Ok guys, so I decided to treat myself for my birthday last year, to my First Solo Vacation.
Even though I've sat in a plane alone 99% of my life, this was quite different:
I arrived in a foreign country for the 1st time AND i didn't know anybody.
My daily activities were entirely up to ME,
and well, my wallet too, lol!
It's by far something I would recommend anybody to do, at least once in your life! I know Millenials may have strong resistance from their parents/family, but I do hope each of you get to go solo at some point in your life.
The Crazy Journey
Aaarrgghh!!! Immigration/Customs officers at the airport!! Oh my, sorry but I am not carrying anything illicit on my person nor in my luggage. That's never gonna happen, Dude!
I think this airport officer assumed he had won the Jackpot by spotting me & taking me to that "special room" in order to search my luggage. Nope, not me!! I simply told him, with a smile, that I understand that I fit a certain "stereotype" and that I am not shocked that he stopped me!
Oooohhhh, his facial expression, upon ending emptying my luggage and realizing that he had totally wasted his time was ooohh ssooo
Ahahaah! Ddduhhh!! My mom raised me better than that!!
To Mrs Sarcasm & Mr iPod, Thank You for being in my life to handle this world's nonsense!!
While packing back my luggage (keeping my sarcastic smile on my face), I told him that it is My Birthday and that i am looking forward to getting to my final destination & having a Grand Time!! "Have a Good Day Sir!!" And Off i went to eat before hoping onto my connecting flight!! He WAS NOT entitled to spoil my Special Day!!
Touching Down: Welcome To Another Caribbean Jewel
Landing in Nassau, Bahamas after such a long journey made it all worth it!! Now I'm standing in Front of the Atlantis Customers Desk at the airport, being pointed at the shuttle bus. I felt a sudden Rush taking over my Soul (lol, that sounds poetic, maybe, lol, but it's the truth)!!! During my bus ride, I was the only woman riding solo!! Who cares!
Oh my, there it is in front of me, in the near horizon, getting closer and closer. I recognize its towers, looking so pretty and almighty in the dark. Now I feel like a little child who is approaching Disneyland. Yea, it was that bad, but the other passengers couldn't have guessed so, as I kept the excitement within, lol!!
Time to jump off the bus and off to the Check-in counter!! While waiting in the queue for my turn, I'm looking around....In Awe....Pinch Me... Am I really here?!!
A few interactions with the Friendly staff members I meet between the bus door and on my way to my room, and once I opened that door, it all sunk in!!
Woop Woop!! Aaawwww, that sweet welcoming Ocean view from my room's balcony, oh my!!! Can I sleep on the balcony tonight, just tonight?! lol...hmmm maybe not, the nightime breeze is kind of chilly, lol!
Ok, so it's my birthday, time to freshen up and head to the bar to at least have One Birthday Drink!! Easy peazy, I'm pumped!! But oh, 19 bars to choose from at the resort! Got some recommendations from a receptionist and here I was sipping on an awesome cocktail at Moon Bar. Yumm!! Ok now, drink is done and my energy bar is on low! Good Night!
Off to Some of Atlantis' Wonders
Fast forwarding to waking up the next morning!
Wow, look at that view!!! Say wwwhat!!!
Ok Ok, get over yourself now, please get off that balcony, jump in the shower and put on your Exploring Hat on!! Game on!!
This Resort is hhhuuuuggee!! Really!! After all, it features the world's largest open-air marine habitat; a 141-acre water park; 11 pools; 4 miles of beaches; a 18-hole, ocean front golf course; a large Casino, a theatre (and many other amenities).
You don't want to walk around from one of the resort's tower to another, no problem. There is a free shuttle for customers, driving around the resort if you want to, right through the day/night ( from 6am, till midnight or 2am, depending on the day)!! This resort is literally like a lil beach front City!
I tremendously enjoyed the large waterpark. After all, my closest friends call me "Water baby" way before I took this trip!!
Atlantis' most known attraction, "Leap of Faith", is one that most guests would not dare trying. Don't take my word for it, just search videos on the web about it, you will see why. Let me know in the Comment section whether you will dare, I'm curious!
Imagine a 60-foot waterslide,
standing almost in a totally vertical position!!!
I will have 2 pieces of advice for you about this particular slide:
- Don't do it if you have heart & height problems (same applies for all the other waterslides)
- Keep your eyes closed throughout! Eheheh! I can't begin to think what would have happened if I had left mine opened (eye lids flying off my face maybe?!)
But don't worry, this slide lasts approx. 7-10 seconds. I strongly believe this ride is meant only for Adrenaline Junkies. And yes, I'll totally do this again!
