I was meant to be meeting a friend to go and see the Tall Ships in Hobart. However she contacted me before I left home to say she was unable to come. I was sorry not to catch up with my friend but it did mean that I would have a day out by myself.
I look forward to those times when I can go on an outing on my own. Perhaps it’s the freedom it brings. I can plan the day exactly the way I want. I don’t have to feel guilty for taking too long browsing in the shops. I can look at dolls and clothes and craft supplies. I can eat at my favourite café. I don’t have to worry that my companion is getting bored or tired and sometimes it means I have rewarding conversations with strangers. Yes it may sound selfish to some people but I make no apology for that. The same applies to holidays. I love any kind of travel and I’m happy to have a companion sometimes. I enjoy trips with my husband and my sister and I have had many enjoyable trips together over the years but travelling with another person, even one with very similar interests and habits still involves compromise.
I’ve had holidays on my own twice in my life. The first time I was only nineteen and visiting the United Kingdom. Of course I went on visits to relatives but I spent some of the time travelling around by myself. This was in the days before mobile phones and emails and I felt completely cut off from everyone I knew. I was a very shy teenager and being alone meant that I had to push myself to speak to strangers and do things like booking rooms in hotels if I wanted a roof over my head at night so I think it was a very good experience for me.
Many years later I had a short holiday in Melbourne alone. I stayed with a friend for a couple of days and spent the rest of the time staying at a Youth Hostel in the city. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was not in the least lonely. Since that time I’ve longed to do it again.
I love reading travel books especially those by solo travellers. I once read a book by a writer who decided to travel the USA on Greyhound buses and I wished that I could do something similar. I like to imagine myself catching the bus to Hobart which passes my house every day and then catching another to Launceston for a week on my own or, if it is a big budget daydream, on to Devonport to catch the ferry to Melbourne. I daydream about visiting other parts of Australia too. One thing that I would really like to do is to travel across Australia on the Indian Pacific. Sometimes I imagine myself winning the lottery and flying off to London and travelling around the United Kingdom and Europe, preferably by train of course.
I know that I’ll never see half the places that I’d like to visit but I’m determined that I will make a solo holiday a reality one day even if it is just a weekend in Launceston.
Here are some of my favourite travel books:
Paul Theroux-The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, The Kingdom By The Sea, Riding The Iron Rooster-I would hate to travel with Paul Theroux who must surely be one of the grumpiest travellers ever but I do love his descriptions of the places he visits.
Diana and George Spear-Square Pegs-A hilarious story of an English family complete with dog who decided to emigrate to Australia and set out to drive across the Nullarbor Plains towing a caravan.
Gladys Taylor-Alone In The Australian Outback-A Canadian woman drives around Australia alone
Emily Kimbrough-A Right Good Crew, Pleasure By The Busload-These books make me laugh out loud.