Living alone for the first time in my life at age 38, I felt lonely and a teensy bit sad, although most of the time I did a pretty good job of drowning my inner voice in cheap plonk whilst on an endless conveyer-belt of dates with guys young enough to be the son I never had. Looking back, maybe it was some Freudian attempt at motherhood, who knows.....
Anyway, I'd be lying if I said dating young bucks didn't boost my deflated ego (and I'm nothing if not blunt, as you may know), but inside I was an empty husk of a thing. My job as London regional manager for a beauty brand also made me feel like a mother of sorts, albeit a terrible one, as having an army of needy staff spread across 17 shops saw me hopping on and off tubes between each store in a frantic attempt to boost sales whilst diffusing the personal dramas of squabbling sales assistants.
After a year and a half of such chaos, I decided enough was enough - I stepped down from the role, vowed never to Internet date again, and booked a month-long solo trip to Thailand.
Before I jetted off to Bangkok, I allowed myself just one last Tinder sesh.....and Andy Walker came into my life....
A divorced father of two girls, he had also had his fingers burnt at the hands of love. We squeezed in two dates on the consecutive evenings before my departure, then had a month-long digital courtship whilst I was away, before reuniting the minute I got back to the UK. Within weeks he moved into my house and we've lived happily ever since, 18 months later.
I took Andy on a personal tour of my favourite Thai islands last year, but alas my wanderlust is a thirst that will never be quenched, so now it's time for a fresh adventure - volunteering in an orphanage in Costa Rica.
They say three's a crowd - well it will be with my mum accompanying us on this journey, but as she consoled me during my darkest, loneliest moments over recent years I could hardly ignore her pleas to join us, as Costa Rica was always on her bucket list but my dad isn't too keen on the spiders and snakes. Come to think of it, neither am I....
So now we've fundraised for the GVN charity with the help of social media and amazing friends, filled our suitcases to bursting point with baby clothes, pens and colouring books, and my mother is foaming at the mouth from her last-minute express course of Hep B jabs.....I would say that makes us ready to set off for the airport, wouldn't you?
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