My Travel Buddy Bailed On Me 7 Days Before a Trip to the Maldives That We’d Been Planning for 18 Months

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.

T1 Alexis Chateau Photographing Torrey Pines

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.

Multiple Confirmations

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. 😌

38 thoughts on “My Travel Buddy Bailed On Me 7 Days Before a Trip to the Maldives That We’d Been Planning for 18 Months

  1. Alexis, your positive attitude is definitely #PersonalGrowthGoals for me. Your fierce independence, your inner strength, and your passion for life are all inspiring. #thisiswhyiloveyou

    1. Thanks Cynthia! 🤗 I just try to move forward, or we’ll lose the present trying to make up for the past. Any idea when you’ll be coming to ATL yet?

  2. So disappointing! But at least you are now free to enjoy the experience exactly how you want to, without niggles from those who would prefer to do the hotel than the beach, for example.

    1. Exactly! I also have no set schedule. When you’re with friends, you generally have to come up with a plan so everyone is on the same page. I don’t need a plan when I’m by myself, so I can just relax. 🙂

  3. I am very sorry that you have been let down at the 11th hour: it’s just not nice or fair. I have come to learn that if I want to do something, I mustn’t rely on other people and over the years I have lost faith in organising things in groups, so I’ve become very independent.

    I am sure you’ll enjoy your holiday all the more, without other people telling you what to do or not to do. Have fun. I can’t wait to see pictures.

    1. At the last minute, I don’t think any normal person can afford a last-minute ticket halfway around the world.

      This friend though has been unreliable for a while with other things. I should have probably known better than to think he would keep his word on this.

      1. I see. That explains a lot. I would have divorced the man by now. I can only hope he makes up for his deceit in other ways. Try and enjoy your trip, though.

      2. Well, the upside is that he never objects to or fusses over me travelling with my friends, which are all mostly guys. I’ve met a few women who used to travel a lot before marriage but who then found themselves caged thereafter. Their husbands didn’t like the idea of them jetsetting around the world alone or with male/female company and they felt that if they didn’t “obey”, it would negatively impact their marriage. I’m grateful that I at least don’t have that problem. 😅

        As for the trip, so far so good. It’s the last of the monsoon rainy season here, but I’ve been lucky to have mostly sunny days so far. The privacy is also nice. Usually when it’s a group or two of us, you don’t really get a moment to yourself. It’s been nice to just be able to go to my room and lock the door and shut out communications until I feel like talking.

        I do check in with everyone back home though. You know my mom especially is tearing her hair out 😂 No one is as distraught as Shadow though, poor thing. He’s been crying and whining about the house and mostly refuses to leave my room. Mom says he went upstairs to see her for the first time today since I’ve been gone. My poor baby!!

      3. That’s a consolation, I suppose, and if it works for you two, who am I to say? But cancelling your honeymoon sucks!
        I know how hard it is to leave a pet behind. We left Beano with a friend last February and I missed him like crazy. Cats are more independent, but I’m sure Shadow misses you just as much. On the bright side time flies! 😀

      4. What appalled me more than anything else was that his mommy was making decisions on his behalf that I was not “allowed” to contradict. I was furious at the time, but I’m over it now.

        I did get to go back to Jamaica last year and I’m glad I went alone. It allowed me to focus on catching up with friends and family instead of playing tour guide. Mom did the same thing too when she returned to Jamaica for the first time and for the same reason. She left dad here. He’s going with her this year though. It will be her second time back. ☺️

        Shadow is a very affectionate and needy cat.😅 He hates to be left alone and especially hates when I’m the one who’s gone. He’s a semi feral and they only become truly attached to one person, which happens to be me in his case. So even though he has company right now, it doesn’t really suffice in his poor little kitty eyes.

        Why did you end up leaving Beano behind?

      5. Thanks for explaining all this personal history to me and it makes sense: I’ve been to Spain several times without Peter just to be with my family and not have to worry about him, but most of our holidays we spend together.
        We had to leave Beano behind because we flew for a short 4-day visit to Peter’s parents when he was recovering from his cancer treatment.

      6. That’s ok. I get asked all the time why he never travels with me.

        I suppose it’s fairly normal then for us women to return to our home countries without the foreign husband 😂 Now that I think about it, I think all my friends do this. One friend only just took her husband back with her to Jamaica for the first time. They’ve been married for four years.

        Oh, I see. Is it difficult to travel with a dog on flights in Europe? I imagine having that second responsibility on arrival would have only made things more hectic as well.

      7. To be honest, I wouldn’t put my pet on a plane unless I was relocating to a new continent. It is, of course, possible, but every time a pet is taken out of the UK, it needs to be taken to a vet between 5 days and 24 hours before returning to the country for a health check and worming tablets. Last time we did this a couple of weeks ago, it cost us €42. It is simply not worth it for a such a short trip.

  4. If anyone could handle a group vacay turned solo trip, it’s Alexis Chateau! I’m looking forward to your pictures and reading your blogs. Like you, I have no luck with group trips either so I mostly go out with my boyfriend, my family or myself. I’m learning to fall in love with my own company.

    1. Oh, and I should add. People message me all the time saying omg I want to explore Jamaica too! Take me on your trips. Then I invite them, they say yes then bail last minute and I say, ah nope! Not again. I hate it. Just tell me no from the get-go! Now when people send me those messages or comment on my pics, I just smugly chuckle to myself.

      1. Same here with Americans! They like the idea of going out and being adventurous, but lack an actually adventurous spirit. Can’t take them. The people who pulled out early all had legitimate reasons and were newcomers though, but this last one was the one who wanted to go to Asia in the first place. Kmt. People, I tell you!

    2. Thanks Rochelle!

      Luckily, I’ve always been in love with my own company. I haven’t had much luck with romantic getaways either to be honest. I just let him know when I’m leaving the country. 😂

      It’s been good so far. Because I chose an Airbnb instead of a hotel, it’s not like I’m 100% alone. I have breakfast with my host and the staff is very friendly. 🙂

    1. Thank you! That’s how I’m considering it. I’ve barely had any solo time recently, so I’m collecting a half a year’s worth in lump sum!

      Doesn’t excuse the behaviour of that person though. It’s going to be a long time before they ever live this one down with me.

      1. He has a lot of making up to do, that’s for sure. Until then, I’m taking my space. This was no usual cancelling for a hike or a movie after all.

      2. I agree. Even if he apologizes you do not have to forgive him until your ready. I have also been betrayed by a friend – we are still friends, but it is just not the same. Wishing yours turns out better, even stronger.

    1. Thank you! I don’t mind the early exits. They also all had legitimate reasons. Two said it was too expensive, one was struggling to find a sitter, another is getting married and the last one had her immigration interview with Uncle Sam scheduled right in the middle of the vacation time.

      The person who pulled out last minute said they just didn’t feel like the trip was “right” for them. 18 months of planning to tell me this the day before. They get the selfish award for this year.

  5. I hope it’s a great (solo) vacation. Yeah, sucks that your traveling companion pulled out so late in the game, but it does look like a gorgeous place. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Trent! It’s been so far. It takes some adjusting to, but I like it here. I stayed at an Airbnb instead of a hotel, so having a host is also more personal and helpful. 🙂

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