Dipping my toes in the solo pool

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

At my age, there is not a lot that intimidates me any more. I’m perfectly happy to don my swimming costume at the local pool regardless of my wobbly thighs and, while at one point in my life I’d balk at the thought of leaving the house without make-up, now I go ‘au natural’ more often than I wear mascara.

But while I’m undoubtedly more confident now I’m in my fifties than in my twenties, I am about to do something that quite frankly terrifies me.

I’ve booked a holiday alone.

Since my husband and I split up, I’ve been on holiday with the kids, the grandkids and friends. But this year I was struggling to find anyone that was able to go when I could get holidays at work.

I had a similar problem a couple of years ago and opted to enjoy a ‘staycation’. However, the weather just wasn’t up to Costa del Sol standards and I regretted not just going myself.

So in a few weeks I am going away, completely alone, to enjoy a sunshine break .

To be honest, I only booked the holiday online after enjoying a few glasses of wine and the liquid courage made it seem like a great idea. In the morning, I slightly regretted my actions - particularly as the single person supplements meant the holiday cost me more than I really ought to have spent.

I don’t even recall ever eating in a restaurant alone, so the thought of spending a week without anyone is a very scary one.

I’m a very sociable person and inquisitive - some would say nosey - and I find being by myself quite difficult.

If I am in the house by myself, I’m often on the phone, chatting with friends online or even talking to the television if there are no other options, so I don’t doubt I will find it difficult being alone.

I told my mother my holiday plans and how apprehensive I was about going away but she wouldn’t have it. She told me there was no greater pleasure than travelling alone and seeing and doing exactly what you want to do.

And she is right.

It’s not often I agree with my mother, but it’s time to put on my big girl shoes and do it.

Maybe I’ll even make some new and exotic friends. As the saying goes, if something doesn’t terrify or challenge you - is it worth doing at all?