Believe it or not, this was probably the seed of my travel writing.
I know, it’s a cheesy “look at us we’re somewhere exotic” cocktail shot in an era when Tom Cruise was nominated worst actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards for shaking his piña coladas across our screens and Yazz – along with her Plastic Population – told us “The Only Way is Up………… Baby”.
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, we hadn’t invested in any national flag emblazoned swimwear which appeared to be the dress code for the occasion.
I started life in social housing, so far be it from me to be mounted on my hoity-toity high horse when I thought, “where’s the real Spain?”
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 and spending weekends scraping decades of paint and woodchip off our 100-year-old terraced home. (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 in five-years time we would take a sabbatical and explore the world outside the package holiday soap opera bubble. 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 steady-eddy careers and kept a fifteen- year-old promise to each other. And I guess that was the start of a new career.
What happened next is here How to turn your round-the-world trip into a reality
Do you dream about taking a sabbatical and traveling round-the-world? What’s stopping you?