Believe it or not, this was probably the seed of my travel adventures.
I never imagined a look-at-us-we’re-somewhere-exotic cheesy cocktail shot, taken in an era when Tom Cruise was nominated worst actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards for shaking his piña coladas across our screens, would be the springboard to my far-flung escapades.
We were actually in an Irish themed pub somewhere in the costa del tacky; about as exotic as Danny-La-Rue and as Spanish as pie and chips.
“This is the life”, some would say as they settled into their sun loungers for another day of splash and burn.
I like a few scoops as much as the next person but even a lush like me passed on a breakfast invitation to join the hardcore holiday revellers for double rum and cokes at the swim-up bar. Besides, I hadn’t invested in any national flag emblazoned swimwear which appeared to be the dress code for the occasion.
Snottiness and binge-drinking aside, there was nothing wrong with a bit of affordable frivolity in the sun. Northern hemisphere sun-seekers would slur in agreement in staggering numbers and for us, it was a cheap and cheerful welcome break from working 60-plus hour weeks with weekends spent scraping decades of paint and woodchip off our 100-year-old terraced home in Manchester, England. (Cue Coronation Street theme tune).
As I remember it, we drank to grand travel plans on that holiday. We would build our careers, save up, and we promised each other “one day” we would take a sabbatical and explore the world.
As most people know, life doesn’t always play fair and our dream trip didn’t materialise. (Cue violins)
We spent most of our thirties searching out relief remedies for my newly diagnosed arthritic spine which had been giving me grief since my teens and was structurally on the road to degeneration. Just as I got on top of that, Paul found out he didn’t have a tip-top ticker. A couple of more years passed by while Paul got surgery and the all-clear.
I guess we should’ve been holding on to our corporate, gilt-edged health cover for dear life, but instead, we cashed in our worthless endowment policy, traded in our careers and stopped waiting for “one day”.
An active and fulfilling life turned out to be the best remedy for my condition. These days, me and my less-than-perfect rickety spine are ticking along just fine.
Do you dream about taking a sabbatical and traveling round-the-world? What’s stopping you?
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