'If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice'
It would be so nice...
Last week, the topic of holidays and when we are going to be able to travel, was all over the news.
Oh I miss my holidays...sunshine and relaxing by the pool with a book in one hand and a cosmopolitan in the other.
When I was a young girl, my parents along with my two sisters and brother, always vacationed in England, quite often towards the South coast. I have fond holiday memories, such as a camping holiday that resulted in my dad having medical treatment when he fell asleep in the scorching sun. His feet poked out of the tent and sun lotion was only an afterthought in those days. One year, we were chased by geese every time we left our caravan. Another time the caravan owners let us have a ride on their horse, which unfortunately bolted away when my younger sister was sat on it. It ran towards the main road, but fortunately dumped her in a bush before it got there. Don’t worry, she had a soft landing, no cuts and bruises, and the owners put my sister back on the horse when it returned.
The first time I went abroad was when I was sixteen. I had a fantastic time in Spain, with my parents and two younger siblings. My first taste of freedom as I spent most of my time hanging about with some girls I met out there. The family had an enjoyable time...I think.
For the next ten years most of my vacations were with my girlfriends, an ex-boyfriend or on my own, 18-30 holidays were great for this. I had a whale of a time as far as I can recall...boozy holidays and other stories that I won’t care to mention.
My dad went away most years on a fishing trip or to a European beer festival, but my mum never went away without him. That was, until I took her to the Greek island Kefalonia, when she was in her forties. I think had she gone there on her own, she may have ended up like Shirley Valentine. My mum fell in love with the country and my parents vacationed there most years until she passed away.
Since I met my husband, we have been fortunate enough to have a family vacation every year, mainly abroad and to some wonderful countries. Although, the kids finally protested after yet another holiday to France. You see... four kids and a car full of luggage, so much easier to drive than fly, plus kinder on your purse strings.
For my fiftieth birthday, I decided to go on different vacations totalling 50 nights away, within a 12-month period. What a fantastic year that was… Las Vegas with my hubby and friends, France—sorry kids—with the family, Cyprus, Venice with my daughter and other mini breaks. The finale was a trip to Perth, Australia to stay with my best friend. I flew out on my own and had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back. I ended up being away from home for a total of 52 nights.
Over the past 12 years, I have been fortunate enough to go on mini vacations with friends, whilst my hubby and wonderful in-laws helped to look after the kids. I have had the odd comment said to me... you’re so lucky, my partner will never let me go away on my own. This always took me by surprise, as nowadays, it’s not so unusual for couples to take additional vacations away from each other. The trend for hen/stag do’s and milestone birthdays seems to be to book a holiday abroad. Mind you, you don’t always have to travel abroad. I have had many UK weekend breaks away with friends that have been so much fun, and I even experienced my first glamping holiday a couple of years ago.
In my opinion, I think it’s healthy for couples to have breaks away from each other.
My husband enjoys golf and I like reading by the pool and dancing the night away. We get the balance right, as we always make sure we prioritise the family holiday and spend time away with just the two of us. I am so grateful for these opportunities but never take them for granted.
But what’s going to happen this year?
There is still so much uncertainty surrounding vacations. What options are out there for a girls get together if so many socialising restrictions are still in place during the summer months?
Zara, a good friend of mine, provided me with the details of one alternative…
“WaterMelon Events is an event planning and styling business. When we first started our company, we never knew we would branch into bell tents! We purchased our first one last spring, and it was so popular that we purchased our second one only a few months later. Bell tents are just beautiful! Not only do they look fantastic--especially when they are all dressed up--they create such a relaxing and special atmosphere in your very own garden. As you can imagine, with the restrictions in place last spring and summer, we were booked for all sorts of occasions—from family glamping to hen do's.
As someone who is a busy a mummy and a wife, alongside a career and running a business, I believe it is so important to spend quality time with your girlfriends. I just love looking back at all the fun and special memories I have made with my friends on girl's trips away. It is so good for the soul. It would be quite easy to miss out on these occasions but making the effort to have these trips away is great for your own well-being. It gives you a chance to relax, be you and laugh-a-lot.
We hope this summer, when restrictions ease, we can help groups of girlfriends get together and have some fun in our beautiful bell tents! Whether it is for a garden party or a little glamping staycation we can make is extra special. We can even create your own festival from home. Our beds are extremely comfortable—no blow ups here—and we offer stunning low level picnic tables if you would prefer a day lounge set up. We offer a bespoke and personalised service and have lots of extras that we can provide alongside our bell tents. These include a cinema experience, silk personalised robes and luxury gift bags. We also work closely with companies who can provide catering, such as a delicious grazing table. I’m looking forward to my own girls getting together soon!”
This sounds amazing, even if restrictions were lifted, I’d be happy to spend quality time with my friends in such a luxurious environment. Watch this space…
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a sabbatical and go anywhere in the world that takes your fancy, a bit like Kirsty, in A Balancing Kind of Love, the next book in the trilogy. To be continued…
Have a wonderful weekend.
Love Joanna xxx