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to think it should be ok to do things alone

(48 Posts)
homebakedflapjack Thu 29-Aug-13 16:05:12

I went on holiday alone for 10 days. I couldn't afford anything fancy so only went to Wales but thought it would be nice to get some change of scenery. I obviously wanted to do what most people do on holiday.

I went on a boat tour but when I booked the tickets the woman said "ONE?" in an incredulous tone and I felt so lonely as everyone else exclaimed over the islands and birds and sea.

I ate in a restaurant once but it was such a miserable experience - the lady behind the counter kept saying "it's a table for one you want? you are dining alone?" in a polite but surprised tone. I ended up with takeaways the rest of the holiday.

I just sat on the beach mostly but I did notice I was the only person alone - it made me feel a bit of a freak. I am now wondering if people who are single just don't go on holidays or days out?

exexpat Thu 29-Aug-13 22:14:55

I've always been happy doing stuff on my own, even when I was married - travelling, going to the theatre/cinema etc. I have to say I would probably avoid the kind of holiday normally taken by families/couples, e.g. sitting around on beaches, in favour of something more active and city-based, where it is easier to blend into the crowd, so I've been to places like Hong Kong by myself, but then I don't like sitting around on beaches much anyway.

I've also eaten out by myself loads, while travelling for fun or for work, but again, I would generally avoid formal restaurants where a lone diner really stands out - I tend to pick more casual, cafe-like places where you can eat at the counter or read a book while you eat, or the more friendly kind of pub.

You will always get some people who find it weird that you're on your own, but I just see that as their problem, not mine.

DalmationDots Thu 29-Aug-13 22:06:46

I think it really depends on your personality and comfort.

I have a pretty hectic life term time as a headteacher, not so much now my DC are moved out/at uni/graduated, but when they were younger it was pretty stressful as a single mother juggling everything.

My parents would take the DC for a long weekend and I would just go away, sometimes just London or other times country hotels. It was so blissful peaceful and I had time to think. Not just think about work, DC, bills, housework, my school, but to think about life and all sorts. I love exporing places and just being able to enjoy them, see what I want when I want. Go into whatever shop/cafe/restaurant I want and never feel I have to make conversation for the sake of avoiding an awkward silence.

I love my DC and go on holidays with them too, but I need my 'me time'. I very much believe most people are both extroverts and introverts. I have my times I want to be surrounded by people, chatting away and need company. But I also have to balance this out with my own space, not having to talk or consider anyone else. When I am in this 'zone' I couldn't care less whether people judge me for being alone, it is not their problem.

elfycat Thu 29-Aug-13 18:21:27

I've been going to cinema/ restaurants alone for over 2 decades. DH works away half of the time and if there's something I want to see and the DDs are in nursery then I go, and sometimes eat out while I'm there. I usually have a book or a notebook creative writer with me. Last time I bought a book I decided on eating out rather than going home, as I had housework to do at home.

The most annoying thing is when someone decides that you'd much rather their company than your own. Stupid man in the cinema who didn't think that my excuse of being married was real. As for the guy in a London restaurant who followed me down the road trying to get my number I asked a policeman to detain him for 30 seconds and I could disappear. I heard the policeman suggesting to the idiot that I probably did mean NO as I legged it to the underground station

TooMuchRain Thu 29-Aug-13 18:10:32

I think it depends on the place and would agree that big cities are easier. If I am away for work I really enjoy having some time to explore on my own and never even thought that going to a gallery on my own might be unusual. I am happy going to the cinema too and see plenty of people on their own there -but I choose restaurants carefully because it can be awkward.

cardamomginger Thu 29-Aug-13 18:06:15

I used to go on holiday on my own before I met DH and I really enjoyed it. I still choose to do some things on my own, which I could, but have have decided not to, turn into a social experience.

There is nothing wrong with it at all. I agree with taking a book to dinner - even if you don't read it, it creates a barrier.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 18:03:02

Clarice it was about 15 years ago so I dare say its changed a bit but at the time it was a weird mixture of old glamour, Soviet austerity and grimness. The thing that freaked me out most was meeting so many people who were clearly very well educated but who were destitute.

I remember going around some Tsar's palace and I had a woman tour guide who was fluent in English, German and French (as well as Russian, obviously) and knew everything about Russian history but at the end of the tour she discreetly asked all the people for money.

Pagwatch Thu 29-Aug-13 17:59:31

I go away on my own for long weekends. I go to the cinema and galleries etc alone. I have never been aware of pity.
I eat out, spend time sitting in the hotel bar on my own.
Last couple of times at spa hotel I have said 'yeah, I'm here on my own for a chill out - DH has the kids at home' the reaction has mostly been envy. Especially from the women.

The only time I felt embaressed was when they sat me in the restaurant opposite the pass and every time I looked up the waiter thought I wanted something.

MesM Thu 29-Aug-13 17:54:38

Sorry those people made you uncomfortable - they sound v strange given you were a customer. Why should you miss out?

When I turned 30 I went to Asia by myself for a month - a big deal for me at the time. It was really amazing partly for the new experiences but also for improving my confidence. Would meet people (eg on excursion or doing a course like diving) and travel with them for a few days but often chose to be by myself. If you can get over feeling self conscious then I think being alone helps you focus on what you really enjoy and do more intensely. Still enjoy days out by myself now I'm married.

Broodzilla Thu 29-Aug-13 17:51:04

I've done a fair bit of solo-travelling, and have voluntarily dined alone / gone to the cinema / museums / galleries.

