Going Solo

Nope, I’m not about to do a book review of one of my favourites from Roald Dahl’s selections but I’m here to tell you about my experience of going solo in 2016. 

“Please don’t put such ideas (of flying solo) into my wife’s head. Thank you.”

“Aren’t you bored or lonely eating and sightseeing by yourself?”

These were the comments that I received when I announced that I was going solo for the very first time in my life in June 2016. While it was true that Tokyo is possibly my favourite city in this part of the world, and I’ve made countless trips there, the thrill of going places all by myself was irresistible. I’ve never regretted that solo trip, so let me share with you the reasons that made my trip memorable and enjoyable. 

1. Staying connected with friends.

Even though I was far away on my own, I was in constant contact with a colleague who made sure I wasn’t too bored and that I was alright. She would text me to ask if I had arrived safely at the airport and whether I had checked into the hotel. It’s always nice to know you’re in someone else’s thoughts when you’re worlds apart for a few days. 

2. The excitement of being unsupervised.

I was free to go anywhere I wanted, and I did not have to report to anyone. I could stay out all day at the Oedo Onsen Monogatari, DisneySea and Tokyo Skytree, and there was no one to tell me I could not do this or that. Suddenly, I had to make every decision myself.. where to go, how to travel, what to eat and what to buy. That sense of entitlement felt empowering, to say the least. 🙂 

3. The comfort and cleanliness of a hotel just beside the train station.

This has always been a top priority in all of my travel plans. If I’m headed for Tokyo, Omori Tokyu Inn would have been my number 1 choice, but this time round, it was fully booked, so I settled for the Akihabara Washington Hotel, which was situated near the Akihabara station. It was convenient and accessible, as the station was on the Yamanote line, which was a popular line in Tokyo for many tourist attractions and places for shopping. 

4. Craving for sweets duly satisfied!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the recently popularised Pablo cheesecake shop near my hotel! Pablo is famous for the way we could have our cheesecakes – medium or rare. I’m not a dessert connoisseur, but you can serve me desserts all day and I would never say no! 

5. Collecting Starbucks souvenirs.

I’m a fan of Starbucks, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful array of designs across the tumblers in Starbucks. Each depicted a different prefecture in Japan, and I was impressed by the symbols and colours chosen for each of them. In the end, I picked 3 to take home with me – Kyoto, Senda and Nagoya, simply because I was drawn to the regal and bold colours of gold, black, real and aquamarine. Nagano would be an excellent choice as well, but I decided not to give in to temptation. Who knows, perhaps in the not so distant future, I’ll get a few more tumblers, and if I’m ever so lucky, I’ll get the cherry blossom ones too! 

I could wax lyrical about how I’ve fallen in love with Japan, and I am happy to report that even for the hubs, it’s the same! It’s the first time that I’ve gone off on my own without him, but because it’s Japan, I’d do it all over again without batting an eyelid. 

So go on, I encourage you to consider going solo, because Y.O.L.O, and there is no better time than now to do it.

Get ready to live, laugh and love, and discover the joy of independence while going on an adventure of a lifetime.

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