What is your Parenting style?
I’ve always believed in giving myself the life that I desired – a life that involves reaching my full potential, visiting new places, experiencing new things. All of these things, I believe, contribute to living a truly happy life.
I’ve always been pretty self-reliant and you could say a go-getter- if I want it, I’ll get it. I therefore spent my early twenties grafting away, securing PR internships with some of the top PR agencies in the U.K, whilst working part-time jobs for the extra cash. I barely had time to breathe let alone take a vacation but I made the choice to sacrifice my holidays and spare time for invaluable industry experience. I travelled vicariously through my friends who seemed to be on endless ‘culture’ trips to Berlin and living the backpacking life in Thailand. I longed for a day when I would finally get to do the same.
Fast forward five years and the hard work was finally paying off. I had secured a good job and a healthier bank balance meant that I could finally see the world in comfort, so I decided to seize the opportunity and embark on my first solo trip. I wanted my trip to be a time of reflection and to be honest I hated the thought of managing a group of bickering friends who had different interests. With this in mind, I booked my first solo trip to Paris!
As I arrived at the iconic InterContinental Hotel Paris – Le Grand, I felt such a rush of freedom and a sense of accomplishment. The InterContinental Hotel is one of the most iconic properties in Paris dating back to 1832 and located just a 100ft away from Palais Garnier. I recall walking around my room, opening the balconette and staring at the Palais Garnier whilst compiling a mental itinerary. I wanted to see Paris, my own way! I couldn’t believe that I was staying at the magnificent Le Grand which also housed the famous Café de la Paix – a favourite of Oscar Wilde.
I spent the next four days in Paris exploring- my first visit was across the road to The Palais Garnier, known as the most popular opera house in the world, partly due to its use as setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of Opera. I wanted to see all the ‘touristy’ spots so I had the concierge at the hotel book tickets to The Moulin Rouge. I hopped on the open roof buses, taking in the air and the beautiful view of the City of Love. I visited The Louvre, took a picture with The Mona Lisa then headed to The Musee D’Ordasay, home to some Picasso and Van Gogh’s best work.
The trip to Paris changed my entire outlook on life. I realised that there was so much to see and experience in the world and I was hell bent on achieving my dreams of visiting as many new places as I could, soaking up all the culture, experiences that comes with travelling.
This trip gave me the ultimate freedom to do what I wanted to do, stay at the Hotel I wanted to stay in without having to compromise or work around anyone else’s budget, after all I had earned it. I woke up when I wanted to wake up – which was pretty early as I was keen to see and do as many things as I could do. If I wanted escargot, then I got it. If I wanted a quiet evening, walking the streets of Paris, I did exactly that. Because I was by myself, I really could do what I wanted to do!
Since Paris, I have taken several solo trips including a recent trip to Lisbon and I’ve found that with each trip, I get to know myself a little bit more with each trip. It feels like I’m on journey to self-discovery which is pretty exciting! Solo travel has a way of building your confidence and exposing you to a world of possibilities and discoveries. I often come back from my trips feeling motivated and incredibly inspired, determined to give myself exactly the life I dream of.
Don’t get me wrong – I understand that the idea of travelling alone can be daunting and scary but I can assure you that there is nothing to be scared of. One thing I discovered on my many solo travel is that you become more in tune with your emotions and desires.
Often, I hear people say they don’t want to travel alone because they are waiting for friends, or pass over the idea of visiting a place like Paris because it’s too romantic. I’ve realised along the way that just because you are alone does not mean you are lonely.
My advice to anyone thinking of doing a solo trip would be to throw caution to the wind, book a weekend trip somewhere, arm yourself with a map and get on with it!
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