Here are my tips for single holiday success. You can do wonderful things after a separation or divorce. The same applies if you are suffering a bereavement. Your loved one would want you to be happy and to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.
With all the talk about having a divorce holiday, I was thinking yesterday about how daunting it was the first time I went on a single holiday after my separation, and about the tips I could offer those who are facing this for the first time right now. That got me thinking about all the wonderful things I’ve done since my divorce, and what made them possible.
Do something different!
In October 2008, 7 months after my husband left, I went to Madrid with an old friend from school. We travelled by train, pausing for a glass of champagne at St Pancras and a G & T in the Gare du Nord in Paris, before boarding an overnight sleeper train to Madrid. I remember it was chilly, and I bought a new hat in the station while I was waiting to meet my friend.
Somehow, going by train was more exciting than going by plane. It made the trip totally different to a normal city break. It felt old fashioned and leisurely. I felt unrushed and the clickety-clackety sound of the train was soothing. It also reminded me of the summer of 1994, when I’d interrailed around Europe with a friend, and loved every moment.
We wandered around Madrid, ate ham and cheese in the Plaza Mayor, drank cold beer in El Retiro park, and even went clubbing on Halloween to a crazy, smoky, noisy nightclub with some friends of friends of friends.
What made it work? It was different, and totally outside my normal. I felt brave and empowered, and young again.
Try new things!
In 2014, I took my children on a single holiday on my own to a campsite in France. It had been booked as a holiday with my partner, but we had parted ways 2 months earlier. I decide to go anyway. We went on the ferry overnight to Caen, and drove for 5 hours, arriving tired but proud of ourselves.
Being lonely, loneliness and wellbeing
I promised myself and the kids that we would try new things. I took them for their first seafood platter in a harbourside restaurant in a nearby town. It turned out that one of my boys loves all things seafood and the other just ate bread. The important thing wasn’t how many snails/crabs’ legs they ate, but that we had a new experience together.
Create new memories, try new things and enjoy the experiences in the moment, in a space far removed from your normal stomping ground”Claire Black – Divorce Coach
Dare to dream
I spent one morning on that holiday in France making a list of all the other places in the world I’d like to see and visit. Costa Rica, Vietnam, Australia, South America, Cornwall, Scotland – the list was long!
Having a wish list can give you focus, and excitement. It gave me hope and a feeling that the world was still out there, waiting for me to explore it.
My six-year journey of self discovery
What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
Perhaps your ex didn’t like planes, so you stayed in the UK. Or maybe they loved water sports while you prefer to wander around ancient remains. Have you always wanted to cycle from one European city to another? Now is your time! Tailor your single holiday to suit you, your loves and your interests.
Take it one step at a time
You don’t have to go all out and book yourself a fortnight’s holiday by yourself to Florida right now. Take it one step at a time. If travelling by yourself is daunting, what can you do to make it easier? Who could you travel with? Who could help you with the planning? If a week away sounds too long, how about starting with a weekend or a night away?
Notice your achievements
When you do something for the first time, whether that’s making a short journey, checking in online, or booking onto that hardcore walking holiday you always fancied, notice it and celebrate it as an achievement. Know that you are in control of your life, and in charge of your destiny. You are making choices that are moving you forward positively and opening up your world to new possibilities.
Written by Claire Black – Divorce Coach – Find her in The Hug Directory
Claire, I love your blog. As a divorcee myself, I know the whole idea of going on holiday by yourself or without your partner can be pretty daunting. The reality, I’m happy to report, can be amazing.
It’s about finding what’s right for you. Having organised my own solo trips and now, countless others for women and men in the same position, I have a mine of information for destinations all over the world. And importantly, where you’re not penalised with single supplements!
My first trip was to see some old friends living in the Middle East. I spent the first part staying with them, and then a few nights in a hotel when I was feeling more confident. The next time I went away solo I booked myself onto a yoga retreat (even though I’m rubbish at yoga) in Mexico and met many like-minded people.
One of the best holidays I’ve ever had!. I get to know people and understand what they are looking for, what they like and don’t like, and take it from there. Whether it’s a villa in Portugal with the children, or a group tour to Machu Picchu, there is something to suit everyone.”Nicola Donaldson – Travel and Holiday Expert – The Hug Directory