I don’t hold ill feeling to those who enjoy a ‘staycation’ (save for the audible use of the word *shudders*) but personally, nothing puts me in a better mood than when the sun is shining on my face.
For those diehards that say don’t knock it before you try it – I have mate! I’ve re-enacted Blur’s Park Life and been rudely awoken at 6am from a fitful sleep having spent half the night re-enacting Jack and Rose post iceberg collision.
Give me a sunny destination any day of the week!
Magaluf was my first proper holiday sans parents! It was where I discovered sangria is NOT Ribena with fruit (it was the only time in my life I managed my five a day) and also developed my very own Dulux tanning shade chart:
- Jaundiced Beetroot – my fair skin has caught sight of the sun. Immediately it releases its goose pimpled hold upon my flesh and begins to turn an unassuming shade of pink afflicted with the odd random patch of yellow.
- Distressed Rhubarb – sweat beads are beginning to collect and the telltale itch of prickly heat rash is beginning to gnaw at my shamefully scalded epidermis. I know I’m on borrowed time before I’m covered in talc and rocking Jesus sandals!
- Lobster Blush – my body has finally adjusted. I’ve shed my pre-holiday skin now resemble a bashful crustacean.
You’d think I’d heed a note of caution from this tale of tanning woe, that I would accept in the good grace of Jon Snow, that I know nothing (which I won’t contest) and am doomed for a legacy of cold; but no people! I resist! I did once upon a time give a colder climate a chance. We went to Prague when I was pregnant with our first child and I’m not kidding, I slept fully clothed and returned wondering which was more expensive, the minibar or two coffees?!
They say three little words can change your life, and sure; ‘50 percent off’ will guarantee to pique my interest, however a certain two words induce a much more physical reaction: ALL INCLUSIVE!
Our first family holiday abroad was to Greece for our honeymoon. The littlest was a few months shy of two and despite it taking twice as long to pack because she kept raiding the case and wearing my bras as sunglasses, we got there without a hitch. I should have known Mr Hanky would hit the fan sooner or later. Three days into the trip she developed gastroenteritis and we amassed such a collection of soiled nappies you’d be mistaken for assuming we were paying homage to the Pharaohs! Thankfully the hotel staff were amazing and we spent the rest of the time playing pass the toddler while the child free spouse raided the buffet!
Mauritius has been my favourite destination to date – mainly because it possessed gloriously clean sandy beaches and what they lacked in donkey rides they made up for in sunshine and a staggering variety of cocktails; I can vaguely remember one was called Traffic Lights and after consuming a generous quantity, giving a questionable performance of Tom Cruise’s Hippy Hippy Shakes behind the bar.
Since becoming an awesome foursome we haven’t had the opportunity of a holiday but this is going to be the year! As Jurassic Park’s Dr Malcolm advises “life, uh, finds a way” and I’ve been inspired to shed my layers of blankets and find a suitably bold bikini to house Barcardi and Coke (yes that’s right, I’ve named my assets – which are currently frozen!) and get my mum tum out on holiday #SunsOutTumsOut!
When it comes to a family holiday, it’s not about the new clothes and the factor 50, it’s about switching off from the Groundhog Day that is work and school runs and the avid calendar patrol to ensure no one’s birthday is missed. It’s about having a brief measure of time in which you can truly cherish those that matter most to you in a setting that ensures the magic of the experience never fades. When even on a lazy stroll along the beach front, you find your heart capturing every footprint in the sand as the sea idling draws you close, whispering an invite.
Those moments truly are unforgettable. Even long after your return, when you’ve cursed the amount of washing to get through, you’ll still find yourself smiling, recalling the warmth of the breeze against your cheek, and the hands that held your own.