Whilst I have had a lovely time away soaking up the sun, eating for Australia and stimulating the Far North Queensland economy with various purchases of the bling kind, it has been bittersweet. That is because this mini-break was conducted sans Eady. Having a high falutin finance job like he does, Eady is up to his ears in budget forecasts for the next financial year right now and couldn't take any time off, even on the weekend, to fly up to FNQ. As luck would have it, I had a very small window in which to travel too. I was in dire need of getting away and needed to do it before the school holidays (due to a massive phobia I have about holidaying whilst surrounded by noisy, splashy children that don't belong to me) and before my next lot of work commitments kick in in July.
It was my first ever holiday by myself in my entire life and it was an interesting experience for the most part. I am used to travelling solo for work, something that has been part of my life pretty much since I graduated and took on my first "professional" role. I have travelled for extended periods and have been perfectly happy to occupy myself on weekends or even to take some leave whilst away on work travel to have a bit of a holiday (Monaco Grand Prix, yeah!). However, after this experience, I do feel that travelling alone for pleasure might be slightly different to travelling alone for work, for me anyway. I am not sure whether this has a purely psychological basis i.e. that I was very self-conscious of other people looking at me dining solo because I wasn't travelling for work and wasn't surrounded by other workers in the same position or if my paranoia was actually warranted - the holiday spot I went to tends to get predominantly holiday-makers, families and couples, so aren't really used to having females dining on their own. I got some unusual looks and reactions ranging from disparaging to incredulous (I assume because I was on my own but perhaps my ksubi coloured jeans were a bit too much...) from staff at one restaurant and staff at one pub and interesting enough, all of the staff involved were guys in their late 20s. Luckily for me, I have developed a pretty thick skin (or a healthy disregard of my acute paranoias!) and these reactions didn't bother me enough to force me into hiding away in my hotel room. It just meant I took my tourist dollars elsewhere and enjoyed some fabulous food in more comfortable surrounds. Bingo.
And on that note, I had better rush to the airport. My flight home to Eady is very soon!