It was a cold January morning. I was sat on my Mum’s sofa in Nottingham wasting away the days of my winter break from University. I’d just got student finance (kerching!) and I was on the verge of buzzing my head hair off (unknown to me, I would do it days later).
Half watching the TV. Half on my laptop. In and out of giving attention to these two gadgets with intermittent blank stares at my phone screen. You can imagine the scene, we’ve all been there.
Mum’s sat across from me, I don’t remember the details, probably sippin’ tea, chowing down on prunes…
“I’M BOOKING A HOLIDAY AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME!”
Out of nowhere, over the hum of the TV. Mum looks startled and Beau the fatty cat rolls his eyes at me in pure disdain.
I booked a one week holiday all by myself to a hostel on the south side of Tenerife. 160 beans all in. Bargainzz Mayyyyte. I was supposed to be doing uni work not booking getaways!
Where’s that marker pen lemme cross off ‘solo trip’ on my Fuckit List.
Tenerife. Yes it still counts! Another country, but not too far away, Near Africa but still full of lobster red British folk. It was the perfect balance of new adventure all alone with the comforts of being not that tricky.
Mumsy dropped me off at the airport, Boarded. Flew. Landed. Taxi. Walked into the hostel. All eyes on mee. All eyes on meeeeeee.
Tired and somewhere new, I’d stepped out the fluffy door of my comfort zone. I was wandering through uncomfortable land trying to act like everything was chill. Tripped over a rock as I walked by everyone staring at me. Smooth as. Greeted by a half stoned Welsh woman, she showed me to my bunk and broke my heart when she said sorry there is no dinner tonight.
The first night I sat on a sofa amongst lots of people laughing, drinking and bonding. I hadn’t yet spoke to anyone, I had no food and nothing but a coke to drink (ew). I even admit I looked at flights back home for a second!!!
PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER WOMAN.
Later that night I developed a weird daddy-daughter friendship with an old man who dressed like a pirate. His name was Geordie. Well, that was his nickname because he was from Sunderland. I think his real name was Dale. He offered me tomatoes for dinner and gave me the inside scoop and the following day gave me a tour of the land.
The week was fantastic. Like so many others’ stories of solo travel. I had made so many friends, climbed mountains, walked on beaches, tippy-toed my way to a secret pirate bar every night. Hiked around a volcano. Sat round beach bonfires whilst embers spat at me. Had insane vegan burgers on a day trip with a bunch of us I had rounded up for the outing (That Events Management degree helps ha).
It can be fecking scary. But give it a few hours and you’re off laughing and drinking with every man and his dog.
I am sooo excited to do it again. It’s been way to long. And now blemming Covids ruining all the fun. As soon as we have the all clear I am off pals!