I've been offered a gorgeous house in the countryside for the weekend. It's a three hour drive from my home, in the mountains and it will be a fabulous retreat.
The thing is, I have been feeling very unsure about going alone. Which is a bit ridiculous because of course I can go and read good books, enjoy fabulous hiking, do things in my own time, sleep a lot, wake up late without any responsibility, swim and not have anyone ask me to pass them a towel, and write. I can write to my heart's content. There will be no pressure about what I cook and when, I won't be woken up by teenagers coming home late or by dogs who want to go outside.
So, why do I feel anxious about travelling alone? I think it is a stereotype thing. We are so used to doing things with either a partner or a friend that when we do them alone, women in particular, we feel 'odd.'
I am going to get right of this feeling 'odd'. I have decided that at the age of fifty I can do anything I want, at any time, on my own. And that includes having lunch alone or even, having dinner.
Which brings me to something else! When men sit in a restaurant dining alone, nobody bats an eyelid. But when women do it, people look. They feel, in this country anyway, that she must be lonely. Or that something is wrong.
Actually! It is time for me to really start enjoying my own company. And not worrying about what other people think. I'm going on this retreat. I'm going to buy tons of food, extra chocolate, some good wine and treat myself to a new book too.
And on the road trip I will wind down the windows, listen to Tom Waits, feel the wind through my hair and get into the open road.
Travelling. Whether we do it alone or with a friend, it's an adventure. And I'm definitely up for more adventures.