In case you haven’t noticed so far (and you haven’t, wth?!), I am a sucker for a getaway. Whether it’s a quick city break, a cheap and cheerful staycation, or an all out luxury sunshine holiday, there’s something that makes me so happy about getting away from everyday life. I mean, browsing the web for holidays I can’t afford but dream about pretty much daily is literally a hobby of mine. But the really exciting part? Booking a break on a whim. Going away with no plans. Just letting each day happen as it comes. And when you travel without plans, you’ll find you come across a few little, unexpected surprises…
Warning: you are about to see some very old, blonde pictures of me!
*This blog post was written for the Surprise Trips blogger/vlogger competition where someone will win a surprise trip for two, but I mean every single word! You can find out more about the competition here.
The picturesque places you find to waste the day away in.
When you think about visiting Paris, what comes to mind? Heading to the Eiffel Tower maybe? Walking along the River Seine? Maybe it’s shopping down the Champs-Elysees? I mean, don’t get me wrong, these are all amazing reasons to visit Paris. But one thing I love about strolling around Paris is the beautiful parks and landscaped areas you accidentally stumble across, and you find yourself walking slower and slower to really take it all in. In fact, any picturesque places you accidentally find yourself stepping into are great for spending the afternoon mooching about and people watching. Two other favourites of mine were exploring Corfu town unplanned and gawping at the magnificent market stalls, exquisite little gifts shops and the refined restaurants, and the beautiful harbour we accidentally found ourselves at in Cyprus, where we proceeded to spend hours sipping iced tea and watching the world go by as the sun set. Perfection.
The (almost) strangers you travel and bond with.
It’s natural to meet strangers across the globe as you travel, but what about when you travel with people you barely knew in the first place? This has happened on two occasions for me. After being at university for just a couple of weeks, our course decided spontaneously to book a group holiday to anywhere cheap so that we could well and truly get to know each other. We ended up with Bulgaria, as it was the only place we could all afford, and what an amazing experience. From creating everlasting friendships to the memory of that certain someone’s first free bar experience not ending well. (I shall name no names!) The second time I travelled with almost strangers is when a girl I worked with had a spare spot for a trip to Ibiza that needed filling. I didn’t know her well, and I’d never considered going to Ibiza, but who am I to say no to a holiday? So I took the plunge and went for it. The result? We are now best friends and returning to Ibiza in Summer 2017. There are some things you go through and can’t help but be friends afterwards… turns out drinking until your liver disintegrates is one of them.
The celebrities you accidentally meet on the way.
I can safely say that I have never booked a holiday and anticipated bumping into a celebrity. I don’t think I could go anywhere and anticipate that. Just imagine it! I mean, imagine heading to Magaluf for your first ever holiday abroad at the age of 18 and getting seated next to Basshunter at the Pirates show! And imagine if, when spending your second time in Benidorm, you just happened to see the full Benidorm cast filming at your hotel and even had a cheeky selfie by side of the pool with Johnny Vegas. Can you imagine it?! Because I can. Because, yup! It happened to me. 😎
The moment you discover that the stuff on postcards is really, truly real.
Seeing pictures is one thing, but stepping out and looking at your surrounding scenery only to have your breath instantly taken from your chest is something else. It’s a magical feeling to know that there are so many beautiful corners of the world you can discover and that each and every one leaves a special imprint in your memories. The one that sticks with me above all is when I first stepped onto the beach at my resort in Mexico. It was hard to believe that sand so crystal, a sea of such a shimmering blue expanse and a sky so vivid really exists. But it does. It really, truly does.
You see, travelling is amazing, no matter what you do or where you go. You get to discover hidden gems, fall in love with new places and make memories to last a lifetime. But would your memories really have such a warm place in your heart without all the little things that go alongside the big things? Would you ooze as much passion when talking about the places you’ve visited without the little anecdotes to go with it? Sometimes, the little unexpected surprises really turn out to be the best.
Hell, why not go all out and have a surprise trip altogether?! You can do just that with Surprise Trips. They can send you off to one of 77 possible European weekend destinations. The really exciting part? You won’t have a clue where it is until you get to the airport.
What do you think of surprises when travelling? Would you go ahead with a complete surprise trip? I know I would!