In 2017, I took my first trip out west and fell in love. From the terrain to the people, it was a whole different side of America that I desperately needed to see. Over the past few years, I ventured back out west at least once per year. I’ve gone as far north as Alaska and as far south as California.
Adding Asia to the List
After a 2018 spring trip to Colorodo and Utah, my friends and I decided it was time we changed things up a bit and head to Asia. Because two of my friends spoke Japanese, Japan was their first choice. However, I pitched the Maldives, which was closer, less expensive, and offered a tropical escape.
Along comes 2019, which was not only the year for going to the Maldives, but also the year I wanted to purchase real estate. Other members of the group also had big lifechanges planned: graduating college, moving out on their own, pursuing a new business venture, and so on.
I asked if everyone was still onboard for the trip as I knew it was expensive, especially in light of other costly plans we had made in our own personal lives. One person pulled out and another remained. Thereafter, a few other people joined the trip, but later had to pull out as well for various reasons.
Before booking the ticket, I verified whether or not the last remaining person was still onboard as it was now or never before tickets went up in price. I received confirmation, so I booked my ticket. I confirmed again for the hotel, and having received another yes, booked the two rooms on my credit card.
The Last-Minute Bailing
Then, two months after I booked my ticket, a month after I booked the hotel room and seven days before the flight, the last person pulled out. So now, I am taking my first solo international trip (not counting any in the Americas) to a Muslim country, alone, as a woman. Apparently, in the past 18 months, the only person who made solid and unshakable plans for the trip was myself.
As an only child, I have zero concerns about travelling alone. As a matter of fact, I have a solo trip to Cali already booked for just three weeks after I return to Atlanta. I got three different offers for tag-alongs for that trip and told them no.
I want to experience the California Mojave desert alone for my 30th birthday. My family and friends think that’s insane. Like I said, I’m an only child. Prior to moving to the United States, I lived on my own for ten wonderful years. I don’t love anyone’s company more than I love my own — well, except maybe the cat.
Other Options Ruined
Still, had I known I was going to be on my own, I would not have chosen the Maldives. I flew over Europe to get here. I could have gone to the UK or Spain or Italy or France. I could have gone home to Jamaica to see my nephew christened, which I will now miss. For the cost of this one trip, I could have returned out west three times as I prepare for the 2020 move.
If I said I was pissed, it would be a gross understatement. But, I have always been one to dwell on the solutions as opposed to the problem. I didn’t choose three visits out west or book a ticket to Jamaica. I chose a two-week trip to the Maldives, and as far as problems go, it’s a nice one to have.
The Early Pullouts
What I do know is that I won’t be planning any more group trips outside of romantic getaways for two or trips with my family. I had a huge mess trying to clear my credit card after booking accomodations. The person waited out the weeks until the final charge hit my credit card to say anything.
I am really grateful for the friends who pulled out early. They caused me no grief, because I had plenty of time to plan around their absence. But, after this last-minute bailing, which almost happened on another trip last year, where I also had to take the unexpected credit card hit? I’m done.
Solo Trips Ahead
Going forward, most — if not all — of my trips will be solo. If other people want to match their itinerary to mine so that we can be in the same place at the same time, that’s fine. I might even be up for a road trip or two with a friend on my side of the country.
But, I don’t think I want to do any group trips outside of family ever again. The most successful plans I ever make are the ones that only involve myself. It is what it is. So far, the only persons who have never cancelled any trips on me are my parents. Like me, when they say they’re going, they’re going.
Solo Trip to the Maldives Series
That said, over the next two weeks, I’ll be blogging from white sands and turquoise beaches in the Maldives. For those of you following me on social media, you’ve probably already seen my updates so far.
I’m not quite done with The New Driver Series, so you will continue to see those over the next few days. I’ll have a lot of time on my hands anyway. I may as well spend some of it blogging. 😌