In a month and 4 days, I will be on my way to Paris for three weeks. And for the first time, I will be spending the entire 3 weeks on my own. I have spent 1 week in Paris on my own but never 2 weeks or more. I have traveled to Italy to join a group I didn't know to bike from Milan to Venice and then a week on my own in Florence. I have been to Portugal for a week in the Algarve and that was horrible. There, I was the only single person I saw the entire trip. It was at a resort and there were just couples. They just stared at me during dinner. Luckily, the staff was great fun. I learned something on that trip ..... have an escape plan. I didn't have a car and there were no cities near by. I was stuck. I walked a lot of beach that vacation and for the first time, I was looking forward to getting back to work.

But this trip to Paris is both really exciting and a wee bit unnerving.
I have been to Paris at least 7 times and for the past 4 years, I have gone for at least a month each year. I love this city and I am looking forward to going back to the places I love and finding new exciting venues. But I was never there the entire time on my own. I knew that a friend was joining me in two days for my final week and being alone, was a nice reprieve before my next guest. This time, it is me for the entire time traveling solo.

When I am on my own, I am thinking in French. That's a good thing. Now my French is not terrific but it gets me around. In my mind for example, I am going through the numbers 60-99 because they are the most confusing and when the merchants tell me the price of something, I am madly translating the sounds they uttered in my little Anglais brain. Strangely though, I get the wine prices correct. Hmmmm

Dinners are probably the most difficult. I still push myself to go out for nice dinners because I don't want to be afraid not to do that. After the first 10 minutes, I am fine. I find I have to be a little more insistent to get a decent table because the waiters only seem to have a little one near the kitchen. If I go earlier, I at least have a better chance to select a place to sit.
This is a scene of one of my favorite outings on my own last year. I am sitting in a small cafe having a glass of wine looking at this scene. It's a beautiful Sunday in the Luxembourg Jardins and most everyone in the park are either a couple or a family. I was very aware of being alone then but it didn't bother me. It was fun eaves dropping on fellow patrons to see how much I could understand of their conversations.

Now, here is my question... Have any of you traveled for a longer term on your own and you are older as opposed to being a 20 something and living in hostels? I am looking for some interesting tips from you veterans. I am open to some great ideas and I plan to blog when I'm in Paris to let you know how I'm doing. This is an interesting opportunity for me. I have had so many women come up to me and say that they wish they could be comfortable traveling on their own. I know there are a lot of you traveling midlife madonnas. I want to hear from you.

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