The alarm goes off at 3am and I get up to get my travel day going. I woke up this morning feeling excited and nervous at the same time. Excited that I am embarking on an adventure and nervous that I am doing it alone.
Now, I have traveled alone plenty of times, but once I arrive to my destination, there is usually someone or something waiting for me. This time, I didn’t know what was waiting for me—a good time, sadness, feelings of loneliness. I wasn’t sure, but I was willing to find out.
Fist stop, the airport. I was starving to I grab a table at O’Charley’s in the Nashville airport. My server takes my order and ask where I’m headed. I reply, “On a cruise.” He responds, “Are you meeting up with some friends?” I replied, “No, I’m going alone.” For a nanosecond, it echoed in my head….”alone”. Then I instantly felt like a bad ass! Yes, alone!
He was shocked but didn’t pass judgment and immediately understood once I explained that I was ready for a vacation and I honestly wanted to go alone so that I can do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and how I wanted it done. I wanted to consume myself with pleasing me, not having to worry about anyone else’s happiness.
“Traveling alone is the single best gift you can give yourself.”
After a great breakfast, I caught my flight and arrived in Fort Lauderdale where my driver was waiting to pick me up and transport me to Miami to board the amazing Norwegian Escape.
I arrived on the cruise ship just in time for lunch because I was famished. After a wonderful lunch, I headed to the pool area and sat poolside while sipping on a couple of cocktails just enjoying the sunny Miami weather and soaking in the fact that I was on vacation.
After a few cocktails and a long day of travel, I headed to my room to take a short nap before the Muster Drill. So far, the day was perfect. Now if I was with others, i would not have been able to take a nape because someone would have said, “You can sleep at home. We are on vacation.” But actually, I cannot sleep at home because I have work, I have clients, house work, errands, laundry….I could go on and on but that is not the point of this blog (smile).
After the Muster Drill, I headed back to my room to freshen up and see what the night has to offer me. First stop was the solo cruiser mixer. This was a gathering of people who were cruising alone. It was great to meet other solo cruisers and to hear their stories on why they chose to cruise alone.
The majority of the people had the same story—-they wanted a vacation and didn’t want to be bothered with the excuses of their friends and family on why they could not travel. One young girl looked to be in her early 30’s, it was her birthday and she was tired of the same group dinner at a restaurant every year. She wanted to be out of the country for her birthday, so she booked the cruise a couple of days prior to departure.
It was a great time getting to know each other and Norwegian Cruise Line has a daily schedule of activities for solo cruisers. It was a great idea and concept.
After the meet & greet, I went to dinner followed by sitting in the atrium to listen to some soulful music and sipping on more cocktails.
Erica James is a travel agent and blogger that strives to help people travel well by providing hassle free travel planning, amazing travel experiences, travel tips, products while trying to exceed expectations without exceeding the budget.