Last year was a HUGE holiday year for me. It was the year I turned 40 and so I decided I was going to have 40 days of holiday in celebration. Over the course of the year myself and the family had some epic adventures and created some lifelong memories. From Iceland in the February half term, a two week road trip around the UK at Easter, Dubai, Singapore and Bali over the summer holidays and then Paris in September, I was certainly spoilt. This year however, things are a very different. We’ve been renovating our house, which has involved moving out and renting somewhere and well let’s just say there’s not much money left in the pot – certainly not for extravagant holidays…. or any holidays for that matter.
With that being the case and in a bid to help my holiday blues I’ve put together my bucketlist of dream holiday destinations for 2019, which should I randomly stumble across a pot of money I would be booking in a heart beat…. there’s always next year hey 😉
Give me somewhere hot, that serves cocktails with those little umbrellas and a cherry on a stick, with beachy views and turquoise seas to die for and I am in heaven. I’ve basically just described a holiday to the Caribbean. I’m not particularly fussed where in the Caribbean: Jamaica, St Lucia, Cuba…. they all sound lovely and when the weather is all a bit rubbish over here I’d absolutely love to escape there for some winter sunshine.
My ideal day on a Caribbean island would involve waking up nice and early to a beautiful sunrise and going for an early morning run along the beach. I’d get back to our exclusive beachside hotel and take a dip in our own personal plunge pool before donning my robe and feasting on a spread of fresh tropical fruit and maybe a pastry or two. I would then charter a catamaran in the Caribbean sea and spend the day swimming with turtles and dolphins in the crystal clear waters. We’d be served a lunch of fresh fish and of course Champagne would be on tap.
It would then be back to shore to relax on the beach and do some shell collecting with the kids before getting ready for dinner on the beach to watch the sunset. Bliss!
I’ve always really fancied going to Hawaii and we very nearly booked it as our honeymoon destination. I think in the end we changed it because it didn’t quite work out with their seasons, but it has still remained one of my much sought after travel hot spots. I love the idea of being greeted at the airport by a driver holding up one of those big signs with our name on and then rushing over to help us with our bags and slipping a flower garland around our necks. In fact if it’s the dream I’m creating here then I’d quite like there to be a couple of hula girls there as well doing a dance in their grass skirts – that would be amazing please.
I remember watching an episode of Saved By The Bell when I was younger where they went to Hawaii and it has really stuck with me ever since. In it they took part in some ritual where a suckling pig was cooked in a hole on the beach and then there was a huge feast afterwards filled with bright tropical colours, fresh fruit and vegetables and fire dancers – in my teenage eyes it was the perfect party island.
The scenery looks like nothing else and I am fascinated by the volcanic structure and fiery underbelly of what lies beneath. I’m not sure I will ever be able to convince my daughter to go somewhere with such a high degree of volcanic activity (she is a big of a worrier when it comes to natural disasters – being caught in an earthquake in Bali last year didn’t do much to help that!), however I am determined to make it to Hawaii one of these days.
Machu Picchu, alpacas and llamas, the Inca trail and the Amazon jungle, Peru has long been on my travel wishlist for all those reasons. I’ve never been one to shy away from an adventure and so the thought of following in the footsteps of the Incas by trekking through the mountains with nothing but a bedecked llama and maybe a pan pipe band for company is my idea of a good time.
It is one of those ‘must see before you die’ destinations that I like to think wouldn’t be a disappointment when you actually get to go there. Has it been ruined by tourism? Have the pathways been eroded? It does make me wonder whether it is as amazing as I have built it up to be. Yet it is still somewhere I want to visit one day – maybe when the kids are older, or perhaps more likely when they have left home and me and the husband can take on the next adventure of our lives while we are still in good health.
OK so there’s a bit of a pattern emerging here… I like a picture perfect view across the ocean! I mean how can you not want to stay in one of those water huts you see dotted in the ocean, they look like the dream. And to have a hatch or glass window that looks down from the floor of your hut straight into the sea so that you can see the fish, oh my goodness I would love it. Now clearly this one’s not really suited for kids, so husband if you’re reading this… we’re probably due an adults’ only break away soon right? Hey, you don’t ask you don’t get 😉
There is also the fact that scientists have worked out that due to rising sea levels caused by climate change and the melting icebergs and glaciers, it is highly likely that in just 30 years time the Maldives will have been completely submerged. So if we don’t go soon, we’ll have missed our chance.
We went to Iceland last year and we absolutely loved it, but it still feels as though we have so much more to see. I’ve never really been someone who went in for cold, snowy holidays, being more a hot beach kinda girl. However, Iceland totally changed my opinion and now I feel as though I want that kind of holiday every year – along with a hot one too obviously 😉 One thing we did miss out on seeing when we were there was the Northern Lights and so if we were to go back I would love to take a tour in a more remote location to increase our odds of seeing them. We stayed in Reykjavik in an Airbnb apartment right on the main street and it was great for exploring this fantastic capital city. The kids loved having proper snow to play in and provided we wrapped up with lots of layers the cold wasn’t a problem – plus it gave us a good excuse to keep stopping for hot chocolate breaks!
This is a real adventure holiday, one unlike we had experienced before so it was a huge test for us all. We tried out things that were definitely out of our comfort zones – ice caving, eating rotten shark and taking the kids to a penis museum – but it is a holiday that we will definitely never forget. It is those holidays that stay with you forever and that make you want to return to a place because you have such fond memories of it. As a parent I am keen to instil the travel bug within my children, to show them the differences in the world and to encourage them to explore and try new things. Iceland allows you to do ALL of those things and more.
So yeah there you have it, my ‘if money was no object’ travel bucketlist for this year… reckon I might just have to make do with a staycation in sunny Petersfield this year while drooling over everyone else’s holiday pics….. well a girl can dream!