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I've just seen this challenge, and thought I'd have a go. I am hoping that the lazy option (of doing a challenge) might inspire me to do some proper writing soon.
Country of birth:
HOW MANY HOLIDAYS DO YOU TAKE PER YEAR?
Two or three - it varies. I'd like to take four, but money and amount of annual leave are a bit prohibitive there!
HOW LONG DO YOU GO ON HOLIDAY FOR?
Normally a two week stint, a one week stint and another break which would be between 4 days and a week.
DO YOU DO SHORT BREAKS?:
Yes, but not very often. I prefer to save my time and money for a longer holiday. The way I see it, you've still got to spend time and money getting there, so what's the point of only going for a few days? As a result I never end up doing European city breaks, which I actually would really like to do, I just find them disproportionately expensive.
DO YOU PREFER TO HOLIDAY ABROAD OR IN THE UK:
Definitely abroad. I don't feel like I've had a proper break unless I get away to another country.
WHAT DO YOU GO ON HOLIDAY FOR?
Lots of things! I find it relaxing (although the sort of holidays I like to do are normally quite stressful to plan, but relaxing when I get there!), I like to experience different cultures, see beautiful scenery, try different activities, eat different food, stay in lovely hotels and not have to cook, clean or wash up the whole time I'm away!
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU GO ON HOLIDAY WITH?
Normally just my partner. My preference is not to go with more than 1 or 2 other people. Big groups work if you're just lounging on a beach, but that's not my idea of fun and if you want to go out and about and see and do things, it's too much hassle trying to organise a large group.
WHAT CATERING DO YOU TAKE IF ANY?
None - although I have been known to slip a few Earl Grey teabags in my case…
WHAT IS YOUR BEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
Oh, I have so many! Our trip to the West Coast of the USA was absolutely fantastic - so many amazing sights and experiences in one trip - experiencing the enormity of The Grand Canyon, seeing the beauty of Yosemite National Park (which is one of the most naturally beautiful places I've ever seen), flying down the Las Vegas strip at night by helicopter, visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco and seeing the Hoover Dam… I'd have been happy just doing one of those things in a trip, but doing all of them was a bit mind blowing! I also have happy memories of holidays with my parents when I was younger - they always took me on lovely trips, we toured parts of Canada (Niagara Falls was a favourite - I did a helicopter flight over there too), and the East Coast of the USA. I've been to 15 different US states so far (that's more than most Americans!) and almost all the Canadian provinces. I've got little snippets of memories of lovely restaurants, countryside and hotels on various different holidays, but I'd bore you if I shared them all!
& YOUR WORST:
Probably the first two times I went skiing. The first was on a school trip when I was 11, I'd never been away from home for more than a night before without my parents, I came down with flu the day before I went, and then I got my third ever period while I was away and spent all week trying to hide it from the people I was sharing a room with as none of them had started yet! I didn't particularly enjoy the skiing either!
The second time was a cheap package to La Plagne in France. My other half loves skiing so even though I had bad memories of the first time I went, I agreed to give it a go. Our chalet was horrible, and was taken over by a big group of people who all knew each other. We got stuck with the two other groups of two - a couple of middle aged lesbians from Scotland, one of whom ran a restaurant and hated vegetarians, something she reminded me of every time I tucked in to my (normally burnt and only slightly edible) vegetarian option in the evening, and two ladettes who were chasing round after the holiday reps the whole time. As for the skiing, I had the instructor from hell and after spending every morning in tears as I was dreading the lessons so much, I gave up. I vowed I'd never ski again, but I am a glutton for punishment and I've since been once more. This time no expense was spared, we went to North America, stayed in a luxury apartment, and had a fantastic time! More on that later…
NAME THE BEST THREE PLACES THAT YOU HAVE VISITED IN THE UK:
I'm not all that well travelled in the UK I'm afraid, but of the places I have been to I love North Wales, The Purbeck Hills in Dorset (right on my doorstep!) and the Cotswolds.
NOW THREE ABROAD:
I really can't choose three! I'll have a go though.
Breckenridge - the wonderful skiing resort I went to in Colorado earlier this year. It was beautiful and I had a fantastic time and met lots of lovely people.
Boston - one of my favourite American cities, although San Francisco and Las Vegas would also be contenders.
Siena - a beautiful Italian town in Tuscany where I had one of the nicest meals I've ever eaten. Tuscan food is amazing!
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT HOLIDAY?
Seeing and experiencing as much as possible, preferably with a mixture of beautiful countryside (I'm a particular fan of mountains) and interesting towns/cities. I also like to have nice food on holiday - choosing where to eat in the evening is a big part of it for me, and I would hate to go half board or all inclusive.
WHEN WAS YOUR LAST HOLIDAY?
