Having previously lived by myself for six months in another country, I'm pretty comfortable with exploring places on my own.
Spending time with just my own person for company has never been an issue and actually is often something I really crave, from time to time, though I haven't really been by myself for long periods since I moved in with Des.
One of the really great things about being in a couple is that you usually have someone to travel with - something which I certainly don't take for granted.
Des and I have been on many amazing trips together, from Paris to the weekend in Whitby we came back from yesterday. When I travel with him I always have someone to hang out with, eat/drink with and also mutually depend on if things go wrong.
Due to work schedules and band things, I recently had the opportunity to take a little trip by myself to Manchester - exciting I know!
To be honest, I wasn't really concerned with the location, I simply wanted to spend 24 hours by myself, doing exactly what I wanted, on my schedule and my terms.
I basically wanted to be selfish, which is no bad thing from time to time. In fact, I highly recommend it to anyone who is feeling a bit stressed or overloaded with emotional pressures.
I'm sure you're absolutely fascinated by the question of what a solo Bethan gets up to. So without further ado, here is a little insight into my mini break with me:
Staying at Motel One Piccadilly
I have been a regular visitor to Motel One quite a few times over the last couple of months - mostly on business, as it's conveniently located right by Piccadilly Station.
This hotel ticks so many my boxes for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly the price is always fixed and doesn't fluctuate wildly (unlike some other hotels in the area *ahem*). This is great, because you always know what you're going to pay and can plan in advance accordingly.
Secondly, they have two prices for single and double occupancy, which means for the steal of £69, I can have the well appointed, if not slightly compact, queen rooms to myself!
To be honest, the size here isn't really an issue for me, as it ticks all the boxes on the things I care about the most - the bed, the location, the shower and the soundproofing.
I arrived in the late afternoon and after a speedy check in proceeded to change into my PJ's with haste. The first step of a self-care routine surely must be comfy clothing!
The other great thing about travelling alone, apart from no-PJ-shame, is that you're not bound by anybody else's schedule or understanding of what reasonable Netflix consumption should look like.
After a couple of hours spent in bed watching a variety of awful shows (by awful, I mean amazing in every way) I started to get slightly peckish. It was time to confront one of the hardest things about being a lone travelling - eating out solo.
My first step in preparing for this most arduous of tasks was to spruce myself up a bit - taking advantage of the power shower and actually quite good hotel hairdryer. In the end I went for jeans and a velvet top, as I didn't want to try *too* hard - also this is about as fancy as I get.
Burgers at Almost Famous
Instead of taking the Met, I decided to brave the cold and walk to the Northern Quarter in search of succour, which took about 25 minutes.
My first stop was a glass of pinot-dutch-courage-grigio at Cord Bar, which was just enough off the beaten track so I could avoid the drunk Friday night hordes.
I spent about 45 minutes in here doing a spot of casual people watching (so much fun) and generally having a good think. I like good thinks, they are very good for you in my humble opinion.
After this I spent another 45 minutes wandering the streets in search of the perfect eatery. I passed many places, including the amazing V-Rev which I had eaten at the night before.
In the end, the hunger won and I ended up going for another burger option - Almost Famous. This was a bad choice.
I still had the memories of my amazing vegan burger from the night before fresh in my mind. I basically should have just gone back to V-Rev, as that's what I was really craving, however I had my "gotta try new things" mindset in gear.
I started off with a cocktail, because why the hell not. Girl's gotta have fun right. This was actually pretty damn decent, if not slightly expensive at £8. I then ordered a halloumi burger, without chips, as chips were an extra £4 on a £9 veggie burger. Also I'm not a big fan of chips and was loathe to pay that much for something I can just about tolerate.
The burger was nice, it was fine, it did the job. It was pretty small though and just wasn't a £9 burger, chips or no chips. To cheer myself up, I had to go for a second cocktail.
The funny thing about dining alone is that barely anybody cares, nobody is really looking at you. Most people are too engrossed in their own lives, their own companions. You can slip beneath the radar on your own, an anonymity which I actually find very comforting.
After a bit of a sit and another think, I proceeded to pay and grabbed the Met back to the hotel, where I finished my Netflix binge accompanied by a bar of Dairy Milk.
After a shorter than expected lie in (damn you body clock!) I headed down for a continental breakfast which is an extra £10 I think on top of the room.
This was perfect actually, as my slightly hungover self wasn't really in the mood for a fry up or anything substantial. Also I really like having cheese for breakfast because I'm European at heart, regardless of anything my government does this week....
Gallery Browsing at The Whitworth
After a lengthy and leisurely breakfast, where I even sat and read a PHYSICAL paper, I decided to saunter off into town for a spot of sightseeing.
I actually ended up doing over 20,000 steps during this day, as I started off with a quick trip to Harvey Nichols, followed by a long walk down Oxford Road to The Whitworth.
Des and I actually came here on its re-opening weekend in 2015 and fell in love with the place. The gallery mostly exhibits work by modern artists and currently has a collection of Andy Warhol's on display.
Whilst I'm not a massive Warhol fan, I did enjoy taking a couple of hours to walk round the whole Gallery, really taking in each work.
I also had the pleasure of making some art myself, as I took part in the performance installation above! This basically involved having a very interesting chat with the artist, who was looking for people to talk about themselves and what makes them, them.
It was kind of like being in therapy, but quite a lot less stressful and a lot more public. I really enjoyed it actually!
After all of this, especially the walking, I decided to head for a much deserved scone in the beautiful gallery cafe, where I sat overlooking Whitworth Park.
My relaxing solo adventure had sadly come to a close, but I was ready to re-join the world again.