Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.

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Excuse Me??

This time last year I had such a good holiday in Ibiza, on my own, that I decided to do it again and because I’d left it last minute to book I was pretty limited on what was available, so I ended up staying in the same hotel as last year and as usual that meant my single room was overlooking the bins/car park. Not really a problem as I didn’t intend to spend much time in it apart from sleeping, just annoying as this seems to happen every time I go anywhere on my own. Of course there were different people on holiday this time, thankfully no stalker, but there is one thing that stands out on this holiday that I won’t forget.

It wasn’t the group of four lads who had come away on a lads holiday and obviously some time after the holiday had been booked one of them had got himself a girlfriend and she’d ended up tagging along.

It wasn’t watching the hotel cat run off with one of the parrots halfway through the parrot show.

It wasn’t listening to a group of women over 40 who were absolutely slagging off one of their group, whilst giving me pitying looks that I had come on holiday alone.

It wasn’t the man who was leaning across my table for one while he talked to someone he knew, knowing that he was totally blocking my view until I had to ask him to move, which he wasn’t happy about.

It wasn’t the 25 older Spanish women who arrived on my last day who were a breath of fresh air as they insisted on line dancing to most of the songs being played by the pool.

It wasn’t even overhearing a woman telling a group of people  ” I couldn’t eat my salad tonight it had too many alopecia.”  That must be a new name for jalapenos.

No it wasn’t any of those things, it was when I was out one evening, sat alone on the terrace of a bar when a young woman came out for a cigarette and noticing I was alone she asked could she sit at my table while she smoked. We started chatting and a woman sat to the left of me with her husband decided she’d join in the conversation telling us that she was 64 yrs old with a daughter of 45 and a grandson of 25. We both just looked at her and said “Right” before carrying on our conversation before we were interrupted, with the older woman muttering about rude people. A couple of minutes later the young woman asked had I come on holiday with someone?  Hearing that the older woman turned to me and said ” Yes, we were wondering that, why have you come on holiday on your own?”  Oh I see, you’ve clearly been talking about me then so it’s time you were put in your place love.

“It should have been my honeymoon.”

That shut her up.

It doesn’t bother me going on holiday on my own, but it bothers other people, especially older people.  The women hold on to their partners that little bit tighter and don’t even give me eye contact never mind a “Hello” in case I get ideas about running off with their Fred (Fred should be so lucky) but that’s ok. What is NOT ok is to be so rude and to ask someone WHY they are on holiday alone so that woman deserved the answer she got.

No wonder my ears were burning all week, and I thought it was sunburn.

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Move Over Shirley Valentine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll know that I’ve just had a week in Ibiza. Alone. Not front page news but you would think so by some of the reactions I get when people find out that I went on my own. “But what did you do on your own?” is the most popular question, and I always reply with “Had a good time”.  I understand why it’s a big deal for some people but faced with the choice of having a week off work and waking up on Monday morning with rain in Manchester or sunshine in Ibiza it’s not really a difficult choice to make so off I went.

I like meeting new people and luckily for me I’m a good judge of character (although we all make mistakes ) but as much as I’m friendly I don’t want to be someone’s babysitter on holiday and now and again I have to be brutal. Ibiza this time proved to be a mix of a particularly needy, nasty excuse of a man, ladies who although holidaying on their own wanted someone to sort their entertainment  itinerary  and a lovely guy who wasn’t very confident on his first time on his own.

On my first evening there I was in the hotel restaurant when I noticed “D” on his own a couple of tables away. He seemed friendly to the staff and as I was sat “enjoying” the Spanish white wine that was so dry I wouldn’t have even put it on my chips, he came over to my table. “I’m out of my comfort zone, would you care to join me?” D was a similar age to me but not really my type, although the older you get the more you realise you have to diversify on that one. So I joined him where I found out he was an ex copper, been married twice and didn’t speak to either of his exes and didn’t seem to have a good relationship with any of his grown up children. He then went on to tell me about a very unhappy childhood, although he was waiting for his parents to join him a few days later. He didn’t seem to have many friends and when questioned about why he left the police he was extremely vague.

Alarm bells were ringing.

Sat on the terrace I listened to various tales of what happened while he was a copper, some of them interesting to be fair, when he suddenly decided we were going out somewhere. “No. It’s late, I just got here today and I’m tired. In fact I’m going to call it a night.” He pulled his face but I was already making my way back inside. “See you tomorrow” he said. Oh how right he was. The next day was a beautiful sunny day so I made my way to the beach where I soon realised I’d forgotten my sun cream. After an hour or so I left my towel on the sunbed and made my way back to the hotel and as I was sat in the bar area D came over. “Hey, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.” Christ no. “Down at the beach, going back there in a while”. “Do you want some company?” I looked at him. “No. Quite happy on my own thanks”. But I could tell he was annoyed. “See you later then. What time are you going for dinner tonight?” “Not really sure, don’t want to commit to a time”. (but I’ll bet you’re going to wait for me) And he did. No idea how long he’d been there hanging around reception but when I finally showed up and went to the bar he was there like a flash. ” Hey D, you already been in?” ” No, I was waiting for you.” As we went in to the restaurant together he lifted my hand up to his mouth and kissed it.

That’s when I knew he had totally the wrong idea.

Something had changed and instead of talking about himself he chose to mention my trip to the beach. “You’re quite selfish aren’t you? I realised that this afternoon when you said you didn’t want company.” I laughed. ” And you’re obviously quite needy aren’t you D?”  He then told me how he was so irresistible that his last girlfriend had been 26 yrs old, absolutely gorgeous, but he let her choose her career over him. Not to mention the 62 year old neighbour who he bought a fridge freezer from who was forever texting him wanting him in her bed. “She likes them young” I stifled a yawn.”Wow. So in demand aren’t you?” He then decided to tell me how he was good at two things. “If we were in a terrorist attack I would get you out alive, no one else could.” I’m sure I must have looked doubtful at that information but he carried on. “And I’m really good in bed.”  That was it, enough is enough. ” Do you know what D? You’re making me feel really uncomfortable and actually, I don’t have to sit here and listen to this.” I got up and left him sat there at the table. Next time I saw him I said “Hi” but he just blanked me and did that the rest of the week I was there but it just amused me. Luckily for me he wasn’t the only person I spoke to.

As always we have the stereotypes that we all see on holiday. Such as the chavs who kicked off when they were told to cover up after trying to come into the restaurant in swim wear.

The guy who wore the same t shirt every day to every meal.

The three women who thought they were in their own version of  Real Housewives of Anywhere.

And the group of women with loads of kids who sat them all on a table with grandma at mealtimes so that they could have some fun in a different part of the restaurant.

But every time I’ve been away on my own the people who tell me “Oh I could do that. Totally on my own with no kids, husband, anyone” are always usually the ones who have never stepped outside their postcode without someone holding their hand.

Fact.

 

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