I’m writing this two weeks after returning from my first solo trip to Nice, France. Seems like a weird time to be blogging about travel but I wanted to capture my thoughts whilst the trip is still fresh. I recently spent 3 gorgeous days soaking up a bit of the French riviera just on the cusp of Spring. The why is that I’d just finished my busiest period of the year at work and I went on my own partly because my boyfriend wasn’t going to be able to get any time off work and more because I’d always wanted to travel alone.
I’ve always loved travelling and by the end of February I was desperate for the break. I had the time so thought why not, I stayed at the Best Western Lakmi Nice, right off the Jean Medicin (the Main Street through Nice) and it was perfect in terms of location. I picked it because the location meant it would be well lit at night if I wanted to go out for dinners and it was close to all the shops and museums I had on my list. I chose Nice because we went last September but only for a few days and it very quickly became one of my favourite cities. The airport is quick and easy to get to, the beach of course is stunning and the waters blue all year round, I also speak enough French to get by and its a really quick flight so all round an easy choice! My flights cost £35 return (crazy prices I know, but thats the perks of flying mid week) and my hotel was £110 for 2 nights bed and breakfast but when I checked in they said because they noticed I was travelling alone, they’d upgraded me!
My plan for Nice was just to switch off, have some time to read, to watch TV, to wander and soak up some sun. I knew it wasn’t going to be overly warm but it turned out to be a windy 16 degrees, and after a long winter in London you can’t say no to that!
I was more nervous booking the flights than I was actually on the flight! It felt very weird getting up at 4:30am to go to the airport and leaving my boyfriend behind, the uber to Victoria station was the most nervy bit of the whole three days. As soon as I got to the Gatwick express I was sorted and felt so excited! I tried to treat this as I would any other holiday, I bought myself some new trainers, got a manicure and a blow dry and did all my usual pre-holiday pampering. I have to mention that even though I normally wash my hair everyday my blow dry (that I got on the Tuesday night) lasted all the way through till Saturday morning when I rewashed! Very impressive stuff.
I got myself a decent coffee in my new favourite corkcicle travel mug, I prefer to savour my coffee and drink it slowly (especially after a 4:30am get up) and the beauty of corkcicle is it keeps things hot for ages!
When we travelled in September we did two weeks in just a carry on and a backpack so packing for three days solo in just a carry on suitcase was easy. I lived in maxi/midi dresses but travelled in jeans and a jumper. My beloved all-saints leather jacket was the perfect throw on for those windy mornings.
Something I was initially a little stressed about was the idea of going to a restaurant alone, which I actually found in the end to be one of the most relaxing parts! It became very apparent very quickly that I didn’t have to consider anyone elses choices but my own, if I wanted to get breakfast from Pret in the airport there was no one to say “ooo sounds good but I’m not bothered either way what would you prefer?” I had all the choices up to me and I actually loved it. I could get up when I wanted, watch the film of my choice, literally everything was exactly how I would have wanted it, I absolutely love sharing my life with my boyfriend but just for a few days I soaked up the novelty of picking things with just me in mind. Dinner is a glass of champagne and a burrata salad for 1? Don’t mind if I do!
I had a funny moment whilst sitting in a deck chair on the beach (please see picture at the top) I’d landed, dropped my bags at the hotel and headed straight for the beach, ordered myself a Café au lait and was feeling every bit of my “oh my god I actually got on a plane on my own and left the country” euphoria. As I sat sipping away and watching the waves I felt myself say *inwardly obviously* – ok aaaand relax. relax now. relaaaax now. and realised it takes more than getting on a plane and a €4 coffee to unwind. A reminder that no matter where you are, stress needs to be addressed, thanked for its services (or not) and sent on its way.
Something else I realised is that when you go away on your own to completely disconnect there are two kinds of people, the people who make the effort to stay in touch just to check you aren’t having some kind of freak out (whilst also indulging you by telling you how brave and independent you are #girlpower) and the ones who let you disconnect and say “ok enjoy, talk to you when you’re back” making it seem like the most normal thing in the world. We love and need both kinds of people.
Verdict? my three day escape was bliss and I loved every minute of it, I’m going to do a separate post on tips for planning a solo trip, as well as a post on what I packed for mine, but I’ll definitely be going away on my own again and can consider myself a complete solo travel convert!