Can one trip abroad change your life?

The one thing you need to know about myself is that I am a true home bird. I adore my home comforts, everything from my warm cosy bed to my Dad’s smelly slippers. That’s home for me and its true bliss! But with this outlook, I have always found that I lack the open mindedness towards going on holidays abroad. The thought of taking only some of my belongings (Okay, most of my wardrobe) and sleeping in a strange bed for a week always felt rather disturbing. But after my trip to Crete (Stallis) in mid-September I have changed. I’m no longer that cosy home bird but instead I’m a slightly fatter one with a strong curiosity of the world outside.

I am not a holiday virgin; in fact I have been abroad before but no more than five times. My first trip was when I was seven. I went with my family to Florida/Orlando to see Disney World and it was outstanding. We all went another two times afterwards before realising that my Brother and I were growing out of the whole theme park and dressed up characters thing. My parents hadn’t though. On the third time visiting Disney my parents wanted us to watch Barney on stage! We said no!

My next trip was to Las Vegas. I was nineteen at the time but it was my Mum’s life dream to visit there. I must admit I loved Vegas! Even though I was stopped (every time I asked) to enter the clubs or play on the slot machines, I fell in love with the place all the more. The lights, the people, the shows – triple bliss! I must admit, this was the one trip, in which, I did not wish to return from.

Then there was Portugal with my two Sisters from another Mother. This was my first holiday abroad, in which, I had chosen to go alone. All I remember was being excited but yet terrified – and I was 20 at the time! The trip was great but I remember feeling ready to come home. I missed my home comforts too much and it was a strong enough feeling to clarify that I belong in England and nowhere else.

Then earlier this year I was asked to go abroad to Turkey. I have never fancied Turkey, so I declined this offer due to my lack of interest and funds. I was then asked to go to Wales (not abroad but still a holiday!) but I declined this offer because my ex-boyfriend and I had split up one week before we were due to go. Then I got asked to go away again and this time I decided that I didn’t want to miss out.

The reason for this trip was mainly to gain some breathing space from England and to embrace my final few weeks of freedom before I enrolled onto my final year at Uni. I went with another Sister from another Mother who I have known for 10 years! The plan was too perfect to turn down and despite only having one third of the payment, I decided to be a “true student” and use my overdraft to pay for it. And oh boy, I am so happy that I did!

We decided to visit Crete, Stallis. We initially chose the Greek Islands but we couldn’t pick between Corfu, Crete and Rhodes. So we put all of our faith into the travel agent and she said Crete would be the best fit. Naturally, she was right – it was perfect for us! We could keep busy while also having the opportunity to relax and party! We could visit mythological places and learn all about the Greek Islands through their land and food.

By the end of the week we truly saw the in’s and out’s of Crete. We went to Spinalonga (The Island of tears), Knossossos, Malia and Heraklion. We stood at the top of a giant mountain, saw a real sheppard, visited Zeus’ cave and tried Raki (a 70% grape based alcohol) that you had in a shot form usually after your meal for digestion purposes. What else did we do? Hmm. We did get talking to quite a few very handsome Greek men but I don’t think you want to hear about that do you?

Ha! I don’t write and tell.

After arriving back on English land, I felt like a new woman. Crete managed to heal my broken heart, my unwanted level of stress and my low self-esteem. It was a miracle! Who knew that one trip could make me feel this good?

The best thing about my trip to Crete is that the feeling of happiness and success is still living inside of me today. This particular feeling has made me reconsider my feelings towards holidays; I truly believe that if you can and want to go away, then you should do! We have this giant world at the end of our finger tips and its a world that you shouldn’t miss out on seeing! I think that my next trip will be to Italy. Oh, the food, scenery and gorgeous Italian men! Oh my!


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