Thoughts and ramblings on doing The Yacht Week solo...
In retrospect, I'm not really sure what came over me when I handed over a thousand euros to a stranger on the internet for a spot on their catamaran for a week. Whatever the force was that drove me to do it, I'm so glad I did. Writing this, I'm about a month post yacht week. I've just about come down off the high that comes with a jam-packed itinerary, and I'm barely over the holiday blues that hit me hard afterwards.
I had been prompting our group chat to book this trip for the whole of last year, and most of this year. As most of the group have limited annual leave days, we prioritised our girls trip to Mykonos. It is a novel feeling to work for yourself and have the flexibility to book another holiday back to back. My mentality was, since I'm in Greece anyway, and I'm desperate to go on this trip, I may as well do it myself?
I know I'm comfortable and confident travelling solo, I did move to Dubai when I was 19. But I never did the gap year thing, and now that I'm 5 years into my career, I'm hit with a nostalgic FOMO feeling for these kind of Summers where you have no responsibilities or cares in the world, where you might just hostel-hop around Europe. So even though booking this trip is definitely a significantly more luxurious experience, and just 8 days, the thrill and the feeling of adventure was still very much there for me.
When I was exhausted after a delayed ferry ride from Mykonos to Athens, with a noisy bar right below our hostel keeping me up, did I wonder WTAF was I doing there? 100%.
The next day I met the strangers from the Facebook group and I was instantly relieved not only because they all were lovely, friendly and welcoming, but my own social battery was fully charged and ready for a week of meeting new people.
Usually I'm a little bit weary of the word vacation. Why are we vacating our lives? My goal for the past year has been to build a life that I don't want to take a vacation from, because I love it that much. And I've succeeded; working remotely, travelling, spending time with those closest to me and working on projects I'm obsessed with all amount to that. And though I had an absolutely incredible time in Mykonos with my girls the week before, going to beach clubs and clubbing sits well within our comfort zones and isn't really a 'vacation' from our lives in Dubai other than the location.
"I can't imagine you staying in a hostel!" says my sister, who has just returned from months of backpacking Asia. And yep, it's not my usual style at all. I booked 2 nights in the same hostel as some of the Yacht crew before TYW officially started. And even if only briefly, I love experiencing more and it was refreshing and exciting, and it set the tone for the rest of the week: leave your regular life at the door (or at shore?).
For a full round up of our itinerary, head over to my YouTube video.
Apart from having the time of my life, and leaving with new friends from across the globe and sea legs for a couple of days, another key souvenir from doing TYW solo was realising how much I LOVE to meet new people. When combined with travel, one of my other obsessions, the results were so much fun. It has definitely inspired me to do more of this kind of thing in the future, and I'm already manifesting various other sabbaticals, career breaks or moves for me to do so.