What is the perfect holiday? Is it travel, is it vacation? Tomāto, tomăto. My newfound travel heroine Lisa Lindblad said in her interview for Pure that travel shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a requirement. And that travel in itself is meant to be challenging as it is work already through its etymological meaning. I like that sentiment. And so travel doesn’t contradict with the sentiment of sunloungers and holidays, it’s simply a part of it, or at least should be.
Personally I don’t need a sunlounger and while I’m not one of these strange people who never seem to get sand on their towel (how is that even humanly possible?), I want the sand. I want it everywhere. A beach holiday without sand is completely pointless and if I don’t bring it into my living room upon return, I wonder why I even left in the first place.
Also the mozzies…While I really don’t like mozzies, I think a holiday without them doesn’t feel quite right.* I’m writing this and I just smashed one against the pillow. I feel accomplished now (and also a tiny bit bad…) I also want cicadas to keep me up at night. Alternatively a good thunderstorm will do.
I like to drink ice-cold coke, which only seems to taste good when I’m on holidays. And beer – the local one! Every country seems to have two competing local brands and it says a lot about you which one you like better. In Thailand that is Chang or Singha; I’m a Singha girl in case you wonder and I even have the t-shirt to prove it.
Food markets and discovering an ingredient I have never seen before. Even if that is a toad (yes, true story from Vietnam).
If I don’t find at least one scrawny kitten to feed underneath the table I will not be happy. And each time I will seriously contemplate to take one home, it will happen one of these days.
I am craving dusty roads and potholes. Wind on my face though it messes up my already messy hair.
If the local food can be eaten with fingers even at a fancy hotel, I am the happiest. But I’m much happier when I’m sitting on a little plastic chair in a side alley. Though I do like a fancy hotel bed, a big one with too many pillows and the corners of the sheets not tucked it, that drives me insane.
I need to get lost and find my way; it makes me feel accomplished.
I want see constellations I have never seen before. Actually any stars will do. A good down pour, once, is appreciated.
Sharing a perfect moment with a stranger: a smile, a handshake, a kind word, even if I don’t understand it.
I need to do something that scares me just a little bit. And learning a new skill, like opening a coconut with only the help of your hotel veranda tiles.
Seeing something old and something new.
Salt, sun, and water on my skin. I need the ocean and enough sun that my freckles start showing. Tangled hair and coconut, summer, suntan smell.
A new friend, a local or a fellow traveller.
A trip from A to B, literally and figuratively. A destination in heart and a destination in mind, a dream fulfilled and a new one formed. A question answered and many others asked that I never thought of asking.
All of that – the perfect holiday and it never feels like work.
*I’m so taking that one back! The mozzie I managed to catch was by far not the last and I went to sleep at 03h00. Which could partly be because I had a double espresso at 22h00 with my dessert, but still, I take the mozzie thing back.
Pictures: Cambodian beach – Hoi An market – Essaouira kittens – favorite riad El-Fenn, Marrakech – thunderstorm Florence, Angkor Wat