Every two years I go on a girly holiday with my mum and my sister. Two years ago we went to Zante, and this year we visited another Greek island, Crete. I can’t tell you how ready I was for a holiday. I’ve been quite stressed recently, and I don’t think I realised just how exhausted I was getting until I left work. I definitely needed to have time to unwind, read a good book and think a few things through!
Whenever we go on holidays abroad, we tend to stay in the hotel and lounge by the pool all day and take advantage of the pool bar and free drinks. I know some people would frown at me for that, and there are probably a lot of places we should visit and explore, but ten days relaxing by the pool is my definition of the word ‘holiday’.
Going abroad meant facing my fear of flying once again. I was surprisingly calm in the airport, although I was too nervous to eat or drink anything for the entire day leading up to the flight. I was in a bit of denial, telling myself I would be fine even though I could feel the anxiety brewing when we were waiting to board. Needless to say, I lost all my cool when we took off and ended up in tears, uncontrollably shaking, unable to breathe and squeezing my poor mum’s hand until I couldn’t feel my fingers. One day I’ll be a confident flyer, but I think it’s a long way off yet!
I did enjoy the view from the plane though, even if I did feel completely overwhelmed. The skies were quite clear on the way there and almost completely cloudless on the way home. We flew over snow-topped mountains which looked absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, when I tried to take a photo with my phone, it wanted to focus on the speck of dirt on the window and not the view outside…
Spending so much time sunbathing and resting meant I had plenty of free time to read. I read the first book in a trilogy by author Veronica Henry. I’ve read a lot of her books already, and I absolutely adore her style of writing. The perspective changes between all of the characters, so you somehow end up feeling sorry for the characters that you know you shouldn’t like! It was a perfect holiday read because it was captivating but not too intense. I’m now halfway through the second book, although I won’t have as much time to read now I’m back home and back to reality.
I took my camera with me, after a lot of thought and weighing up how often I would actually use it. I knew I wouldn’t need my camera when I was by the pool, my phone camera would be more than capable of snapping my hotdog legs! But I wondered if there would be any picturesque sunsets, gardens or animals that I would want to photograph, and of course there were. I took more photos of the sunset than I care to admit, and one time lapse of the sunset that took three days to finally get right!
There was a lady at the hotel offering free photo shoots, where you only pay for the photos that you wanted. I thought it would be nice to be on the other side of the camera for a change, so I booked myself a session. I was actually really nervous before I went because I have no idea how to pose and I suddenly felt really self-conscious. But she was absolutely lovely and she put me at ease straight away, so I managed to have a lovely sunset photo shoot!
I always feel inspired when I’ve been away. The views from the aeroplane, the warmth when you leave the airport, driving through a completely alien country and marvelling at the landscape and the people going about their lives, the breathtaking sea that’s always bluer than anticipated, the golden sunsets, waking up to blue skies and children laughing, and spending time with loved ones and remembering what’s really important in life.
Now I’m home and not quite back into my routine yet. I missed my piano when I was away, and I’m amazed at how much I’ve forgotten after only ten days of not playing (Fur Elise needs some serious work!) but I’m happy to be back with my boyfriend and the cats – I missed squeezing them!