Why I Chose Paris: Planning My First Trip After Divorce

There are countless reasons to travel. Finding yourself on a trip after a divorce is a pretty good one!

After my divorce my first instinct was to escape, revert to childhood and run away from home. Could I outrun my pain, hide from my low self-esteem, avoid the questions? Reason said, “No.”; every fibre of my body felt otherwise. I’m not the sort that’s ruled by reason; I go with my gut. And so I began to plan a holiday for Laura and me.

I had always been a life-long traveller but usually with someone else who had an agenda and that was good enough for me. Laura was 16 and, unknowingly, tagging along to lend me moral support. It was up to me to lead this expedition.

So what concerns did I have?

  • I was timid and unsure of myself.
  • Could I organize, execute and afford this holiday?
  • Would my teenage daughter want to hang with her mom in an unknown city for a whole week?

And what would I have to do to satisfy them?

Eiffle tower Trip after a divorceFirst I tackled my temerity. I wanted to go somewhere foreign but not so exotic as to be unsafe for two women alone. Between us, Laura and I could cobble together enough French to get by, so that determined the destination. Also, I only wanted to be away from my business for a maximum of 10 days and not spend three or four of those enroute to and from some country on the far side of the world. France filled the bill.

A bit of searching on Expedia.ca pulled up the perfect package of flights and accommodation. Our layover in Iceland would prove prophetic as, four years later, Laura was drawn to return there for a five-month university term. Determined to stay within my post-divorce budget, the ability to browse and compare travel packages meant I was able to find an affordable option for the two of us. I have enjoyed, or not, all levels of travel comfort and amenities over the years. A 3-star continental hotel would be quite sufficient. We didn’t need a lot of space since our plan was to spend as much time as possible exploring the city.

Paris Trip after a divorce
Laura Looking out the Window of our Paris Hotel

While I browsed for travel packages, Google maps got a good workout too as we considered what we wanted to see, where all the various hotels and hostels were located and Metro routes. For those who are the least bit leery of new situations, Street view offers a safe vantage point to help get your bearings before ever leaving home. I was also aware of the need to blend the interests of two women with a 36-year age gap. That’s when the fun began as the two of us pored over guide books by Lonely Planet, Rick Steves’ and Knopf Guides, always looking for free admissions, off-the-beaten-path destinations, and low impact attractions so we wouldn’t burn out in a frenzy of sightseeing.

It all worked out in the end.

By being mindful of my budget and time restraints, familiarizing myself with my destination, trolling for online deals, and involving my travelling companion in planning the itinerary, I was able to conquer my concerns of organizing a trip abroad after my divorce.

Trip after a Divorce
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Have you gone through a major change and found even it difficult to plan around the new you?

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