favorite holiday(s) {day 19}

2013, July

i love going on holiday {or going on vacation in american}. to be honest most of my holidays have been city breaks. there is just so much to see. every now and then i’ll love a beach holiday. being from the uk, going on holiday to spain, portugal, greece or france is fairly easy and not too expensive either. i’m not gonna lie, i kinda miss that!

anyway i couldn’t possibly list just one favorite…so here are my top 4. each for a different reason.

1. faliraki, rhodes {greek island}: this was my first holiday with the “gyal dem” {you might want to google that term}. i’d just graduated from university, i was working full time and in england you get on average 25 vacation days a year…yeah, now i get 8…EIGHT…yeah. anyway it was a hot summer in greece that year and one of the most memorable things was meeting four hilarious italian guys {there were four of us}. they were your typical italians and they kinda followed us the whole week and we may or not have pretended we were the girl group mysteeq {british band}. best moments? they called a towel a “sand tissue” and couldn’t get two of our names right, my friend jocelyn was “jacklyn” and my other friend ngozi was “jessica” — don’t ask me how they got from ngozi to jessica…

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also these girls also surprised me right before i left to go on my lds mission and took me to diseyland paris. it. was. amazeballs.

2. rome, italy: i’m not even sure i can just say rome. i adore italy. i’ve also been to milan and naples. it’s the fact that it’s such an amazing and beautifully historic country. i only have photos from milan and even then, i had a old blackberry so not the best quality. i had wanted to start a footwear company and so travelled to lake garda, just a few hours north of milan, to attend a footwear tradeshow. it was best experience, even if i told a stranger {who i thought worked for the train station} where my hotel was, as i thought he was going to help me get there for free. i was on my own and well. ditsy. i would like to think this was quite a few years ago. nope. it was in january 2011.

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3. nairobi, kenya: my dad used to work for UNHCR which is the united nations high commissioner for refugees. so he lived out in kenya for about 7 years, while we lived in england. both my parents didn’t want to root my brother and i out of school…but it was not easy. anyway one of the many perks of that time was going out to see him nairobi! the city itself was such a great experience, but to top it off my dad surprised us and took us on a safari! it was absolutely incredible. i mean who doesn’t want to hang out with timone, pumba and the crew for week? we went in december, so spent christmas eve there with the masai mara. imagine. a warm summer-like evening with crab, lobster and other delightful food on the grill and tables, with a masai mara tribe singing traditional songs and inviting the whole camp to join in. when i say camp i actually mean log-like cabins with fancy bedrooms and bathrooms. a memorable moment? the monkeys jumping on our tent-like roof every morning and the wart-hogs {i think they were pumba’s cousins} chilling by the pool 24/7.

4. freetown, sierra leone: possibly saved the best till last. my brother and i were born in a town called makeni in sierra leone, a west african country. when i was four years old we moved to england as my dad was going to do his masters.  just a short time after that the civil war broke…for the next 10+ years we couldn’t go back. it was either too unstable or flights were not going in and out of the country. finally though, in 2001, we were able to go home. i couldn’t remember anything because i was so young. it was blissful. seeing my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. i’d never felt so much belongingness. that’s not a word. but it felt incredible to be getting hugs from my grandma and grandpa. i couldn’t get enough. my brother weeped as we took the flight back the uk. he was a 14/15 year old teenager but being home like that. gosh. incredible doesn’t really cover it. when you think of africa, do you think of this?

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maybe, maybe not. but this is sierra leone. gorgeous isn’t it?

m.

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