I may have gone a bit overboard with the holiday booking this year and I’m not long back from two lovely trips, both to Spain. And as much as I love Spain, I have to admit, this time last year, I’d have turned my nose up at my trips… Which is ridiculous considering the fabulous time I’ve just had!
In the school holidays in April, me and seven of my best friends from home went to Alicante for 6 days. We had the best time. We ate wonderful food, drank gins as big as our heads, almost made ourselves sick at Terra Mitica theme park and even day tripped to the beautiful Valencia.
I am the designated Holiday Booker of the group and when we first started to plan this trip, a few of us wanted to go to Greece. Having never been to Greece before, and constantly scrolling through Instagram pictures, of blue and white buildings in Santorini or windmills in Mykonos, Greece seemed like the perfect spot. We discussed how we’d like to go somewhere that we could chill on the beach through the day then have a good night out, without being too Brits Abroad (we’ve done Magaluf twice in our younger years!). However, once we started looking, there were no flights available on the dates we needed. The few that were available cost a small fortune. I was gutted. I know that it’s silly but I was hating the thought of having to “settle” for somewhere like the Canaries or the Costa Del Sol…. However, I knew any holiday with my amigos would be fabulous and we decided to go to Alicante.
And it turned out to be fabulous! The views from the castle, the tapas, how easy it was to day trip from, our b e a u t i f u l airbnb apartment… we all had a great 6 days.
Just before we left for Alicante, I did something which actually made me really anxious at the time (mainly due to finances) and booked another holiday. 6 weeks after getting back to Glasgow, I was off again! This time to Benalmadena, near Malaga, with two of the girls from work. With this holiday, I really didn’t care where we went as long as there was sunshine and a beach. We all went with 3 intentions – see the sun, relax and spend next to nothing. Penny pinching managed to get us return flights for £50 and accommodation for just under £100. Not bad.
So we went and we did what we set out to do. We read our books on the beach, forgot about worries back home, drank too many free shots and worked on our outrageous
tan lines burn lines by the pool. And where is the shame in that?!
I have come to realise, wherever you go, you can explore, see sights and discover new things; or you can relax, drink wine, and sunbathe with your book for a few days. And both are fine, neither make you less of a “traveller”. I really enjoyed a post I read on Lucy Sheref’s blog a few months back about why she doesn’t count countries. I can’t say I’m not trying for “30 before 30” but I completely agree with Lucy’s post that if your sole aim is to visit a certain number of countries, you may miss out on some incredible experiences, genuine fun or feel like going back to a country you’ve already visited is “a waste”.
There are so many things to see in every country. I loved Sardinia and Positano so much. But this doesn’t mean I’ve “done Italy” by any means. Even visiting a city, you don’t see the half of it… I’ve lived in Glasgow for nearly 7 years and I’m still exploring new parts of it. I still have so much of Scotland I want to see. And as I said before, even if you’re not “exploring” or “discovering”, there’s still nothing wrong with going.
I hate the whole travel hierarchy thing and I hate how people don’t consider others to be “travellers” because they’ve never backpacked for 6 months at a time, or they’re heading on a package holiday with their family this summer. Although I have definitely been a bit guilty of it myself in the past, this year has definitely been about ditching the travel snobbery, in favour of caring less, saying yes, and most importantly HAVING FUN!