It’s been a while since I joined a Friday Five post but I just liked the theme of this one so much I couldn’t help but join in. If you know me in real life or have been reading my blog for a bit, you may have realised that I LOVE holidays. As a teenager, there were few good things about divorced parents, but double the presents and double the holidays were definitely a highlight! And as an adult it’s the main thing I like to save up for. I don’t quite know why I love them so much … oh wait, I do – no work, stress-free, exploring new places, eating food, drinking wine, being outdoors, unlimited time with James… the list goes on.
So I’m slightly cheating here as I am not only going to give you five dream holidays, but also five of my best holidays……
1. Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
When I was 17 my mum, little sister and I went to the US. We had a few days in Las Vegas and seven days white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon. We slept out under the stars at night, ate delicious food on beaches, climbed up waterfalls on the side of the canyon, explored caves… oh and white-water rafted. And I had a little holiday romance 🙂 I feel so ridiculously lucky to have seen the Grand Canyon and think that was the most amazing way to see it. I would do the whole trip all over again!
2.Russia and Istanbul
A strange mix of places I know. This was James and my first holiday together and we wanted to go somewhere that wouldn’t be too hot (for James) and somewhere hot (for me). Little did we know that Russia would experience a heat wave when we were there and be about 40 degrees…. We had just graduated and had no money so stayed in horrible little hostel rooms. One with no windows, two twin beds and a tiny little fan. Then in Istanbul, at least we had a window, but still just a tiny little fan and on our last day the water stopped working in the hotel so none of the toilets would flush. I know that makes it sound awful but we didn’t care because we were together and we were young and falling in love and everything was just exciting and wonderful. In Russia we went for two weeks where we barely exchanged a word with anyone other than each other. Then James discovered the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo books and then we barely exchanged a word to each other until he had finished the trilogy!
3. Sailing across the Atlantic twice and spending months in the Caribbean
4. Andalucia with James
The first time I went to Andalucia with James was soon after I got back from my trip away. It was so much fun. For half of the week we stayed in a villa with its own private pool, in the middle of the countryside near Alora. We cooked elaborate Spanish feasts, spent evenings drinking bottles of cheap, delicious red wine on our terrace as the sun slowly set, spent days drifting around in the pool and reading books. Then we transferred to Granada where we spent a few more days exploring the wonderful Alhambra and all of the tapas bars there – staying up until the early hours of the morning drinking yet more wine and tapas-bar-crawling.
5. Santiago de Compostela
Something a bit different for the last one, and I really cannot explain just why this was so good. I went by myself for a weekend from Madrid and it was incredible. On the Saturday, I mountain-biked a section of the Camino de Santiago. The scenery was absolutely stunning and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I cycled for hours, my bum was in agony from the cheap rental bike, and I still didn’t want to stop. Eventually I did and made it back to Santiago for an evening by myself, wandering around the streets and exploring the little restaurants. It is the most incredible city and I am definitely going back in 2016! (I blogged about it here and here).
And now, following the rules. Five dream holidays:
Travelling through Colombia
Oh wait – I’m just about to do this one! On 28th December I jet off for ten days in Mexico, followed by a week in Guatemala, followed by three weeks in Colombia… I CANNOT WAIT. Stay tuned for lots and lots and lots of travel-related posts (I will be marathon training so there will still be exercise-related posts I promise!)
I’ve wanted to go here for a while and I know that “soon” is a good time to go, while the country is still (relatively) tourist-free. Lots of hiking, undiscovered temples and boat trips!
Ever since I started reading Sweaty Emily’s blog, I have wanted to go to Oregon – or, specifically, Eugene. The pictures of her running routes are just insanely beautiful. I wan to go trail running and hiking and camping here. And since there’s loads of craft breweries around, James is keen too!
I LOVE Istanbul. I’ve been there three times now and would love to go again – in fact, I’m thinking about taking my mum for her 60th birthday. But I don’t just want to go to Istanbul, I want to travel a little bit throughout to the country, relax on its coastline, see the incredible caves at Cappadochia, and generally explore this ginormous, diverse and hugely interesting country on the borders of Europe. Probably won’t make my way over to its eastern border….
This might seem a little confusing. Haven’t you been to Spain loads of times? Didn’t you just live in Madrid? Well – yes. But I cannot wait to go back to Madrid (click here for my guide on what to do there). And I want to travel around the whole country. If I had all the money and no need for a job, I would take several months off, buy a touring bike, and slowly, slowly, slowly make my way around the entire peninsula. It is such a large country, and so diverse, despite living there for six months there are still so many places I don’t visit. And all the places I did visit, I want to go back to. This is one dream trip that can’t be done with two weeks off work – so of all of them, this may be the one that’s closest to home, but it’s also the one that is truly most of a dream.