I’ve never been interested in beach holidays. It’s never long before the sun makes me irritated and I start to yearn for the excitement a city brings.
Because of this, I had never really had a truly relaxing holiday. I’ve always been too interested in searching for all the sights and sounds that city life has to offer, even if it means rushing around like a headless chicken trying to cram everything in. However, this changed in the summer of 2010, when I had my first relaxing holiday and hopefully it won’t be my last. Albeit not a beach holiday, but you get the gist.
It all happened when my friends, Elsa and Freya, who are both cousins invited me and my brother to their auntie’s house in the west of France and we jumped at the chance. They mumbled something about the place being nice, but didn’t stress much about it because the whole idea of the holiday was just to bring us together since we all live in different areas of England.
Even though the holiday wasn’t mine as such, as we were invited, I still got out a map and planned things for us all to do when we arrived. My plans took us away from their aunt’s house for several days, in fact, pretty much all of my planning ensured that we were hardly there at all, because I was determined to explore as much of France as possible, given the week we were there for. Even if this meant staying somewhere new each night, instead of utilising the free accommodation; I didn’t care as long as we saw as much as we could.
However, when we arrived, all my plans were thrown out of the window, because the location and house we arrived at completely exceeded all expectations. It wasn’t a house; it was a beautiful château taken straight from a postcard.
However, this didn’t mean I had turned 180 degrees, and didn’t want to go anywhere different; as I still did, but I was equally content to do what everyone else wanted to do, and what everyone else wanted to do was laze about and enjoy the things that were on our doorstep (literally). And who was I to argue against three other people?
Throughout the whole holiday we barely left the grounds of the house because the place was practically self-sufficient – everything we wanted we had, including food which could be picked straight from the garden. I was so impressed with their life-style, ahhh wouldn’t a nice patch of land to grow my own fruit and veg be nice? [begins to wistfully dream].
Our days consisted of reading under the summer shade, sunbathing on the jetty, making sushi, swimming in the lake, playing with costumes and dressing-up, drawing, and playing hide and seek. Being in such a beautiful and laid back place really made us all get lost in our imagination, and I really didn’t miss being in a city at all. It couldn’t have been any more relaxing, hmmm well, apart from if we had a masseur on hand (now I’m starting to get greedy!).
If someone had told me beforehand that I would barely leave the house I was staying at, I would have ran the other way. But thankfully I went along, and it taught me the enjoyment of relaxing on holiday (it’s seems really obvious to say that holidays are meant for relaxing, but I often forget that!). I still need to learn that getting to know a country doesn’t mean trying to see and do everything, instead just getting to know a small region can often tell me much more about a country. From this trip, I learnt that the French really know how to relax!
This year, I may grab one of the many books I’ve been telling myself to read and give a beach holiday another go… as I’d love to see my yellow skin turn a shade of brown!