Final countdown!!

One week to go, counting the days and for the first time in ages……I’m actually getting a little excited and looking forward to something.
What is she on about? (your asking yourself)

Ok, I will tell you……the last time I had a holiday or even what you can call a proper break was 12 long yrs ago. Which was just a few months prior to my life changing completely, and the start of my roller coaster ride on the depression train.  During this last 12 years, a holiday for me was a day, or if I was really lucky, two consecutive days off to attend some sort of medical appointment, or a funeral and then  just a day off to do something like up until 5 yrs ago go fishing….all depending how I felt and how my mood swayed me. My last ‘break’ was a week spent in hospital earlier this year (more of a breakdown than a break)……..and in all honesty that had got to be one of the worst weeks of my life over the last couple of years.  My anxiety levels were so sky-high that week and the weeks preceding it that I didn’t even need to board an aeroplane!

So some plans have been made in the past couple of months, and I didn’t want to get excited or raise my hopes too much or too soon just incase this left me with another bitter  blow and disappointment after the plans to spend my birthday in Scotland went ‘tits up’ and left me feeling totally in despair and wondering if I would ever have the courage or nerve to go travelling further afield than Stratford or Worcester ever again. But now that I am getting out and about bit by bit again over these past 3 months, (and as my GP and counsellor have both told me for the good of my health I need a proper break…..before I have a breakdown) and so I have made plans to go to North Devon for a week from 28th July……..hence the count down, just one week to go!

Ok, so may  be your thinking why is she getting so excited about going on a holiday, after all millions of people do it every day, and people do it every year…..year after year after year. It’s just the norm after all. However there have been many things holding me back these past few years, my depression being one of the main reasons as has my physical health, not being able to cope with being too far away from home and or around crowds of strangers and so on, but I am so determined not to let this beat me.

It’s strange really because before the depression started about 11 or so yrs ago, I used to travel a great deal. I loved travelling abroad by coach, down to Dover and on the ferry to Northern France then on to Belgium or Germany for an overnight stay, Bavaria, Italy (Sudtyrol)  Switzerland and my favourite country…..Austria. Whilst my holidays were based in parts of Austria, such as Pfunds, Reith bei Kitzbuhel or Sillian (Sillian is situated just below the Italian Dolomites) I have also travelled on tours from our base hotels to Innsbruck, Saltzberg and Venice (and have even had a ride on a gondolier, had coffee and pizza in St Marks Sq, and some of the yummiest ice cream ever!) I was able to learn about local culture, religion and food, had a terrifying ride on a ski chair in mist and snow in the middle of August at the top of the Kaunertal glacier, met Marmots (no…..not Marmites!) at the top of the Grossglockner, as well as visiting many other little villages, including a brief vist to Oberammergau (Bavaria) home of the Passion Play which is probably the most historical world renown play ever performed…..but only every 10 years. I had just about the best ever fresh pizza made to order in a restaurant in Cortina d’ Ampazzo, I was invited to add the toppings myself after watching the dough base being tossed artistically in the air and then watched it being cooked in the stone ovens. Cortina is where the Winter Olympic ski jump is situated, from the top of the hill it had the most stunning views (including the one of the cemetery below the ski jump, must be a bit of a strange sight  to see when your rolling down the hill on skis at about 100mph….and wondering just where you are going to finally land!)

I have only ever flown twice in my entire life……the very first time was about 15 yrs ago to Perth, Western Australia where I had the privilege of spending almost a month out there with some dear friends who took us touring around parts of the South West Coast (or as they called it the ‘sow west coast’) We did the flight in two stages, firstly from Heathrow Airport to Singapore via a double-decker bus plane, and then a more normal plane from Singapore to Perth. Quite a journey I must say!! One of the highlights of the flight was watching the sun rise over the Iranian dessert…..absolutely stunning.

The following year I flew from Birmingham to Jersey for a long weekend……..quite a contrast in comparison for these two journeys. Jersey is another fab place to visit, but I would like to leave my experiences in Australia and Jersey for another day to write about in my blog. And another magical place I have visited numerous times in my younger day is Scotland. Re visiting Scotland is on my list of to do’s for next year. But one step at a time.

But having experienced all this travelling and holidaying in my younger days, I have to admit it is something I have missed over these last few years. And I hope this holiday at the end of this month will help give me some of the confidence back to go travelling again in the future. For the meantime however, it’s just what the doctor ordered, sea, sand, fresh air, scenery and some sun I hope and a complete break away from life’s everyday stresses. Must remember to pack my camera……much more important than shorts and sandals!!

Yummy yummy, really looking forward to some scones and clotted cream teas.

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