Is there anything better than the start of summer?! I honestly love it, the long, warm summer days, lazing at the beach or by the river, the sounds of nature starting to spark from the trees and undergrowth. As the warmth of summer spreads its arms across Europe, us Brits seek to follow the warm rays and days on beaches that scatter across the coastlines, we flock in thousands to far flung places, travelling on average 2,743 miles to reach our destinations of choice, where we eat, drink and play away from the responsibilities of home.
The ‘Brits Abroad’ reputation that precedes us is as thick as the warm air that we seek, as a group of people we are well known for drinking too much, playing too hard and generally being a bit loose with our actions, I can’t pretend that I don’t slightly live up to this stereotype from time to time. According to Auto Europe in a two week holiday we drink on average 56 alcoholic drinks, speaking on behalf of myself and groups of friends I know that this number can raise drastically from this average. Now that I travel long term I’m much more reserved than I am when I cut loose from ‘normal’ life back in England, where my holidays would be incredibly different from the way that I travel now…
Starting from the airport, myself and many other travellers I know start with a glass of wine, beer, or whatever else we can get our hands on, then before you know it two weeks later you emerge from the airport to head back home with a golden (pink) tan, braids in your hair, bracelets decorating your arms and a t-shirt that probably has the local beer brand from the country in which you visited, c’mon guys we’ve all got them, own up, who’s got Singha, Chang, Bintang or Kronenberg t-shirts? Although my French friend has just assured me whilst tutting that French people “don’t wear beer brands on their t-shirts, Hannah”. My friend must be oblivious to how us Brits like to show our appreciation for a place that we have visited.
I know I’m generalising here, we’re not all like this, especially for people who travel for passion and not purely for a holiday, but in this case when considering a two week Vacation the majority of us enjoy to live life differently to how we do at home, but that’s what a holiday is for, am I correct?
When I travel not only do I fill my boots with local beers, wines and spirits but I devour every bit of pescatarian food that I can lay my hands on, from delicious Paella in Spain, Meze in Greece, (Stuffed Vine leaves are a thing of pure heaven) to Gratin Dauphinois in the French mountain towns served with crisp salad and crusty bread; most thoughts of healthy eating slide when the seat belt sign gets turned on and my passion for local food skyrockets. The farmers markets dotted around Europe make me envious of the towns which feel like time forgot; fresh handmade bread, fruits, vegetables, crisp, juicy and ready to fill my awaiting stomach at a moment’s notice. It’s really no surprise that one quarter of us eats on average 500 Kcals more than we do at home, I don’t mean to be giving myself excuses here, but with such delicious food how can we be blamed?
From the beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, great food, cold, crisp beers and local wines there’s nothing better than visiting Europe on holiday. Although I still love to party and eat everything I can get my hands on in a 10 meter radius there’s one thing that I do love to embrace when I go on holiday and that’s the ‘travelling’ mentality. I don’t just want to stay in town or within my complex when I travel, I want to explore. I want to go to that amazing mountain restaurant or to the waterfalls that only locals know about, I want to dive, jump, explore and play in between the pool parties and hangovers. There’s no way I prefer exploring a region over grabbing a car, plugging in some music and setting off into the European sun. Beer Brand t-shirts optional.