Time to Reflect.

Testing the water……

My first adventure was not particularly fancy, nor was it big……..just me, my little car and legs for walking.

Back in October 2016 I thought sod it, I’m going away on my own. I was in an relationship at the time, with a guy who was going through a particularly tough time with his mental health. We’d started dating back in the Spring and things were looking promising, but it wasn’t long before the ‘Black Dog’ returned and ended up being the third wheel in our relationship. As his mental health deteriorated, my life got taken over by his constant need for my support. Doctors visits became trips to A&E, counselors and then eventually to the psychiatrists office. My summer holidays were spent driving backwards and forwards between our two homes {his being over an hours drive away} and basically being at his beck & call. What could I do? Threats of suicide and him wanting to run away couldn’t be ignored. Did I have a choice? On reflections maybe yes, but at the time he seemed to rely on me so heavily that I felt there was no escape, or if there had been, it could have had devastating consequences.

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

So 6 months into the relationship I felt I needed to get away and clear my own mind…….have some time to myself. To look after my own mental health, and get a grip back on reality and my life. The Summer holidays had been a complete disaster and every waking moment was spent worrying about him {and I’m not a natural worrier} so, I decided {selfishly?} to make the most of my week off work for half term and just bugger of somewhere. Sure I’d missed the best of the weather, but Autumn’s not so bad and so long as it stayed dry {fingers crossed} I was sure I was going to have an OK time.

I’d never been away on my own before so this was going to be a big step. I’d often felt I should just do something by myself but never been brave enough, maybe this was the push I needed………..maybe he was my ‘reason’ {a reason, a season or a Lifetime}.


You don’t need to go big or extravagant to have a real adventure, it’s ok to start small and build momentum along the way. You learn how to get comfortable, then you can build on your success the next time . It might be marmite, but unless you take that first step you will never know if escaping the mundane makes the mundane more bearable. Seriously, I had nothing to lose.

So……….let’s start small.

As kids we holidayed in Pembrokeshire and Devon; being from the West Midands I guess these were the easiest options and so I’d carried on this tradition with my own family when my children were small and cute! I could’ve picked the easy option and gone somewhere familiar and comfortable, and if you’re reading this and thinking of going solo for the first time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, I felt a need to challenge myself {competitive by nature}, so somewhere new that held no memories would be an opportunity to create new ones, and somewhere I could revisit under different circumstances in the future………maybe? So I booked myself a room in a ‘pub with rooms’ in Great Massingham on the North Norfolk coast.

The room was booked!……I was doing this…….but moments of panic and self doubt set in during the weeks leading up to my small safe trip. The sensible confident me knew it was going to be fine, but the not so confident quiet me was telling me differently. I couldn’t help doubting myself…..it’s human nature right? I’m always preaching that the thought of doing something is always worse than the actual act itself; time to follow my own advice.

My mind was going crazy bonkers conjuring up all sorts of things that could go wrong, mostly on the drive over there……..I mean what would I do if the wheel fell off my car {highly unlikely} and what could actually go wrong? The chances of bad things happening are minimal, I just needed to get a grip and seize the opportunity. And if disaster happened, it would make a great story.

Great Massingham is a cute little village……….think Midsummer Murders! A church, a green, even a duck pond and obviously a pub. The Dabbling Duck, perfect for some alone time, a comfortable snug bar area and lovely cosy restaurant complete with log burner. I’d blend in no problem and I was sure nobody would even notice me. Either that or I would get mistaken for a ‘food critic’ and get the best service ever……..unfortunately I don’t think this was the case, the food and service however, were great.

North Norfollk has vast expanses of beach………I’m talking bloody massive and apparently {just found this out } it’s the only location in the east that has west facing beaches, therefore, the sun sets over the sea! Had I known this prior to my stay, there would be an epic beach sunset picture below…….but I didn’t……so there isn’t! Apologies to my readers and the Norolk tourist board!

My time was spent just wandering along beaches with my own thoughts. At times I felt like an utter twat being on my own ……. no child, dog or significant other which seem to be standard walking accessories, but it didn’t matter. I liked my own company and the fact I didn’t feel forced into making conversation with people. The skies in Norfolk are massive and the dry bright weather successfully magnified the fact…….yes, I know the sky is the same size no matter where you are but Norfolk is literally as flat as a pancake so no bloody great hills interrupting it, and with no bloody great hills, the view is literally just sky.

The trip wasn’t epic, I did nothing spectacular. I just put one foot in front of the other and wandered along. There were beachy beaches, a beach with a ship wreck, beaches with sand dunes and a beach with a forest. Some of them full of families making the most of their half term break and others with barely a soul in sight. I went on a boat trip to Blakeney Point to see the seals; it was rough out at sea and I can’t say that I was really enjoying it and I put on a good show for the 3 year old who also didn’t feel safe {I don’t travel well on water} but the promise of seeing the seals made it more bearable, I was just thankful that I hadn’t had time to eat beforehand………and no way was I risking taking my phone out to take photo’s, but I promise you I saw seals. And I wandered around small villages mooching in the tiny little shops thinking what a refreshing change it was not to be in a never ending shopping mall full of people rushing about and looking totally pissed off.

I loved my little room and it turned out I was comfortable eating on my own, just sitting people watching. Alone with my own thoughts and the fire crackling gently in the background. I had my phone as back up if I started to feel awkward and thankfully, if I remember right, I even had phone service, and I had a book, standard singleton accessories. But i didn’t need them, I was comfortable. Everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to even notice me, why I thought they would I don’t know.

So, I now knew that a) I liked my own company. b) wheels just don’t fall off cars and c) It’s ok to be on your own, nobody cares. I now had a thirst for adventure, to do more on my own, but when would I next get the opportunity? For sure I was going to make plans, but when would they come to fruition I didn’t know. All I knew was…….this is ok, I can do it……..more of the same please. And yes, the mundane is more bearable when you have a sense of achievement and a story to tell.

Thank you, I hope you enjoyed reading.

I’m interested to hear if you have embarked on a mini adventure on your own or if it is something you would like to do. Where would you go? Drop me a comment below, let’s hear your thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “Time to Reflect.

  1. There’s a film, trying to remember the name, with Katherine Hepburn, and she goes on holiday to Venice. In St Mark’s Square, she sits in a cafe for coffee, and tips the chair next to her forward, to make it look like she’s not alone. (The film is “Summertime” 1955). I have always remembered that scene, and how I relate to it. We really don’t need another to feel whole or to validate ourselves.
    Your trip to Norfolk was simple yet significant. No, wheels don’t drop off, in reality or metaphorically, but it does take a leap of faith to go. I need to do it, but don’t know when.
    In my sketchbook, I’ve found a little poem that echoes your blog:
    “There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky,
    And you ask, What if I fall?
    Oh my darling, what if you fly?”

    Feeling a need to google, but need to lose the guilt.

    Liked by 1 person

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