Ten years ago I had a particularly stressful holiday to Cyprus which was entirely down to my poor choice in travel companion, and ever since then I’ve avoided going back, despite it being a beautiful destination. A decade later I’ve decided to right that wrong by booking a week at a fantastic luxury, beach-front hotel where I’ll over-indulge in all-inclusive food and drink while staying in a beautiful room with a sea view and balcony. There’s even an indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi for guests to use should the weather be less than perfect during your stay!
It’s going to be utter bliss looking out at the Mediterranean and taking sunny walks to the nearby harbour to enjoy all things boaty. I’m very excited to be returning to Paphos, strolling around in the evening listening to the crickets chirping, sitting in the warm breeze watching stunning sunsets and exploring all the places I never got the opportunity to visit previously. Although I still adore the Canary Islands, a change is as good as a rest, and change is definitely in the air for 2018…
You know you’re in Maspalomas when you’re greeted like a long lost friend by an excitable Spanish gay chap who you’ve never met before, as he hugs you while giving you a kiss on each cheek (how very continental) before welcoming you to ‘paradise’!
While the UK was covered in snow I was stripping off at my adults-only, all-inclusive, 4-star hotel in Gran Canaria (yes, it’s a hard life). I don’t know what gets into me but the minute I arrive in Gran Canaria I can’t keep my vest on!
All-inclusive food and drinks means over-indulgence renders you incapacitated for hours on end. Thank heavens for the fabulous rooftop terrace (with bar, obviously). I’ve had some surreal moments during this holiday; not least when I spent the evening with a couple of Swedish guys watching a female contortionist and her strongman partner on stage, as I knocked back large glasses of Baileys on the rocks.
I did occasionally drag myself away long enough to enjoy boaty things and travel around the island a bit but the majority of my week involved nothing more strenuous than slathering another layer of sunscreen onto my burnt bits. Feliz Navidad!
For the past fortnight I’ve been working 6 days a week, so the fact that this is a Bank Holiday weekend is very welcome indeed. It’s been busy in the office, and also exciting with the arrival of my brand new computer with shiny new keyboard and mouse along with two great big monitors, but nice surprises aside it’s actually a welcome relief to finally be able to spend a couple of days in my much-neglected garden.
In my absence, however, Mother Nature has decided to spoil me, and when I stepped outside this fine, sunny morning I was greeted by the sight of dozens of bright orange Californian poppies, stunning giant red ornamental poppies and delicate blue love-in-the-mist. It appears that many of last years plants have self-seeded, and the mixed wild-flower seeds I randomly scattered at the end of last summer are now flourishing.
The universe sometimes has unique ways of rewarding those who go the extra mile in order to improve their own circumstances, and while I’ve strived to undertake more responsibility in the workplace, despite also undergoing numerous medical tests for ongoing health issues, I’m now reaping a few of the benefits…
Since January, I’ve been feeling distinctly below par with a cough, and as yet none of the NHS bods who’ve seen me so far can tell me why; despite numerous tests, let alone come up with a cure. It hasn’t stopped me from getting on with my new job and it certainly didn’t prevent me from enjoying a week of Spanish sunshine back in March, but it’s been quite draining nonetheless.
So, after weighing up various pros and cons, I’ve just booked another holiday (as you do) and I’m feeling better already! It won’t be for a while, which will allow time for my medical woes to hopefully be fixed, but at least it’s something nice to look forward to. This will be my very first proper ‘adults only‘ holiday, so that’s going to be quite a revelation I suspect, and as usual I’ve opted for all-inclusive in The Canaries.
Ahhhh… I can picture it now… sun, sand and sangria… and absolutely no need to worry about acting ‘inappropriately’ around other people’s offspring. I have a feeling this could get messy… how fabulous!
I had two choices regarding my remaining annual leave; stay at home and generally potter around doing not very much, or return to the Canaries. Guess what I did… Yes, just three months after returning from Lanzarote I chose to return there for a cheeky, Spanish spring break.
I’d been to Costa Teguise before so it seemed a wise move to stick with familiar territory, albeit at a different complex this time. Just four minutes walk to a giant beach and literally surrounded by fabulous shops, bars and restaurants, the location was spot on. I was allocated a great apartment with sunset views and although the weather was bordering on insanely hot on a few occasions, there was always plenty of iced sangria to cool me down.
During my stay it was the annual triathlon and I’ve never seen so much lycra in all my life; wasn’t sure where to put my eyes! I also managed a return visit to Puerto Del Carmen to see how it now looks eight and a half years after my last visit (quite different as it turns out!) I wonder where I’ll be off to next?
As I’ve never held a proper salaried position before, and am therefore unfamiliar with the concept of annual leave, I genuinely thought I’d used up all of my hours when I spent half of December in The Canaries – but apparently not! After a quick check of the works HR website I discovered that I had over a week of paid leave to take on a use-it-or-lose-it basis. So after a hectic couple of hours trawling the holiday websites and a bit of maths, I’ve managed to nab myself a cheeky week in the Spanish sunshine in the spring. OMG I just love being an employee.
I’ve only just lost the tan from the previous holiday and here I am now planning yet another all-inclusive week of sun, sand and sangria. This time last year I was self-employed, and only bringing in enough cash to just about cover my bills. Never in a million years did I think that within twelve months I’d be enjoying all the perks of being paid to laze around under palm trees for the second time in under six months. It just goes to show that you never, ever know what’s just around the corner… so you should make the most of any opportunities while you still can.
It’s mid-December and yet I have a fabulous sun tan. Yes, I’ve just returned from a magnificent all-inclusive holiday to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, staying at a 4-star hotel overlooking the islands of Fuerteventura and Los Lobos! I have to admit it’s going to be something of a challenge adjusting back into ‘normal’ life after half a month of being treated like a princess, but I need to go back to work so I can earn enough money to go away again.
I’ve been waited on hand and foot by maids and guest services staff, visited a stunning marina full of expensive yachts, seen amazing sunsets, eaten in the very best a la carte restaurants, watched entertaining evening shows, got drenched on a catamaran bouncing across waves en route to Fuerteventura and even been in a motorised dinghy with two very fit, but mad, Spaniards!
The icing on the cake is the fact that while I was lounging beneath palm trees, sipping white wine from chilled glasses, I was still getting paid a salary. Oh my word, this new job really has opened up a totally new world for me and it’s changed my life completely. It seems that good things really do come to those who wait…