Booking your first trip alone is never easy. There are stages of excitement, stages of mixed emotions, and stages of downright regret. Here are the 7 stages of booking your first solo trip.
Stage 1 – YOLO
Here you are, staring at a $600 ticket to Paris (a once in a lifetime opportunity). You have no one to go with, but that’s not going to stop you. It’s $600!! That’s so cheap. You are a strong, independent woman who’s not going to sit back and pass up trips over the fear of eating alone and getting lost in a foreign country. You’ve been to New York before. You know what a big city is like. You took French in college. You finally have a job that can afford you this trip and you’re staring at the best deal you’ve seen in years. This is it. You’re going to Paris.
Stage 2 – Regret
You check your email and receive your booking confirmation and start to panic. What the hell have you done?? You immediately look up the airline’s cancelation policy. You sit back and try and talk yourself out of it. By now, you’re tearing up thinking “I can’t do this alone.” The pep talk begins. “It’s not so bad, you just need to sleep on it.” Instead of sleeping, you start googling ‘solo trips.’ You feel slightly better knowing that 72% of American woman are taking solo trips. Time to take your mind off it and start planning. You still have 24 hours to think on it according to the airline’s cancelation policy.
Stage 3 – Planning
The planning stage brings some relief. Where to eat in Paris. What to see. Where to stay. The excitement is kicking in through the planning and you have a whole list of places you want to visit. Suddenly you realize that traveling solo is freaking awesome because you get to do what you want, when you want. How did you not do this sooner? Why even bother traveling with people when you can just tick everything off your list and there’s no argument? You’re starting to get super excited for your trip now!
Stage 4 – Booze
A glass of chardonnay and three romcoms is just what you needed. Again, why did you not book a solo trip sooner? “Maybe I’ll have another glass of wine. I do deserve it,” you say to yourself. While you’re treating yourself, you order the in-flight wifi. I mean, “what a time to be alive.” You pass out from all the booze after you edit a few Instagram photos. Flying is the best.
Stage 5 – Fuck
It’s 7:00 am and you’re plane is landing at CDG. You’re excited but a little nervous. You step inside and the airport and realize they didn’t really cover airports in that one French class you took in college. A slight panic sets in. “Where do I catch the train? Do they have UBER here? OMG, why did I not think to look any of this up before I landed?!” You somehow manage to get on the right train after asking several strangers in your broken French (it only took three people to find an actual local, not a tourist). You spend the whole train ride thinking “fuck fuck fuck fuck, why did I have to do this? Why did I leave home? I could be hugging my dog or watching re-runs of Friends in the comfort of my own home where everyone speaks English.”
Stage 6 – Disappointment
Day one is in the books. It was awful. No one spoke a lick of English, you couldn’t ever find a bathroom to save your life, you almost died several times crossing the street, and you’re pretty sure you accidentally offended a few people. Also, no coffee to-go. The fuck is this place? This is what I left home for? I did not sign up for this.
Stage 7 – Happiness
Day two, let’s do this. You’re up early and you’re determined to solve this French thing. You’re in Paris for god’s sake. Your first stop? The Louvre. You remember from the previous day that it was just about a mile walk from your Airbnb, so you decide to walk and grab a coffee along the way. And you know what? It’s not so bad. You start to get familiar with the cross streets, the signs, and the French. You pop into a coffee shop and someone kindly greets you. You start thinking “okay, I’m getting this.” You order a cafe au lait and a croissant and your whole world is changed. You people watch and think how about how lovely it is to be in Paris. Thirty minutes later, you arrive at The Louvre. It’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever experienced. You get it now. And you spend seven hours at The Louvre just because you can.
Who can relate to these stages?