Isn’t it amazing how we have little memory triggers that set off recollections of past experiences? Whether it be a sound, or a scent, sometimes you can relive a memory so vividly you feel the exact feeling you felt when that memory was born.
There are two songs for instance, that I cannot listen to more than 10 seconds of without my eyes unwillingly welling up. Almost like a trigger, I just cannot listen to them without crying. Likewise, there are certain songs that transport me to a moment when you can almost feel the sun on your face, or the exact warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy at the time of that memory being created.
Today has been all about scent. I haven’t exactly gone around sniffing other people’s bums, but I have been transported back to a particular memory which has left me in a lovely mood all day. There is a scientific explanation for this. Our Olfactory bulb (sense of smell) is part of our Limbic system, which controls emotion, memory, and mood. Did you know I studied Brain Science? (Blatant lie)
Anyway, today I accidentally stumbled upon the Cowshed concession in John Lewis. I was instantly hit with a tidal wave of nostalgia from my trip to Soho Beach House earlier this year. The first thing I did upon arrival was book myself a massage at the Cowshed spa. For a brief second in John Lewis, I was right there, in the calm and serenity of a beautiful hotel, hours before being taught how to Salsa dance on Miami Beach by a complete stranger. I could almost hear the sea, see the palm trees, and feel the humidity in my throat. But then I was bashed at the ankles by a screaming child’s buggy, and I crash landed with the realisation that I was actually in a very busy department store, on one of the busiest shopping roads in England, 3 days before Christmas.
This significantly blissful feeling/memory, was not because I happened to be in a fancy hotel (although this was nice), but the fact that it was my first solo trip as a female traveller. And not just a solo female traveller… a SINGLE MOTHER SOLO FEMALE TRAVELLER… shock horror!
Similarly to a single mother, a single female traveller is regularly stereotyped as lonely, or looking for love, or looking to ‘find herself’, or… heartbroken. I was none of these things. To be honest, I just wanted a holiday, and I couldn’t be arsed with the faff of organising a group trip so when my friend told me that she couldn’t come with me to Miami, I thought… “sod it, I’m still going”. So really, it was selfishness that drove me to go on my first SOLO trip, along with the overwhelming urge to treat myself, and VOILA… A blog was born!
I love all the feelings that come with travel. The anxiety of the unknown, the learning, the independence, the liberation, the fear, the excitement, all of which are amplified as a solo female traveller but create such rewarding and often life altering experiences. This combined with the fact that I am a mother made for an unusual insight to the life of a Co-Parent who likes exploring.
This year I ate steak at the Versace Mansion on Miami Beach, I ate falafel whilst listening to the sound of gunfire in Palestine, and I ate chicken tagine with my fingers whist sitting on the floor of a home to a Berber family in Morocco. At no point, have I felt any of the archetype emotions that supposedly associated with all single mothers and/or solo travellers and I would encourage everyone to take the plunge and use a little bit of your selfishness to do things that could potentially define you.
If I could, I would bottle up this little feeling of loveliness and have a never-ending supply of the priceless memory that it represents. Or I could just go and buy myself some of the lotions from Cowshed…
Life is for living… lets go and have some fun x