine the surprise destination would be Dublin.’
I couldn’t help but check which flights were leaving Brussels on my the departure date. I know I knoooow. I shouldn’t have done that. But I did. The hours matched and the weather forecast seemed a perfect match as well.
But hey, I would make the best of my time in Dublin. I would prospect the city and find out about great hotspots and restaurants.
I left for the airport. And surprise surprise (no not really), my destination (un)known was: Dublin.
And then a little panic kicked in. You see, I love being alone. I love sitting at home alone, shopping alone, going to museums alone. But I had never been alone for 3 days in a row. Sleeping alone, eating alone and walking around in a city without any planning. Would I be able to handle all that?
Getting the hang of it.
But after this minor break down, everything went a lot smoother than I thought. I started enjoying my time walking around and shopping without someone asking: “Do you really need that?”. I even went on day trip to Howth to hike the cliffs.
And actually, I never felt alone. I actually got to meet new people from all over the world. I really felt that it’s easier to approach other travelers or be approached when you are traveling alone.
The only challenge was eating out and going out after dark. I’ll admit it, I’m a scary cat. I’m afraid of walking alone in the dark. So I never made it to Temple Bar. Instead I bought a movie ticket for the theatre across the hostel. And I didn’t go to a sit down restaurant either. I simply avoided all that by going to a pay at the counter Mexican burrito place.
I had a fantastic weekend. Traveling alone is fun because I never felt alone. I could do what I want whenever I wanted. I met a bunch of new people. But. I still prefer to travel with my wife. I simply love sharing moments, making decisions together and chatting over a glass of wine (or beer since we are in Dublin). She also reminds me to take pictures. Because apparently an iPhone won’t do as a camera.
So will I travel alone again? Sure but if I can, I’ll take Kim with me 😉