Today marks the end of a lovely little break for me and Dan. Back on my Birthday he surprised me with the promise of a long weekend in Edinburgh with a tour around the Edinburgh Gin Distillery where some of my favourite gins are made! He’d decided to break up the journey by adding a stopover in Newcastle on the way up, and needless to say I was very excited for the trip to come around!
Now, when you tell people you’re off on a weekend away, the response you normally get is, ‘How lovely! What are you going to get up to while you’re there?’ and that’s something I always struggle to answer. We’ll always have one or two plans – a meal at a restaurant we’ve had recommended, for example, or in this case, the distillery tour – but that’s largely where our plans stop because we like to keep things open ended. This is quite different to our everyday lives. Dan is quite the organiser, and I start getting anxious when I don’t know what to expect. When it comes to holidays though, that all changes for some reason. Instead of wanting to have a full itinerary so I know what to pack, I want to make sure we have enough time to get in plenty of our favourite pastime – some good old fashioned exploring!!
Excursions and activities are all well and good, and often create some amazing memories, but I like nothing better than to take a few hours to stroll around a new city or town aimlessly, taking in the sights, the people and the atmosphere. I love to take little detours down side streets to see where they end up, look for the tiny bars or cafes tucked away from sight or the secret garden hidden in amongst the buildings. These are the memories that really stay with me, and they are just as much a part of travelling to me as the guided tours or the landmarks – if not more. I think maybe it ties in with my favourite thing about a break away – that feeling that your time is yours and yours alone for the duration of your stay. There is just no better feeling than knowing you don’t have to be anywhere specific or do anything you don’t want to for a whole weekend. No alarms to wake up to or deadlines to hit or meetings that suck up most of your day. Just you, your travel buddy and a comfy pair of shoes – sheer bliss!
Coming back to the packing though, it can make it problematic, because I really do have to pack for all eventualities! Still, it’s always nice to have choices, right?!