Always have. The new places, the old familiar ones, not having to go to work or school. Eating all the food and drinking all the drinks.
It all started as a kid. I’ve been so lucky. Even though we didn’t really have much money when I was small, we had a holiday every single year.
So every year a week in Bournemouth or Cornwall, self catering and often with my Auntie and Uncle and my 2 cousins.
I’m sure it’s that rosy glow we give all childhood trips, but it was always sunny. (Actual weather from that time will probably prove that it pissed it down most years).
It all started with the drive down. Now my Dad drove for a living back then, so hated the thought of getting stuck in traffic. So a standard holiday start would involve getting up when it was still dark to “beat the traffic”. When I was really small we would often have to borrow a car for the trip. These were possibly some of the least road worthy cars on record.
Now I know my memory of this time is slightly misty. But I seem to remember there was a pattern to these trips. Get up when it’s dark and get in the car. About half way there we would probably have to stop as I was car sick. I’d love to say I’ve grown out of this, but no. I would then get to sit in the front as that made me feel better, which would piss off my brother who would have to sit in the back with Mum. Usually with the faint smell of vomit hanging around us all. When we were back underway it wasn’t long before the car would live up to all expectations and break down, usually overheating. But luckily my brother developed all the skills of an expert water diviner. He was handed an empty juice bottle and sent off to a distant field, normally with some cows in it to fill it up with water from a stream or pond?!
I’m pretty sure I remember one trip where it started raining and the windscreen wipers didn’t work. So my Dad just kept going, sticking his arm out the window every now and again to wipe the screen. I tell myself I must have made this up, but it does sound like something he would do.
So after an eventful journey we would arrive about 8 hours before our accomodation was ready. We would get to have breakfast in a cafe and play in the park. Although one trip, without the standard breakdowns on the way, we arrived so early the cafe wasn’t open and we had to play on the swings in the dark.
Then would follow an amazing week of sandcastle building, eating fish and chips, getting to stay up late, hanging out with the cousins in pub gardens and going to the fair, I’ve always loved the dodgems. Although my uncle once managed to break his wrist trying to prove he was stronger than my Dad on a punch bag strength test machine. I would also like to say swimming in the sea, but it took me a while to build up to that. My Mum said my first impression of the sea was that it was too cold and moved too much. A view I’ve not really grown out of, I really do hate the cold. Anyone who’s seen me get in the sea will know it takes me about an hour, it’s definitely a process.
But that was it. Holidays are officially the best things. I knew I wanted to go further and swim in much warmer seas.
As we got older we got to go further afield. Spain to start with and then to America to do the Disney world/Universal studios thing. But I still have an unshakable love of Dorset.
Since then I’ve added to that with a few Greek islands, Turkey, Paris, Australia, New Zealand, New York, Miami, Egypt, California, Barbados and a load more places. I definitely work to go on holiday. In the UK you get 25 days holiday a year as standard, but you have to use it all in the year. So you always have the next one planned, and it’s easy to do a week anywhere as the travel time is never that long. Then I moved to Aus, and it takes forever to get anywhere. You can be on the plane for six hours and you’re still flying over the same country!!! We also only get 20 days holiday as standard, and you can only take the days as you accrue them. Tough times. But you can carry it over. So I now work with Australians who will quite happily not take a holiday for over a year so they can save up their days. I just can’t do this!! I have to have the next trip booked. I’m pretty much booking something as soon as I have enough days.
So where to next. The list is long. But the immediate plans are Uluru (see the last blog), back to Byron Bay again, Perth and the Margaret River in January and Ibiza next July. The first two are booked the next are in the planning stages.
Then there are the places I need to go. Japan to see the Cherry Blossom, Norway to see the Northern lights, Italy, Bali, Hong Kong, India, Jordan. The list is basically endless.
But for each of these, will it feel the same unless I get up before dawn to go. Now that’s what a holiday is supposed to feel like. (hopefully won’t throw up on the way though, fingers crossed).