This time of year always gets me thinking about holidays. I may have mentioned (once or twice) that I can’t stand the cold, detest the dark, yearn for those heady, eternal Summer days (please tell me they’re not far away!) In the midst of booking our upcoming trip to Malta (nineteen sleeps and counting!) it occurred to me that 2019 marks twenty years since I first left this lovely island of ours (soon to be even more of an island than it already is unless I wake up from this Brexit nightmare soon! Moving swiftly on ….)
I was a late starter (foreign-holiday-wise). When I was a child school holidays were filled with family visits mainly around the south of England. I’m not complaining at all. I have lovely memories of lying in the sun and running my fingers through the grain in the silo behind my maternal Grandparents’ house (it was on a farm), hunting for fossils on Box Hill with my Mum, often in the rain and not caring (she probably did!) playing with marbles that I found in the wardrobe at my paternal Grandparents’ house, hiding under the Pampas Grass in my Aunt and Uncle’s front garden, running around my Great Grandparents’ garden like a whirling dervish, brushing through mahoosive granny knickers drying on the line.
I was twenty one the first time I went abroad. It was with my then boyfriend and his parents, and it was two weeks in Menorca. There were a lot of firsts. First time flying at thirty thousand feet, driving on the wrong side of the road, feeling the intensity of that Mediterranean sun, and the first time discovering the joy of sitting on a balcony in the early morning hazy sunshine before everyone else has got up.
I spent a few nostalgic hours going through photos from this first holiday right up to Mexico last year. The early ones are actual real photos in photo albums, taken when digital photos were still something from Star Trek, then there were photos taken with the new digital camera technology with less than perfect quality and finally I moved on to camera phones. I tried to choose my favourite photo from each holiday (although some I couldn’t narrow down to just one) and thought maybe it’d be interesting to show you what I chose. Some are photos of photos (like the one above) so apologies for the poor quality.
I’ve been on several European city breaks over the years.
Top left is the Colosseum in Rome. My friend Emily and I took ourselves off for a few days of culture and we went on an evening walking tour around the sites. I love this photo, it was taken on an old film camera with no screen so I didn’t know it had come out artistically blurry until I got home and had the photos developed.
In the top middle is a canal in Amsterdam. I went here on my own and had a great couple of days wondering around. Underneath is the Rialto Bridge in Venice and to the right is a statue in Bologna. This was one trip. We caught the train from Bologna and spent one night in Venice. We loved Venice, but Bologna was a bit dull – we made it more interesting with wine!
In the middle are two images of Budapest. This was another solo trip and it was the coldest I’d ever been until our trip to Prague (which I can’t find any photos of). The bridge is the Chain Bridge which goes over the Danube and connects Buda to Pest and the second is Fisherman’s Bastion which, in my head, is a Disney Castle.
Lastly there’s me outside the United Nations in Geneva.
I went to Paris in the early 2000s. I have all the usual Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Seine photos, but this one makes me laugh. It’s a photo of a door in the Louvre, behind which is the Mona Lisa. Somehow I managed to visit the Louvre on the one day in the week that the section with the Mona Lisa in was closed.
Las Vegas! I love it here. We got married here in 2008 and went back in 2011. On the left is the Grand Canyon, middle is the Strip and right is Hoover Dam.
I went to New York in 2004 and 2005 and then we stopped off there in 2008 on our way back from Vegas. The first pic is me freezing cold at the top of the Empire State Building, the second needs no explanation, and the third is hubby and I on our honeymoon walking through a tunnel in Central Park. I was a lot bigger then but I don’t mind this sillouette photo because you can’t really tell.
Continuing the theme of the Americas, we’ve been to Orlando twice, on a Caribbean cruise and, of course, our most recent holiday to Mexico.
Top is Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Middle left is me feeding budgies at Gatorland and middle right swimming with dolphins in Isla Margarita. Bottom left is us on a glass bottomed boat in Tobago and bottom right is a gorgeous coati in Mexico.
Vegas is the furthest west I’ve ever been. The furthest east I’ve been is the Maldives.
I still can’t believe that we were lucky enough to be able to go to the Maldives. It is the most beautiful place on earth!
These photos are all on various Spanish holidays. Working top left downwards there is a beach in Majorca, a view from the top of Mount Teide in Tenerife, a rather arty shot of a harbour in Fuerteventura, a cute cove in Tossa De Mar on mainland Spain, another Majorcan beach on a different holiday and finally the Gutbuster! Hubby’s parents had an apartment near Murcia and this was served in a bar underneath their place called Concierto.
Top right is a seagull in Lanzarote. Underneath that is a Barbary Ape on the rock in Gibraltar and finally, hubby with a new friend at Loro Parque in Tenerife.
The Greek islands are up the top of our list of places to go. We went to several of them on a cruise in 2008 which was our delayed honeymoon – Cyprus, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes, and we’ve been to Corfu three times. Above top left is at a monastery in Corfu, next to that is a pelican that we saw wandering around Mykonos and underneath is me in crystal clear water at a beach in Kassiopi in Corfu.
This final photo was taken on the first foreign holiday that hubby and I took before we even lived together. We’d been together for just over six months and had not long got engaged. We were in the process of buying our first flat and decided to go on holiday before all our money was tied up in mortgages and utility bills. We chose Tunisia and this photo was taken in the ruins at Carthage. It was January, which brings me full circle to the beginning of my post – I NEED SOME SUN! I’m going to bed so it’ll soon only be eighteen sleeps!