As the year hurtles on at a cracking pace I have found myself reflecting on the holidays and mini breaks that have kept me sane so far.
While it may seem blatantly obvious, it’s taken me until now to realise that travelling and holidays are not one and the same thing. The very nature of travel has changed. With technology revolutionising the way we live and interact, going to a new city now usually involves a bucket list of to dos, sees, and must eat and drinks. Which is precisely how I have spent most of my ‘holiday’ days this year. Researching new places only to land, run around like a kid after a sugar overload and then crash (not literally, thankfully) on the plane home, only to drag myself into work the next day blurry eyed and wondering if it was all a dream?
Thankfully my most recent trip was different. I must admit I was not overly enthusiastic to begin with. In theory the idea of going away with a few girls from work to catch the last of the summer sun was great. Morocco was also suggested – also great. This then changed to Tenerife – not so great. However, next thing I know flights were booked, five-star accommodation was reserved and the countdown was on.
Every time I mentioned Tenerife people would raise their eyebrows in surprise and tell me tales of how it was essentially a playground for the young, drunken, and uncultured. I would laugh nervously, silently resenting the fact that the whole trip was going to cost a lot of money to go to a place I was certain I had no interest in going – I certainly was not crossing anything off my bucket list with this trip.
How wrong I was. We arrived at the resort at 11pm after a four-and-a-half-hour flight and one hour taxi ride. After a few bottles of champagne to celebrate the fact that we’d made it in four pieces we retired to our adjoining rooms. In the morning, I woke to the sun on my face and stepped out onto our balcony to be greeted by a small slice of paradise.
The next three days followed in a blur of brunch buffets with tailor made omelettes, hours spent on the countless sun loungers littering the resort’s five poolsides, sprawling gardens and private beach, long lunches at one of the 12 resort restaurants, afternoon naps in the sun and drinks and dinner at another of the bars or restaurants.
It wasn’t all fun and games though, spying a stack of pool noodles on the first day we also did water aerobics at noon each day in the main pool and some of us (not me) made the most of the tennis courts and gym.
While I have never been one for resorts, considering them unadventurous to say the least, the whole trip left me with a newfound respect for them. Yes, our accommodation was expensive and while we did have to pay extra for a few dinners and a lunch, the whole trip actually ended up being quite reasonably priced given how we lived for those few days. We did leave the resort one night in search of some younger inhabitants to drink and dance with but apart from that we had everything we could possible need or desire, including a helipad, at the resort.
The perfect way to fully unwind, I actually came back from the trip relaxed and rejuvenated. Which just goes to show that resorts do indeed still have a place when it comes to travel and holidays.
What’s your stance on resorts? Do you like to holiday or travel or strike a balance between both types of trips?