Eating alone in a restaurant is what bothered me most, but a good book and a half-bottle of wine made it bearable wink.

The actual travelling part, airports and planes etc. I'd much rather do alone. Travelling with other people (even DH, pre-DCs) stresses me out.

About 10 years apart, once accidentally and once due to work-related travel, I've been to Paris and Venice alone. Had quite a few people commenting on how awful it must be to be alone in "the world's most romantic city" but I had a brilliant time in both. I met some amazing people. And the most romantic fling... grin

LadyClariceCannockMonty Thu 29-Aug-13 17:37:20

quesadilla, Russia! Wow. I'm fascinated with the place but haven't been. How was it? (sorry to derail)

homebakedflapjack Thu 29-Aug-13 17:36:03

yes, it was a shame. I did have my Kindle with me; that was all I did all week pretty much smile

People were friendly but in a patronising "oh poor you" way which was harder in a sense! Surprised so many people do stuff alone - I've really noticed it lately and hardly anyone ever is on their own.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 17:30:40

I totally agree OP and in fact some of my best holidays have been on my own: I went to Russia for a week on my own: it was quite nerve wracking at times but an incredible experience and wouldn't have been the same alone.

It saddens me that often people regard lone travellers - particularly women - as oddities.

Rainbowshine Thu 29-Aug-13 17:22:39

I've gone on several holidays alone and love it. I have also been at the receiving end of some looks and comments but I try to remind myself that it's their problem they can't compute that a person can cope with their own company. I love the freedom to choose exactly what I want to do. And it is less painful than having to watch DH mope and strop his way around museums, art galleries, shops etc which he hates and I love, and I don't have to go surfing/paragliding or some other mad activity that he wants but would scare me stupid and he'd laugh at me for being a worry wart.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 29-Aug-13 17:18:00

I ate out every night on holiday last year and pulled the waiter who also was studying the same thing as me at uni. We had a great holiday romance shagathonand said if we'd lived in the same country we'd have got it together properly! YANBU op!

Ragwort Thu 29-Aug-13 17:17:34

I'll probably get flamed for saying this but it could be something about your destination, my parents have just holidayed in the same place but said they weren't always treated in a friendly manner.

I used to travel a lot for work and regularly ate alone in hotels and restaurants and have never experienced any sort of comment like that.

I have a DH & DS but still enjoy spending a lot of time alone, I am always treated courteously when I eat out or go to museums etc on my own.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 29-Aug-13 17:16:18

I go alone with dd; absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way. I get chatted up, have had great holiday sex this way. The last holiday however I wasn't remotely interested in men and I was blissed out without having my (lovely) family around tbh.
I also like eating alone. Why not? Holidays are about relaxation imo and I don't always get that with dd but the amount of couples I saw bickering last time or having to compromise on every little thing put me off!

Chelvis Thu 29-Aug-13 17:15:10

I'm off out to dinner and cinema by myself this evening - I can't wait! No toddlers wrigling out of their highchair, no baby wanting feeding just as my main course arrives, no DH trying to ask me questions whilst I'm watching the film. HEAVEN! Roll on 7:30!!!

I get sent to work away occasionally. One of the greatest joys (other than the peace) is eating in a naice restaurant with a good book.
DH is a food thief and can't keep his paws off my meal and DC irritate me by ordering half the menu and not eating the veg.

farrowandbawl Thu 29-Aug-13 17:12:26

Going to the cinema alone is one of the best things I have ever done.

Take a book to the restaurant with you - if anyone asks, just say your boyfriend/husband has pissed you off and you refuse to cook. (I got a free glass of wine with that one)

Holidays I haven't done. I can't afford it.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 29-Aug-13 17:11:03

I often go to the cinema alone and love it!

Gubbins Thu 29-Aug-13 17:09:11

I'm married, but I love time on my own and can think of no better way to enjoy a meal than on my own in a restaurant with a book. I'm quite happy to sit in a pub on my own too, and on the off chance I do want someone to chat to, then I'll sit at the bar. It's never crossed my mind that people might pity me.

hackmum Thu 29-Aug-13 17:08:28

I used to go on holiday on my own quite a bit when I was single. I used to enjoy it (no need to worry about accommodating another person) but I agree, the problem is other people's attitudes, especially getting ignored in restaurants.

Then again, it was probably particularly difficult for you going somewhere like Wales - if you decide to do a week in Paris or Rome, say, people don't care as much because there are plenty of lone travellers.

ResNullius Thu 29-Aug-13 17:01:35

People travel alone, but then usually stay places where you expect to find other lone travellers - ie hostels

Actually choked on brew when I read this meganorks. Don't make me laugh like that grin
I wouldn't be found dead in a hostel.
Upgrade don't downgrade OP....you lose the idiot maitre 'd who says "a table for one????" and gain smilingly perfect attention.

wowfudge Thu 29-Aug-13 17:01:18

I've been away on my own a few times. Some holidays have been better than others and sometimes you meet other people and get chatting and others you don't. I have never gone with any expectation. The one thing I wouldn't do is take a book to dinner: it creates a barrier; so unless you want to be left alone, leave the book in your room.

ResNullius Thu 29-Aug-13 16:57:03

Regularly stay away for work, alone.

Often holiday alone. From choice.
Total freedom. Love it.

Also a regular at a couple of my local restaurants, when I can't be bothered to cook, and if friends aren't free.
Usually take a book with me, but very happy to dine alone.

Its a confidence thing. The more you do OP, the better it gets smile

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