My first solo Vacation 3-6-2008 Cancun, Mexico
I remember my first solo Vacation so well, it’s like yesterday. I had to be at the airport for 6 am and I had a 3 hour trip down to London Gatwick airport, I got a taxi to the bus terminal and was stood there at 3 am in the morning in the worst possible rainy night, thinking to myself “What am I doing?”
When I arrived at the airport I checked in nervously, thinking, “Is everyone staring at me thinking my God that guy’s travelling all by himself?” but I guess people probably did not even notice or care. It was just me being paranoid. After checking in I went through to the departure lounge and sat watching the time and looking around thinking “Are people looking at me?” but I do not think they actually were. It was just me being silly. Sadly my flight was delayed by 5 hours, which did feel like a lifetime sitting there trying to find things to do to kill time. Eventually though I boarded my aircraft took my seat and luckily I had some friendly girls sitting next to me instantly making me feel very relaxed. Luckily I am fine on planes so relaxed quickly and settled in for the long flight.
After a long 11 hour flight we finally touched down in Cancun. I remember as we came in to land looking out of the window and thinking the weather looks horrible, but it’s almost a sure thing when you land in Cancun during the hurricane season it clouds over, and often rains late afternoon.
After we landed I went through customs and collected my bags and went to greet me representative as I went on a package deal including transfers to my hotel. After what felt like an hour waiting for the usual slow people that always seem to hold up every bus on every continent, we finally set off to the hotel and along the way dropped off everyone else.
As we drove through Cancun it was dark, and I was very impressed by what I was seeing. The resort looked awesome. The bus finally arrived at my hotel, which was the Riu Palace Las Americas: A 4 star all-inclusive resort in a prime location near all the bars and clubs.
I checked into the hotel and was very impressed. The hotel was truly beautiful with a jaw-dropping lobby. I got my room key and went to my room which again was pretty awesome, on the first floor with a sea view and balcony. Nice.
Even after my very long trip I wanted to go check out the hotel, which I did and was very impressed. I had chosen well. I then decided I wanted to go and dip my toes in the sea as I had never been to the Caribbean before. I wanted to see if the water really was as warm as everyone said, and yes, it was like bath water.
I went to the main bar and sat down, I ordered a drink and took it all in. It had been a very long day. I got talking to a guy sitting next to me at the bar and he was also from England. He asked if I had just arrived, to which I said yes and struck up a conversation. He said I was lucky as the weather had been bad the last few days with heavy rain but it cleared up the day I arrived. After talking to him for a while he said that a few of them was about to go off to a nightclub and did I fancy going? I thought about it but decided better of it as I was so tired after a very long day of traveling so I retired and went to bed.
The next day I woke early and… wow. I looked out over my balcony and saw the Caribbean with my own eyes for the first time the water was so clear. I went down and got myself a sun bed and headed for the bar for my first but not last beer of the day, and sat chilling in the sun. I managed to strike up many conversations with others in and around the pool and before I knew it I conversations were flowing. Many of these people I ended up spending plenty of time with, and even got invited to dinner with many of them which made going for dinner more fun.
I won’t lie this is where many people would not enjoy travelling alone, walking into a restaurant and asking for a table for one is not the most pleasurable of experiences, and some nights even I felt a little uncomfortable with the occasional glance from people who had noticed me eating alone. It tends to be the case that after a few days, the waiters will make the experience more pleasant for you by finding you a discreet table and coming over checking up on you, which is nice (even though they may just be looking for a good tip).Talking of tips “Take a book or a phone with you so when you waiting for your food you have something to keep you busy while you wait for your food”. I found this helps with the slight awkwardness when eating by yourself.
Over the following days, I continued to make lots of friends and went out clubbing 9 nights in a row with a lot of these people.
Clubs I went to were the following with my score out of 10 for how good I thought they were.
Coco bongo -9/10Senor Frogs 7/10Bulldog Cancun 8/10Dady’O 7/10Dady Rock 6/10The City Nightclub 7/10Basic Discotheque 6/10
I felt totally at ease having many people to talk eat and drink with, even though I saw a lot of faces come and go as it was mainly Americans at the hotel. They tend to have short vacations unlike us Europeans who tend to have 2 week trips. I kept in touch with many people I met in Mexico and still do till this day.
When my time was up and I was ready to come home, I remember thinking what a fabulous success my solo trip had been and how I could not wait to book my next one, which I did and many more since and will continue to keep doing.
I hope I have not gone on too long about the experience. If you are thinking of going solo take it from me that the first time is rather scary, but you will come home so proud of yourself for doing it and you will be so ready to go again. From then on, each time you do it just gets easier.
Go for it.