I will always remember how wobbly my legs felt when I landed in the pool at the end of that waterslide. The lifeguard and I had quite a laugh at the naughty words (of excitement) that came out of my mouth!! But guess what, the minute my feet got out of that pool and touched the ground, the adrenaline that suddenly rushed through my body, sent me straight to exploring other rides, non stop..... until hunger stroke!
So here is to Lunch time at one of the many (21) restaurants at the Resort: Shark Bites. Of course, I had a good time (4 waterslides and 1 river ride) but it was time to refuel. Seafood, oh yea, Bring it On! Yummo!! Thank you to Tamara, my favourite waitress at the resort and a new friend since then!
Had just enough time to eat and digest, while enjoying the live DJ's vibe, looking on as some of the guests (of all ages), doing the "watch me Nae Nae dance", among other entertaining things. My afternoon was about to get more exciting than that morning. But I'll cover it in another post.
The resort's map stayed fully opened on my room's table, throughout my stay. I can safely say that this "Holiday" was a full body workout, but I'd do it all over again. That's the kind of vacation that requires a few days to recover from when you get back home. Luckily, I did just that and was able to rest before going back out to work!
I have written another post which could serve as a guide should you plan to go to the Bahamas on vacation. Click here to Read More.
A Few Tips for Solo Travelers
Before you leave your country of residence:
- Do some extensive research about your chosen destinations (daily newspapers, maps, taxi/bus fares, tours prices, etc) for a minimum of 3 months prior your departure. This step will give you a certain sense of comfort once there. Walking the streets clueless and/or with an open map would not be recommended no matter your destination.
- It is preferred to create a travel budget as it will give you an idea of activities you can afford, an a rough idea of how much you can save towards this trip. You can download a Free Travel Budget Spreadsheet. However, i recommend you to be very flexible. Sometimes, it's good to just go with the flow instead of sticking to a tight agenda.
- Get a visa, vaccinations (if required) and travel insurance. Never think of the latter as a waste of money. One can never know when something bad will happen! And oh remember, you're away AND by yourself, right?
- Airplane fares are cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and outside school holidays, no matter your destination!
- Book your flight(s) no later than 8 weeks prior to departure, because airlines usually drop their prices to fill their seats.
- Don't forget to pack your vitamines and mediations, if you have any. A few healthy snacks (eg. cereal bars, nuts, prunes, crackers) in your backpack can come in handy to!
- Pack as light as possible, and if you must have a checked piece of luggage, ensure that you pack essentials, should your luggage get stuck somewhere or lost.
- Make copies of your passport and leave it and a few copies in your hotel room's safe. Leave your room with copies. Check your passport's validity prior to booking your trip. Most countries prefer giving you entry when your passport doesn't expire for another 6 months.
- Tell your loved ones where you'll be staying and arrange to check up with them daily.
- Take a book, ebooks, audiobooks and your favourite playlists along with you for the trip.
- Do not leave your hotel with too much cash and avoid going everywhere with your credit card.
- Be careful of your surrounding when opening your wallet. Do not exhibit its content.
- Do not make cash withdrawals at night.
- Do not wear expensive jewelry. It might be safer that you leave them at home.
- Do not venture into lonely or isolated streets or bad neighbourhood.
- Do not walk around with a map in your hand. However, there are apps you can download on your phone. You could download maps prior to leaving your hotel room, which you could access when offline. However, be careful where and how you handle your phone when in public.
- If you drink alcohol, please do so with moderation as it is best that you remain alert throughout your stay, for your own personal safety.
Tip for Ladies only. Pretend that you have a fictive boyfriend around: in a nearby shop, on his way to meet you...just make something up. It's best that people (especially Men) are unaware that you're flying solo! #punintended
- Prepare yourself to get "the look" because it is still "weird" for many people (locals & other tourists) to see a young woman roaming solo in a hotel or at tourist attractions (especially a Black woman). Luckily for me, I don't care what others think and find this behaviour quite irrelevant to my journey.
- Expect people to ask you a dozen times: "who are you going with?". Oh Maaannn, I had fun with the answers I must admit. My favourite one was: "with my bags". Short & Sweet! Lol!
So guys, don't be afraid to give this Solo Trip idea a chance in your life. It teaches you a lot, not only about your destination, but also and mostly about yourself. You will definitely come back home with a different outlook on life and yourself.
Let me know your take on this type of vacay in the Comments below! Have you gone Solo? If not, do you think you would muster the courage to do it?
Whatever what you chose ...Bon Voyage!