That was a question I recently asked myself upon completion of an impulsive booking of a trip to Europe. My typical modus operandi is to research, research and do more research to select a vacation destination. And, usually, once I decide where I’m going and subsequently purchase the main ingredients of the trip (e.g. plane tickets, cruise booking, hotel arrangements, etc.), I tend to spend months upon months doing more investigation as to the destination and what to do upon arrival. The planning and anticipation phase of the vacation are a large part of what I love about traveling. So, it was quite unlike me to sit down on a Saturday morning, browse vacation ideas and promptly hit the “purchase” button, without much forward thinking consideration, on a cruise that departs in less than two weeks’ time.
The backstory of this atypical rash decision is simple. For quite some time, I’d been trying to figure out where to go and with whom for my next vacation, since the black cloud of depression (not clinical, but rather no-travel-plans-induced-depression) was descending upon me. However, schedules and the stars did not align for me to make plans with any of my friends. So, that fateful Saturday morning, I longingly began browsing a variety of travel sites and stumbled upon a Norwegian fjord cruise from Copenhagen that was so inexpensive, I apparently couldn’t pass it up. The next thing I knew, I was giving my credit card number to NCL once again for a vacation this time planned as a solo traveler.
Thus commenced a series of quick decisions on flights to Denmark, pre-cruise lodging arrangements in Copenhagen, and activities for each city on the new travel itinerary. I have to admit that I second guessed myself for a minute or two as to the wisdom of planning a trip like this on the fly. But as the short window leading up to my departure started to close, my excitement at the opportunity to experience Copenhagen and the cruise independently grew exponentially. So, here I sit in Zurich awaiting my connection to Copenhagen after an extremely pleasant flight from Miami on Swiss Air, wherein I was afforded an entire three seat row to cross the Atlantic in relative comfort.
I’ve traveled independently for pleasure when I’ve extended work trips to a variety of locations including New York City and Dubai, and I’ve also had some solo excursions for short periods of time when traveling with friends; but this is a first for me to plan a purely vacation trip as a solo traveler. While I miss the days of having my son as my built-in travel buddy, I anxiously anticipate this opportunity to experience a trip intentionally planned solo. Time will tell if this is an endeavor I’ll choose to repeat.