India is topping the list for solo female travel and I understand why

India may be the Marmite of destinations but I love it.

Mention India and it tends to gets quite a polarised reaction. People either love it or can’t think of a worse place to go. It really is the Marmite of destinations but for me, however, it was love at first sight. (For all you non-Brits who don’t know what Marmite is I’ve added a postscript below!)

In 2014 I finally took my first trip to India. I say finally because it had been on my list for a long time but sadly not a choice for my ex and so it was only after my divorce and I began to travel solo that I could fulfill my dream and explore the country.

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First stop the nudist​ beach

As a solo female traveller of a certain age, you don’t want to feel invisible on holiday but on the other hand, there’s some kind of attention that you’d really rather avoid.

Some years ago I took a last minute solo trip to Croatia, Hvar to be precise, and booked myself into a very nice hotel, Hotel Podstine, for a week of sun, sea and fabulous food. It was here that I met Charlie, a sprightly octogenarian with very few teeth, a full repertoire of Frank Sinatra songs and a penchant for taking his clothes off.

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A day trip to Marathi Beach

Seeing more of Crete

After a few days exploring Chania, I decided that I needed to go further afield if I was to experience a little more of the authentic Crete that I was craving. I had my mind set on Marathi Beach – around 30 minutes by car from Chania and back over towards the airport. I’d heard that it was delightful and also had a great place for lunch. I was sold.

I asked one of the two young guys who manned the hotel rection desk how I could get there, not having a rental car. After much deliberation, we decided that I’d be best taking a taxi there as it might be a bit tricky to get there via public transport but I could most definitely get a bus back. I asked him to order a car to pick me up at 10.00am. This, he said, was far too early and I shouldn’t get there before noon at the earliest as it would be freezing on that side of the island first thing. I ignored his advice and arrived at Marathi Beach at 10.30am. It was a chilly 29 degrees C!

I shouldn’t get there before noon at the earliest as it would be freezing on that side of the island. I ignored his advice and arrived at 10.30am. It was a chilly 29 degrees C!

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First time solo in Greece and it hit the spot

What did my first solo trip to Greece and Shirley Valentine have in common? Not much as it turns out!

Why is it that as soon as I mentioned I was travelling solo to Greece for a week the comments about Shirley Valentine started? For any of you who don’t know the story, (which was a film and play in the late 1980s)  a fictional, mid-life Shirley heads off to Greece for a holiday and falls for the local tavern owner ending up in an, ‘unexpected discovery of herself, and the rekindling of her childhood dreams and youthful love of life‘.  Actually, Shirley is 42, not 50-something, married and travels to Greece with a mate – so not many similarities to me really, except perhaps the thought that was present in the back of my mind that maybe a holiday romance wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen whilst I was there. Let me nip that in the bud right now and tell you that unfortunately, didn’t materialise, however, it didn’t stop me from having a very enjoyable week in Crete! Read more