It was March this year. We went skiing to Breckenridge in Colorado for ten days and then had four days in New York on our way back. Breckenridge was beautiful and our accommodation was absolutely lovely - you could easily have lived there, it was like a luxury apartment. I got on really well with skiing this time too, despite my two previous bad experiences. The American ski schools are organised completely differently from the European ones, so you will always be with people who are exactly the same ability as you - rather than being stuck with the same group all week and everyone progressing at different rates, not to mention the fact that the American instructors seem to do it because they love to teach, not just because they love to ski. New York was lovely too - although very cold. It snowed when we were at the top of the Empire State Building, and our trip to Liberty Island is possibly the coldest I have ever been, as we were outside all day. I was just glad we had ski wear with us as I wore that!
NAME 5 DESTINATIONS THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO VISIT:
Amazingly, considering I'm still quite young, I have visited most of the places I have wanted to see, but there's still a few left! There are loads of places I've already been to that I'd like to go back and see more of, but I'll try to stick with places I haven't been to already.
Australia, particularly Sydney.
Sri Lanka - it sounds beautiful, and some friends went earlier in the year and were telling us about a lovely elephant orphanage that you can visit.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy - I love Italy and have visited most of the North, but I'd love to see this part as it's supposed to be beautiful.
The Ice Hotel - I'm not sure where this is, it's Norway or Iceland or somewhere, but it is actually a hotel made of ice! I'd love to go there just for the experience, and also to try out all the winter sports.
Amsterdam - I've heard it's lovely, and it's so close by that it is criminal that I haven't been there yet!
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN? …
Oh yes - used to hate it, now I love it and can't wait to go again. It is just so much fun, and it's not actually as cold as you might think!
No, not unless you count skiing.
No, but I'd quite like to. I'll save it until I'm older though! Caravanning
No, although I did once sleep in a caravan in someone's front garden. They had a lot of people staying and it was 'overflow' accommodation!
Only for one night - unless you count sleepovers when we slept in tents in the garden when I was at school.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A HOLIDAY VILLAGE LIKE BUTLINS, PONTINS OR A CENTRE PARKS?
I've been to Center Parcs twice - it's nice for girly pampering weekends, and I wouldn't put it in the same category as Butlins and Pontins. I have unfortunately also been to Pontins twice - I was a member of the Queen fanclub when I was younger and they hold their conventions at Pontins, so I've been there for that. Not an experience I enjoyed or would ever wish to repeat.
WHAT COMPANY DO YOU TRAVEL WITH?
I normally arrange my own holidays, apart from skiing, which we booked through Worldski, and a couple of USA flydrives which I've done with Virgin. Even with those we wanted to fiddle around with their set itinerary!
DO YOU EVER DO TAILOR MADE HOLIDAYS?
Yes, our skiing holiday was tailor made.
HAVE YOU EVER DONE A D I Y HOLIDAY?
Yes, almost always. We're off to France in a few weeks' time, staying in a few different hotels and a chateau. I've booked it all myself on the internet. It's so easy, and you save so much money. I'm also not happy if I have to stay in one place for more than a few days, and very few package holidays offer the option of moving around, so I have to book it myself. In my experience most travel agents can't cope with doing anything complicated, so if I arrange it all I know it's right, and only have myself to blame if it's not!
DO YOU LIKE FLYING?
I don't mind it at all, but I get very frustrated if there are delays - and I've had my fair share of those. I am lucky in that I can sleep on planes, and I find aeroplanes and aviation fascinating anyway so I enjoy the whole experience.
WHICH IS THE BEST AIRLINE THAT YOU HAVE FLOWN WITH?
Probably Virgin. The service is normally good and the inflight entertainment is excellent. British Airways are also good.
Continental, by far. When we went skiing this year we flew with them to New York (8 hours) then on to Denver (another 5 hours). The planes were cramped and uncomfortable, there was a poor choice of entertainment, and the food was shocking. We were delayed in New York and they messed us around for ages, and when we got on the internal flight they didn't have the vegetarian meal I'd ordered, as apparently they don't offer them on domestic flights. I wouldn't have minded this if I'd been told at the time of booking, then I could have taken some food on with me, but as it was I went hungry.
WHAT IS THE BEST CLASS THAT YOU HAVE FLOWN?
I've only ever flown Economy, despite my best efforts to get upgraded, my partner normally lets us down by looking scruffy!
IF YOU COULD GO ON HOLIDAY WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Well they say you never really know someone properly until you've been on holiday with them, so I think I'll stick with the devil I know!
DESCRIBE YOUR SUITCASE:
I don't own a large suitcase of my own, I normally borrow one from my parents, which is lilac! I have a small weekend suitcase on wheels but that's not big enough for a proper holiday.
WHAT THREE ITEMS COULD YOU NOT GO ON HOLIDAY WITHOUT?
My passport, obviously.
A guidebook to wherever I'm visiting to make sure I don't miss out on seeing something amazing.
GPS so we don't get lost when travelling from place to place.DID YOU ENJOY THIS CHALLENGE?
Yes, it's made me want to book some more holidays!
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