I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some beautiful and exotic places. I’ve white-water-rafted in Zambia, Africa. I’ve washed my hair under a waterfall in Thailand. I’ve explored temples ant tombs in Egypt. I’ve boozed, sunbathed and shopped my way through a good number of European countries.
Yet, the best holiday that I’ve ever had was a four hour drive away, in Wales.
Mr. G and I were less than a year into our relationship – this was our first holiday together. We stayed in a beautiful log cabin on a working farm. It was April, and snowing, which made getting into the outdoor hot tub even more of an adventure!
It was nearly a decade ago now, but I still cherish those moments.
I remember how we’d walk in the crisp, cold morning to get fresh eggs from the farm.
I remember how good those eggs tasted – how yellow the yolks were – along with the fresh tiger bread and the fresh coffee. Heaven.
In the daytime, we’d either go out and explore the local area, browsing at nick-nacks in quaint, little shops and dining on local grub. Mostly though, we stayed in. I’d sit in the hot tub, occasionally drinking rose Prosecco and usually reading a book. Mr. G would be inside, cooking up a storm. I can still taste the beef and ale pie he made, with the heart decoration on top.
Later on, after a little more reading, relaxation and frolicking, we would sit at the table in our bathrooms and enjoy a lovely meal. A game of chess would follow. Admittedly, I was a rather unwilling beginner, so Mr. G threw in some red wine and classical music, knowing that my desperation to ‘appear cultured’ would give me the enthusiasm to attempt at least one game.
In the evenings, we would sit and talk on the sofa. Our only entertainment was a ‘Tribe’ DVD box-set, and we would often end up watching Bruce Parry take part in some kind of bizarre ritual (regularly including nudity or ingesting dangerous substances) in an effort to be accepted into a far-flung society.
I’ve spoken before about how I became fixated on wanting to travel, and escape, especially as my work-life balance deteriorated. I was always pushing for exotic locations. Poor Mr. G would be suggesting breaks in the Lake District and I’d be pushing for Dubai or Cuba. It wasn’t until I’d really sat down and thought about this holiday in Wales that I realised location was fairly low in the list of what makes a good holiday.
This holiday that I’ve described – the best holiday I’ve had – wasn’t warm, exotic or unusual. Yet, it was perfect.
Because it’s really not about where you go: it’s about who you’re with and how you feel.