I’m a huge fan of spontaneity. There’s nothing I love more than packing my bags and venturing off somewhere new for a complete change of scenery. Waking up to seagulls outside with the seaside breeze coming through the window – it’s something I dream about a lot.
I don’t do it nearly often enough though. Like so many other people, the day job and children tend to take precedence. However, there are certain times of the year when I do pack up and explore, and Valentine’s Day is definitely one of those times.
You see, I’m a single woman and Valentine’s Day is one celebration I dread. I know I’m not alone. I have a lot of friends, male and female, who are single and it’s no big deal. However, when Valentine’s Day approaches, I get itchy feet. I want to escape the adverts, the love hearts, the ‘cute’ teddy bears, the colour red everywhere.
Instead, I want to walk along windswept beaches, eat all the things I avoid in January, read the book that’s been sitting, unread, on my Shelf of Shame for years, and find a hotel somewhere that will be my bolthole for a weekend.
Being a single parent, it’s often difficult, logistically and otherwise, to just disappear for a day or two to another part of the country. But here’s the thing: in my experience, putting yourself first and taking a little ‘time out’ can recharge your batteries so that you can get back on that hamster wheel of life and do what you need to do.
Plus, there’s always the option of taking the kids with you. If they’re anything like my nine-year-old son, the idea of a hotel buffet breakfast alone is incentive enough!
So this year, I’m going to go to book a trip to Brighton and show my son the sights. I’ve always been of the mind-set that travelling doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you book it far enough in advance, so I’ve done my research, and planned ahead to get a good deal.
We’re going to shop in the Lanes, throw stones into the sea, eat fish and chips on the pier, go on the bumper cars, and have as much fun as we can in one weekend.
The Travelodge Brighton Seafront has Wi-Fi so he’ll even get his fix of his favourite apps, and I’ll get a well-needed break, when we get back to the hotel.
I cannot wait.
To those singletons amongst you, don’t let being single on Valentine’s Day stop you doing what you want to do – after all, it’s just another day. But if, like me, you like the idea of a little break to escape the red hearts and booked out restaurants, do it. Seriously. Put a little money aside each week, and think about the things you like doing that make you happy.
You’ll be amazed at how a change of scenery can give you a little injection of energy to see you through to the summer, when you can plan your next adventure!