20 holidays and counting... Read Sid’s inspiring story!
Posted 10/11/2023 : By: Melissa Morley
Sid Cole, 84, finds new joy travelling after wife's death caused 'world to fall apart'
One Traveller Sid Cole has discovered a love of travelling following the death of his wife and now spends much of his time exploring the world.
Sid found himself "in a bit of a doldrum" when his partner died a decade ago. The Lowestoft, Suffolk man was unsure how to spend his time and felt his zeal for life diminished after the loss. Two years after the tragic death - which caused his "world to fall apart" - Sid discovered something which put a bit of a spring back in his step.
"I didn't want to be on holiday on my own with couples all around me, so I decided to look for solo holidays. I booked a holiday with One Traveller, a company which are just up the road from me. I was quite impressed with the range of holidays. I booked a holiday to Austria with them,"
The retired RAF man found the trip to be "absolutely brilliant", taking a great deal of joy in photographing wildlife and landscapes while he was there, as well as getting to know some of the 30 other people who were on the same holiday.
"We were all in the same situation. The company caters for mature singles and it was nice to be around people in the same sort of situation as me."
Sid recently took a trip to Prague
That first trip left Sid eager for more. Over the next seven years he would embark on 19 more holidays with One Traveller, heading off from home by himself each time and meeting plenty of likeminded people along the way. He has been to a whole host of places so far, including Romania, New England, Cape Cod, and Oxford.
"I've came back ten days ago from three city tour, to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. My next one is Malta for Christmas. It is nice to be celebrating Christmas with a lot of people in the same situation," Sid continued. "Then I am going on a Croatian isles cruise in May, and next October I'm doing a classical Greece tour. I will also be booking another UK holiday."
While Sid hasn't entered into a romantic relationship with anyone he's met on holiday as "no one would replace my wife after 57 years together", he has made plenty of friends, many of whom he is in contact with online as well as a couple who live close to his home.
The retiree is a huge evangelist of embarking on holidays later on in life and has encouraged anyone in a similar position to him to go for it.
"Although I'm 84-years-old, I'm very fit. I'm out most days, taking photos. I can walk 10 miles no problem. What I do like about [going on group holidays] is I have no worries, I leave them to organise everything. I'd say go for it. It does give you a new outlook on life, especially when you're living alone. They really changed my life. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms from my last holiday already."
Clearly Sid is part of something of a movement of people looking to explore the world by themselves, or with people they've met on a trip for the first time. Searches for 'solo holidays' in the UK have steadily increased over the past five years, with data showing a 47% rise in the past year alone.
Ian Darkin, manging director of One Traveller, said: "Solo travel is increasingly becoming a dynamic choice for adventurers of all ages, and stories like Sid’s are a testament to the incredible rediscovery that can occur after taking that first step to embark on a solo adventure.
"As specialists in solo travel, we help our travellers enjoy incredible shared experiences, focusing on building camaraderie, ensuring security, and creating lasting memories in some of the most incredible locations around the world. We remove the stress and burden of planning a holiday so that our travellers can truly savour their journeys and prioritise relaxation and immersing themselves in new cultures."
We’re absolutely thrilled to have made such a positive impact on Sid's life and eagerly anticipate welcoming him on more future travels with One Traveller! Solo travel truly is the perfect opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with oneself, and Sid’s story is a testament to this!
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