It all began three years back. In November. I missed my oldest friend . You know how it is when you get this rush of feelings out of the blue. I hadn’t been in touch with her in years, and yet there she was, one day, on the other end of Skype, inviting me to come to the U.K to stay with her for a few days.
The next few weeks were a flurry of visa applications, ticket booking, itinerary planning, ignoring Mr. H’s words of caution on how things maybe weird between my friend and I given it had been 10 odd years if not more since we had even spoken to each other. And then it was all done. Now all that was required from me was to get into a plane, without suitcases filled with kiddy toys, clothes, medicines. All by myself, on a six hour flight, with one bag and the ability to watch an entire movie without any interruptions from small people needing food, toys, my shoulder to sleep on.. Ah Bliss!!!Or so i thought initially.
As the day approached, self loathing started creeping in small doses.. was i being a horrible mother leaving my mini me s alone especially considering school was on? Was i being a selfish person, leaving everyone behind for a few days of my own happiness? Needless to say Mr. H ‘s complete confidence in looking after the kids got me even more worried.
It may seem ridiculous to some people, this apprehension of travelling alone, and i had traveled by myself on work to several places. However, this was different. Different because, this was a VACATION.. and when you are mother, a wife, you are expected to go on a VACATION with family ONLY. That unseen unspoken baton given to you to ensure nothing is amiss in the family holiday .. that unspoken rule that you are required to see new places only if you are accompanied by the off springs and Mr. H.
So when it is known by the family that I was going to the Queen’s country no less, all by my lonesome, two things happened.. Firstly, I was made the headline in a relative’s daily news and Secondly, Mr. H got sole gloating rights ,to show he can manage it all without me.. no mention of the nanny who actually does all the work.
But at the end of the trip, all of the above did not matter at all. For, the joy of travelling solo, reconnecting with my friend, interacting with other women travelling by themselves, seeing new sights and experiences, coming back to a home where the kiddies drop everything to run to you to say they missed you, made it all worthwhile, made ME feel worthwhile.
I know so many women, who tell me, they are waiting for their kids to grow up so they can go travelling by themselves, but lets be frank ladies, there s never going to be a good time. Just take the plunge. May seem frightening and unforgivable now but trust me, its going to be worth it.
Travelling solo in my opinion is the NEW NORMAL.I do it every year now and have no regrets. Next stop, Thailand. Everyday facials and massages, where is booking.com already..
Would love to hear other ‘New Normals’. Post please!!