On Thursday we got back from our last trip of the summer, and it’s got me thinking about how holidays are so much more than just a holiday. A holiday isn’t just a break or an escape from reality anymore. Obviously a perk is getting to have a rest from day to day ‘adult stuff’ like work, bills, housework etc., but the more I travel, the more I realise how a holiday gives you so much more than just an opportunity to lay horizontally under the sun. Let me explain.

It brings you closer to the people you’re with, or it helps you to really get to know yourself if you’re travelling alone.

I always travel with Darryl, and while we live with each other and spend most of our time together, it’s always travel that brings us closer together and teaches me new things about him. On the other hand, I’ve never travelled alone, but I can imagine it’s pretty liberating. There are people close to me who travel alone all the time and I think it’s a really brave and fearless thing to do.

It’s a lesson in the way that it educates you about a new culture.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a ten-hour flight to the Caribbean or a one-hour flight to France, everywhere in the world is so different and has so much to offer. I never really used to care about the culture, probably because it ‘wasn’t cool’ or whatever, but now I don’t feel like I’ve made the most of a holiday if I haven’t got to know the place I’m in.

It’s an opportunity to do something different or try something new.

For me that’s photography. I could happily spend hours just taking pictures on a beach, or in a city, or in a desert. It’s amazing that Darryl enjoys it too, because it means we can mess around with our cameras all day. We always spend some a lot of our holiday experimenting with things like nighttime photography and working with silhouettes, as we did in these photos and ones you’ll see in future blog posts. I can do it here at home, but Milton Keynes isn’t as inspiring to me in comparison to somewhere abroad, which is why my entire Insta feed is just holiday photos. Sorry not sorry.

It’s a chance to assess where you’re at in life and set new goals.

Taking time out to relax refreshes your mind-set, and it also helps me to see what it is I want from life and how I’m going to get it. It used to be basic things. I remember going to Turkey when I was eighteen and deciding there and then that when I got home, I was going to get braces. I made an appointment, and two days later I had braces. It was a minor goal in the grand scheme of things, but a goal set abroad nonetheless. Now, it’s things like goals for my blog, and my career, and more of that ‘adult stuff’ I mentioned earlier. I guess a holiday is just a chance to think with no distractions.

It’s a break from normality and so anything can inspire you.

I never really used to get this, but now, nothing inspires me more than being in a new place. It’s mostly blog-related, because I come home with a load of fresh new content that I can’t wait to share, but it also inspires me in other aspects of my life, like work, relationships and the little things that usually get pushed aside. I always want to ‘do better’ after a holiday, and it doesn’t need to be a total overhaul. Just a few small improvements are enough.

The list could go on, but you get my point. Travel offers a hell of a lot. If it’s an endless supply of pina coladas on the beach that you want, that’s what you can have. If it’s a bit of that, but also a chance to see more of the place you’re in, then you can have that too. That’s why I love travel, because there are limitless possibilities depending on what you want to get from it.

A big part of travel is the appreciation of where you are and what you’re doing. I’ll never forget the day when I was sat in the back of a convertible Mustang, wearing about five layers of coats, driving around America with my dad and step-mum Amy, listening to music and being that classic ‘grumpy young teen’. I was such a fortunate child to be taken away by my mum, dad, step-mum and grandparents regularly, but you never see it at the time do you? I’ve travelled the world pretty much from birth, and yet up until my late teens, I had zero understanding of just how lucky I was. Thankfully I still have the memories so I can appreciate everything now.

The older I get, the more I’m verging away from my ‘sit by the pool and don’t move for a week’ holidays, and the more I’m wanting to get stuck into a real adventure. We went on an all-inclusive package holiday to Mexico in July, but I didn’t go all the way across the world to see an infinity pool. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed a few pool days, but the best days were spent out exploring by ourselves, actually seeing Mexico. These blog photos are a good example of that. This was the day that we got a dodgy little bus down to Tulum, spent the morning exploring the ruins (post to follow!), followed by two hours just messing around on the beach, taking photos and drinking fresh coconut water. It doesn’t get better than that for me, and because of it, I’ve never been so motivated to work hard to travel more.

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