Yep, as you can read in the title. I did my first solo day trip to Nice! So much happened that the story needed it’s own post! (click here to see the photos) Now, there is various terms for “solo trip” and I am just going to say now I only went for one day. I still went on a plane by myself, therefore to me, this was a solo trip. In this post I am going to be talking about what happened for the flights and the experiences being by myself. This was the first of hopefully many.
As you all know, I have flight anxiety and this was a big deal for me. I flew to Nice on a Sunday for one day (logistics come later) and I did not stay the night. On the Thursday before I flew I noticed there was some deals going on flights for the day. I was researching and basically going on about it at work all day and the next. Do I? Should I? I really could not decide and this went on until I left work on Friday. My final decision on that Friday and one I spoke to my colleagues about, was that I was definitely not going. As I pulled up to my station on Friday with no plans for the weekend, I really started to regret my decision. I got home and talked myself in to going on this trip for HOURS. I think I finally booked the flight at about 11pm on Friday. Admittedly I screamed and shouted “Oh my god what have I done!” once I paid for it. I think I screamed quite loud that I even scared my brother. It was only Saturday evening that it really started to sink in.
(I used to work at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, so getting up early on Sunday morning alone and heading for Terminal 5 did not bother me in the slightest. I just felt like I was heading for work)
As the nerves started to kick in, I spoke briefly to a lady who was changing my money. She could not believe what I was doing. I also realised that I had lost my paper ticket. I was sitting at the gate and they were informing us that we will be boarding in 5 minutes. Luckily I found a copy on my phone! When I apologised to the crew scanning them he said I was the 4th person on this flight so far to do so.
On the plane
When I was boarding the plane, I told the air hostess that this was my first time flying alone and I was a little bit nervous. She pulled me out of the queue and took me to the side. She spoke to me briefly about how it was good what I was doing, nothing to be scared of and then told me to wait here (at the front). After a couple of minutes, she introduced me to the two pilots and they invited me into the cockpit of the plane to see all the controls. I explained what I was doing, I had a chat with them and told them all of my fears. They made me feel so much better and promised me that they would try and make take off as smooth as they possibly can.
When I sat in my seat, I started to do all my usual embarrassing routines (I started chewing my t-shirt, as usual) and the air hostess from earlier came over and asked if I was ok now. I said I was. The flight was quite empty and I was sharing a row of seats with one other guy. This guy later became one of my greatest stranger friends! (If you are reading this, I lost the book which I wrote all your details in! If your name is Pierre and you live in Washington DC, Please get in contact!) He helped me through the flight and we exchanged life stories and gave me great life advice, haha.
After take off, one of the pilots came to my seat and asked how I was feeling now and just had general chit chat. He asked me to come to the cockpit again after we had landed and I did so! This time they MADE me sit down in the seat (haha) and we spoke about their life and what Nice was like. Those two pilots were honestly so lovely and they helped a lot. Thank you BA! Your staff are great.
After landing and getting lost on the way out of the airport (all the crowd had gone so I was completely alone) I then decided it was a really great idea to take my first public transport in a different country… by myself! Although the French clerk probably thought I was an idiot, I made friends with the bus driver and he helped me out a lot.
It is also worth noting that this trip was a lot of firsts for me. I really went for it and tackled eating alone too. I arrived at the restaurant, sat outside and ordered. I made friends with the hostess of the restaurant who told me her auntie lives in the same town as me! what are the chances? Small world for sure.
Through out the day I was approached by people asking to take their photo (and I asked in return) and I just spent the day exploring.
Nice airport on the way home
My flight home was a little delayed and I found myself regretting not getting an earlier flight. I was also put in a difficult situation. A lady was trying to communicate to me to look after her bags (she had a lot!) while she went to toilet. Someone translated for me and before they even finished their sentence she had walked off. Leaving me by myself for 40 minutes and her bags. Now, I didn’t find out until later that this is ILLEGAL. When she didn’t return after 40 minutes, I asked the advice of a group of women. They told me to tell someone and I did. I actually got really badly told off by Nice security staff (which is understandable), even though I told them I didn’t get a choice in the situation and I could not just leave the bags in the middle of the airport. I just wanted to get home.
About 10 minutes after looking for the lady, she came back. She had been shopping. I was so mad honestly and even got angry at the fact that they didn’t tell her off. So I just bought a cookie from Starbucks and ate it angrily around the corner.
Take off was a little scary for me this time. I didn’t feel I could talk to the people next to me but I survived and tried to process that not every flight I have in future would be like my take off earlier in the day.
When I arrived at Heathrow at 11pm, after my flight delay… It was so busy. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone was tired and I was even stuck in the middle of a physical fight of a really busy lift!!
Finally I arrived home at around 12.30pm and was up at 5am for work, ready to explain myself to every one who thought I was not going.
What can I say about this trip? A lot of stories and experiences for one day but nothing over whelming. I am so grateful I went and I feel confident in going again, next time for longer.
Thank you for reading this lengthy post! There will be an entire blog post on Nice coming next week so keep an eye out 🙂