Going away (holiday)

Just come back from 4 days on the canals of Holland and visiting the bulb fields. Lovely trip but I still find it very hard being on my own. Meal times are horrible, I can’t cope with other people wanting to know all about me and why I am alone. Is it just me? but I now think I have to say no more. It’s not the travel so much because I have to go abroad to see our two sons, ok nerves are there but I don’t dread that, it’s mixing, I just don’t want too. Is it just me?

No it’s not just you Susie. Sometimes I get an overwhelming urge to get far away from everything and everybody. I don’t want to mix and I really can’t be bothered. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and I don’t want to go to that either. It’s just all too much effort. What a way to be. I really have become very unsociable.

Hi Kate, I do hope the wedding is nice and you don’t feel ‘out of it’. You do know that I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best. This grieving thing is very difficult and there is nothing you can do but take each small step at a time. I never thought I would feel like this and it seems it’s for ever, I need to get use to it and at least I know I am not the only person. Hope you have a lovely day.
Blessings S

Thank you dear Susie x

Hi Susie.
I’ve been away several times on my own and right from the beginning I identified meal times as the most likely problem and source of discomfort. Fortunately I’ve never been placed in a situation where I have had to share a table, and then engage in small talk. It has been offered during hotel stays, and I swiftly declined. I can imagine it being extremely difficult to discourage particular conversations without giving offence. Giving it some thought I maybe could say that I choose to be single as that wouldn’t invite further questions.
Another thing that I’ve developed to a fine art is the avoidance of eye contact, although that’s just for those occasions when I feel I don’t want to mix or chat. It’s a bit like building a strategic response.

Hi Yorkshire lad, yes if you can stay on your own at meal times, life is better but when it’s not possible that’s the problem. It’s also difficult at other times. Sorry but I think it’s also different for women, for a start there’s more ladies on their own/two sharing. Get two together and I have no chance. Yes I have been away several times and always take a book with me, like you ‘no eye contact’ it works and people do leave you alone.
If there is something that I really, really want to go and see then I just may put up with the problem otherwise I will stay at home with my cat, sad person.

Hi Susie I agree with you that it’s a bit harder for woman. I went away with a friend last year and when one of the other customers in the hotel bar overheard me saying I was a widow (in reply to someone asking me how long I’d been married) he thought that gave him permission to hit on me. I found this very distressing so like Yorkshire Lad I now have a cover story. Best wishes. x

Susie123 your certainly not alone in those feelings as others have already stated!
I haven’t as yet gone on holiday alone though intend to do so very soon.
Perhaps it might be best to avert my gaze to deter unwanted conversations.
I don’t mind the odd casual chat, in fact I welcome it, it’s just the intrusive questions that I will object to. I don’t wish to discuss why I’m alone, that will be hard enough for me to cope with.
But I shall travel, my partner would want me to live and enjoy life as much as possible.
Difficult without him but I cannot bring him back and after four months just have to get on with things.
Neighbours ask me how I am and instead of replying fine, which never will be, I just reply “I’m still standing” always feel like adding “yeah, yeah, yeah” a touch of Elton!

Hi, yes we must go and do things and try to enjoy the wonders of the world. It is the questions and the fact that they are being down right noses. The other thing to watch is having paid the extra for a room on your own (single subelement) and then the hotel give you a room at the back of the hotel overlooking the dustbins, nice! Yes that’s happened to me and you just have to dig deep and say NO, but it’s hard.
Enjoy your trip and keep going on them.
Blessings S

No I certainly wouldn’t think or want to go on holiday. I can’t imagine anything worse than having to sit at a table with other people having to make polite conversation. Didn’t like it when I was with my husband let alone without him. To keep him well we was on a strict diet of only certain foods and we had some very uncalled for comments from people in hotels and even friends. My husband never wanted his illness discussed so we just had to improvise. I just couldn’t cope at the moment. My husband loved to travel but I began to find it a chore the last year or two, so won’t be bothering. I just can’t face lots of people around me at the moment. Yes have noticed that the single rooms can be pokey and out of the way. Always felt sorry for the singles on their own. Now it could be me, but don’t think so. We travelled for years and I feel satisfied with what I have seen and nothing would be the same without Brian.

