When wanderlust finally kicks in.

I’ve always said I’m not that fussed about travelling. Unlike most people my age, the thought of spending time backpacking around a country for weeks on end, staying in hostels and just going wherever life takes me genuinely fills me with horror.

I like plans, lists, guaranteed running water and safe, secure and preferably hotel-shaped sleeping environments. I really am my mothers’ daughter.

I haven’t actually been abroad since just after I finished university, which is when I hopped on the Eurostar to Paris for a long weekend with my mum. The last time I went on a plane, was when I was 19.

Back when I was 17/18, I was one of those horrifically over-organised people and I was a bit OTT when it came to routines, doing new things and basically anything that pushed me out of my comfort zone freaked me the hell out. Whilst I was ‘fiercely independent’ (as described on school reports), new places and venturing into the unknown just didn’t do it for me – especially when you throw a fear of flying into the mix.

University was, as you can imagine, a challenge. Living in a new city, finding my way around a campus and going on nights out with people I didn’t know to unfamiliar places took a fair bit of getting used to. It’s safe to say that it changed me as a person, for the better, as I slowly became a lot more chilled out and willing to try new things.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is go abroad by myself. I haven’t been on a proper ‘holiday’ for what feels like forever (as I’m assuming drunken weekends away aren’t being counted here), and the whole need to get away has been kicking in for a while. Though I’m not in desperate need to disappear to Thailand and ‘find myself’ at a full moon party/in a temple/up a mountain etc (#namaste), I’ve want to go somewhere new. Not so new that I’ll get there and freak out that I’m by myself in a foreign land and shit I don’t speak the language and people will think I’m a dickhead on a gap yah, but somewhere that’s not England.

So, a couple of days ago, I booked myself flights to Dublin for a few days. Yep, I’m talking baby steps.

It sounds a bit measly in comparison to all the people who go off around the world on business trips, travelling and to study by themselves, but for me personally, it’s something I’m pretty excited about. The main decider was the price of the flights as at £10 each way, that’s cheaper than going to London from where I live in Leeds! Plus, it’s the same language and I only have to spend an hour in the sky in a tin can – which means I only have to spend an hour paying extortionate Ryanair prices for gin.

I’ve had a mixed reaction so far when I’ve said about going by myself. People have asked whether there just wasn’t anyone to go with me, told me it would be their worst nightmare, asked why it’s not an experience I’d want to share with someone and have said they’d never do it but good on me for going it alone.

The main reason for wanting to go alone is purely selfish. I don’t want to have to compromise. I genuinely love my friends to the moon and back but this time? I want to do everything on my terms. When else will be able to book flights for when is convenient for me, stay at a hotel that is in precisely my budget and do exactly what I want?  Whilst I don’t have a significant other or travelling buddy to consider, I genuinely feel this is my time to be selfish.

Another suggestion that I’ve had from a few people is to spend my first evening on Tinder and find someone to date for the night on my second. Assuming I’m single at the time. If anyone has any particular thoughts on this, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a tweet.

So yeah, I’m leaving the country, all on my lonesome to go spend 3 days in Dublin early next year. If anyone’s written posts about going there or travelling alone, please send me a link, I’d really appreciate it!

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