I was listening to Dave Fanning on RTE 2fm, sitting in for Tubridy, and he read out a piece from the newspaper about being alone and preferring that to being with company. He went on to discuss going to the cinema alone or holidaying alone. It struck a chord with me as I tend to do everything on my own and always have done. So I sent a text in and ended up on the radio whilst rushing across busy streets in Cork in the pouring rain carrying a bag of files, my lunch, my laptop and balancing an umbrella. Not the most relaxing situation to be in to be heard on the radio. You can listen to it here – Click on “Listen Back” and I’m about 56 minutes in. (It’s Wednesday July 6th on the Tubridy Show)
I listened to it again and apart from sounding far more Welsh than I thought I did – and that’s not a bad thing – I realised how much more I could have said if I’d thought about it in advance. But then if I’d had too much time to think about it I wouldn’t have agreed to be on the radio. 🙂
Whilst not an only child my brothers are a lot older than me so I did more or less grow up like an only child. Maybe that makes a difference to being able to enjoy my own company now, I don’t know. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Just the Way I Am, I do like my solitude and can quite happily not see anyone for days.
Dave Fanning mentioned the cinema to a previous caller and like me she nearly always went by herself. I sometimes go to the cinema on the spur of the moment so it’s easier just to go alone. Also if somebody comes with me I tend to worry if they are enjoying the film, especially if we are going on my suggestion. Although in London and Dublin I did have a great cinema buddy, Tracy, and we enjoyed similar films so it was a regular and enjoyable event. The previous caller made sense to me that her husband would prefer a different type of film so they often went separate ways at the cinema door. Why sit through something you’re not that interested in or even make someone go with you that doesn’t really want to see that film. Oh dear I think I hear some men agreeing with me here when their other half drags them to a chick flick. So moving on swiftly….
Holidays alone. I first went on my own to Spain when I was 18. I had been to the same village once before so I knew the place however to get there I had to hire a car and drive over an hour from Alicante. This was a bit daunting and was on my mind on the flight over but it had to be done. So I hired the car and set off. Looking back that was probably the best way to do it as I have no problem driving anywhere or in any country now. That first holiday alone was great. The famous adage that you meet more people when on your own was true and I met a great crowd from Somerset. What was nice for me was that if I wanted to be alone I could be or I could hook up with them if I wanted some company.
Since that first trip I have probably had at least 20 holidays by myself, sometimes meeting up with people but more often than not just spending quality time alone. In my previous life (as I call it) with my busy social period in London these holidays alone were probably my way of taking time out to myself. Not realising at that time in my life how much I would prefer the quietness in future years. Normally I’d go to Spain but also to Cape Town where I ended up house sitting for 3 weeks every January for 3 years in a row. That was amazing as the house was in the beautiful Constantia area and it was very luxurious.
At one time in Barcelona I was in my writing stage – that book is still waiting to come out of my head I think – and everywhere I went I was writing. This did attract some attention especially in restaurants where they thought I was reviewing the place. I recommend scribbling on a notepad when dining out, even if you have company, because the service you then get is fantastic. 🙂
My type of holiday would be lots of relaxing, reading in the sun, a few drinks and a nice dinner somewhere. Real time out. I wouldn’t be into an activity holiday or real touristy stuff although I have seen many places. I like the fact I don’t have to discuss with anyone about where to go or preferences, I just decide and go. I do have some friends who would enjoy the same and we’ve had lovely holidays though and I’m sure we’ll have plenty more.
I don’t see a problem going somewhere solo. I wouldn’t be going to a dangerous place although these days anything can happen anywhere, even at home, so what’s the difference? Dave Fanning mentioned going around the world for 8 months and would I do that by myself – absolutely. With the best will in the world even being with my closest friend for that long, day in day out, would drain me. I would need time out to myself. A back-packing holiday would not be for me though. I would have to be staying in nice hotels or apartments and with the money to travel well.
Luckily I was able to mention the blog I had written about being single and alone and it being ok not to have a husband / boyfriend / wife / girlfriend and thanks to Dave Fanning for re-iterating the point. He mentioned about me finding Mr Right and would that be ok. Yes it would but he’d have to be Mr Really Bloody Right as I don’t want any hassle anymore.
So yes I’ve done the social life and now I prefer the quiet life and I’m sure as we get older there are lots more like me and there is nothing wrong with it. I’m never lonely, I’m just alone.