BY: CAROLINE ROLF
You rubbed your bleary eyes as you awoke this morning, hung over from last night and in desperate need of brunch. You made the mistake of venturing to a brunch spot today and it became painfully obvious what day it is. February 14th, better known as Valentine’s Day.
Today marks a Hallmark holiday where lovers eat only fondue and stare deeply into each other’s eyes. To avoid this money grab and happiness, you’ve ordered the heart-shaped pizza for delivery, but are extra careful not to open the door wide enough to reveal that there’s only a place setting for one. Hopefully there is some old wine in the fridge.
So you’re single. But why does today have to be a reminder of how much you hate happiness? Stop tallying how many months it’s been since you last got laid and do something awesome for that someone who deserves your love every day of the year – you.
If you don’t have a partner to travel with on Valentine’s Day, why not go solo? Unaccompanied travel is increasing and I can see why. It offers you full control of how you experience your destination. You don’t need to compromise your itinerary for window shopping with your sister or fitting in every crowded tourist spot with a large group. The only thing you need to worry about is what local pub you’ll go to that night.
Taking a trip sans “honey bottom snuggle bear” might be the motivation you need to break out of your rut and meet new and interesting people. This also means you can indulge in what truly satisfies you without any judgment or guilt. Hell yeah you want the same size bread basket the table of six has!
Here are a few suggestions of countries to visit that will make you question why you wanted to be a part of such a crazy holiday in the first place:
1. New Zealand
New Zealand is quite possibly the easiest way to forget your stuffy day job and embrace a new culture if you’re new to travelling alone. This island country has got it all – natural beauty, clear waters and more mountain hiking trails than you could imagine. I can see why Lord of the Rings was filmed here. Free your mind of those pesky lovey-dovey Orcs back home and try bungee jumping!
If you’re thinking of exploring England, but are still unsure about travelling by yourself then London might be the place for you. It’s easy to find other excited tourists in the capital, which is perfect for bonding over drinks and how repugnant your exes are. You can spend your day at the Natural History Museum or take your time wandering through the many quirky markets and boutiques.
If the last two destinations are too boring for your taste, why not travel to Japan? Over 40 per cent of 20-something Japanese singles have no interest in romantic partnership, so you’ll fit right in at the diner full of others who share your relationship status. Japan is bustling with vibrant culture and rich history that you need to understand at your own pace.
Known for its beaches, rainforests and number of influences from neighbouring countries, Malaysia is the place to explore solo – for cheap! A flight can be booked last minute for a mere fraction of what the other destinations on this list cost. Travel within the country is very inexpensive too. Enjoy the curry-infused cuisine and all the attractions both naturally beautiful and blissfully entertaining.
5. New York
The best needed to be saved for last. If there’s anything you feel like doing, you can do it in New York. The intricate neighbourhoods are packed with art galleries, architecture, bars, fashion, restaurants and everything in between to help you forget that you’re going to die alone. Treat yourself to high-end labels or visit a free art show and appreciate something far from your comfort zone. Maybe you won’t have to live a lonely life if you meet your soulmate at the Seinfeld restaurant
He might not be calling, but adventure is. So if you don’t have dinner reservations tonight, book a flight for some much needed self discovery time.