Pattidot, yes those are now my sentiments and I have done the trips that my soulmate would have found hard or just not enjoyed, so other than visiting our sons I feel sure that I have seen and done with holidays and I am sorry but I can’t call those trips holidays. The excitement of setting off as gone and it seems more of a chore than a delight. The polite conversation is not for me in those circumstances, I don’t feel I have the patience. The grieving thing chances us far more than we know and it all takes time.
Blessings to you all.S

I think that distinction between holidays and trips is quite important, and it certainly clarifies my thinking, and then informs my approach.
I associate the idea of holidays with going away with wife and family for a specific period of time to a place that, hopefully met everybodies needs. It was usually a compromise. Since I retired from work I’ve considered trips to be just a change, doing the same things but in a different place. I retired at 53, my kids were all finding their own way in life and we could do something which we both enjoyed. However, that still demanded some compromise. As my wife didn’t enjoy all my interests she encouraged me to take short breaks on my own and I was happy to agree. We have friends who have done that ever since the married 45 years ago.
Although I hadn’t appreciated it at the time I am quite well equipped for surviving on my own. More recent learning has come from two of my daughters, both married, and they have travelled extensively through their work whilst their husbands looked after things at home. They have been able to pass on very useful tips regarding the practical considerations.
I think holidays are something I look back on with a smile, but belong in an era long gone. In a few weeks I’m going to link up with a daughter on holiday in Devon and she will be with her husband and son, but I’m then going on to Cornwall for how ever long that takes… blowing free, as the song lyrics said.

I agree with you Pattidot. I don’t have the heart to travel far without my husband and I certainly wouldn’t want to experience it with anyone else I do go away for a few days here and there with my sister but only somewhere very near home and I struggle with it but continue to do so in the hope that it will improve. It hasn’t so far. My sister tells me that she can sense my mood plummeting halfway through the journey (which takes three quarters of an hour). I also get annoyed at the single room situation. You have to pay over the odds for an inferior room tucked away at the top of the hotel - usually above the kitchens. The world only seems to exist for couples. x

Always felt sorry for single people having to pay so much more. It’s not their fault they’re on their own and even if I was with a friend wouldn’t want to share a room. Don’t like being ripped off and single supplements are a rip off
But do have a sneaking envy for YorkshireLad and his camper van, now that is the only way I would want to go away. Me and the dogs and the open road, bliss. Unfortunately Camper Vans cost and I have no where off road to park one. We had thought about it as we liked camping. No, No,to hotels and mass people and making polite conversation usually about their holidays etc is just not for me. We always went walking anyway and it wouldn’t be the same on my own.

I am currently on my 2nd solo holiday and still learning. Had short breaks and that helped to find coping mechanisms. I’m determined to find a way to enjoy travelling, my husband would want me to explore and revisit our favourite places. But it’s bittersweet. I’ve just checked in and got very emotional but found a private spot. Not everyone wants to do this but if you do it’s worth finding out what works for you. And yes, be careful about what’s offered as a single traveller in respect of room, I don’t mind paying a little more for the same standard as a couple. So far it’s worked. It’s still early days for me, I lost my husband just over a year ago. He was a true soul mate and remains so. I am fortunate that I have amazing friends that are helping me on my journey and understand me.

Well done. I think you are very brave and congratulate you. At the moment I think I would be very poor company and not really interested. I had never been really interested in holidays even before I met my husband. I had so many animals it never seemed possible. When Brian and I married he asked me if I fancied going abroad and this was the start of travelling for me. He was a seasoned traveller and loved it. I started travelling with him and we went all over Europe. Did all sorts until we found what we preferred doing together. I am not a good traveller and have to take travel sickness tablets for even a short journey which make me sleepy. So always dreaded the journey. Now that I don’t have Brian I can’t imagine going without him and have no incentive to be bothered. I have my animals again so they keep me at home. I love to walk in the countryside though and do quite a bit with my dogs. Have a nice time and good luck to you.

Back to top