#10 Asia here we come!

Good morning, and what a beautiful day it is, the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting like Kim Kardashian on crack, and I am wide awake at 7am on a Saturday morning because …. Eek, I am off on my jollies today, and I am uber excited! (Can you tell?!) Watch out Hong Kong – we are coming to get you!!

is it just me or do other people get this ‘Christmas Eve when you were a child’ feeling, when a trip approaches?  I get super giddy, especially when I know I am off to somewhere new and as yet unexplored by me, it’s like a hundred champagne corks being popped at once and all fizzing around in my tummy, thousands of little bubbles of happiness. Niffa thinks I am bonkers, his attitude is more the laid back “yes darling of course I’m looking forward to our trip” type approach.

He has never let me forget our first holiday together a few months after we first met.  We checked in at Manchester airport, I kissed my mum and H goodbye (this was a romantic rendezvous, no rambunctious 2 year olds were invited!).  I held Ian’s hand as we headed towards departures and then …. “Did you just skip?” he said to me, incredulously. “Who, me? No!” I vehemently denied it (but of course I had … just a little skip), “You did, didn’t you!” he said.  Oh the shame, the embarrassment, trying to be cool in front of my new..ish boyfriend, and failing miserably.  Ground please swallow me up, right now, I demanded silently, but of course it didn’t.

He thought it was hilarious, all I heard from him during our holiday was, “ha ha, you skipped because you’re going on holiday with me” chortle chortle (can you tell I’ve been reading the Dandy with H recently?!).  Eventually though I had to burst his bubble by explaining that I could have been on my own, or with some other guy, the skip, was purely my travel giddiness manifesting itself in physical form. Luckily he also thought it was endearing, and when we took our next big trip together, to Brazil, to cruise the coast and go to the Rio Carnival, he told me that what he was most looking forward to was seeing my reaction when we boarded our cruise ship, “you will be skipping all over the place” he said, and I was!

My obsession with travelling began at the tender age of fourteen when my parents booked our first family holiday abroad (see my first Blog post #Hello World, I would tag you but I’m not that technical just yet!). Ever since I have gone on holiday as often as I could afford to and when real life didn’t get in the way.  I recall booking my first holiday without my parents, I was sixteen and in the sixth form at school, I had been saving my Saturday job money for months, then my friend and I booked our flights, to Cyprus funnily enough, without telling my mum.  Her parents had a house here as they had relocated for a couple of years, but then returned to the UK and kept the house for family holidays.

So one day “Mum, I need my passport” I announced.  “Why?!” (In a suspicious sounding voice) she asked,  “because I’m going on holiday with my friend Gill”, “No you are NOT!” she replied. I don’t know really what I was thinking of, to imagine my mum would allow me to fly off to Cyprus alone with my friend at just sixteen years of age, if H said that to me I’m not sure what my reaction would be.  In my head, I’d saved the money so why couldn’t I go!! Eventually, we reached a compromise as mum said that I was too young to travel alone, but I could go the year after when I was seventeen, and (dreams dashed cruelly to the ground), I sold my ticket to another school friend.

My mum was VERY right to be concerned however, as the year after, I DID go to Cyprus with Gill, I DID tell my mum we were staying with her aunt and uncle, and we DID NOT stay with them, although to be fair they did pick us up from the airport and drop us at her parents house.  In fact we had a quite wild time of it in the house on our own, we partied all night and sunbathed all day, I rode my first motorbike (for about 20 seconds until I revved it too hard, fell off the back, and it drove itself off the side of the hill!), I drove my first twin cab truck up the Troodos mountains with a bunch of drunken army boys in the back, I ate pigeon and all manner of other strange and wonderful foods, we met the locals in the cafenio for coffee, and all in all we had a ball, with no adults to tell us what we could or couldn’t do, it was liberating and my first true taste of independence.  And mum if you read this, I’m sorry.  BUT you taught me well and brought me up right, because out of all the things I DID do, I DID NOT do anything really silly like having sex with boys or getting drunk! You would have been proud of me really I think.

Anyway, I digressed, so going back to the start of my post, Niffa and I are off to Asia, we are travelling in style from Hong Kong to Singapore, with our very special friends C&J, and I had better get up to finish my packing. If you happen to be in Larnaca airport today, and see a crazy lady skipping through departures, that will be me!

Love and Hugs from a VERY giddy Nelly xxx

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