I Went To A Travel Bloggers Event And It Made Me Question My Life

   Travel, they say, broadens the mind.

   Yet, more often than not, I want to go on holiday not because of concerns about the breadth of my cerebral cortex but, rather, because I want to go on humongous water slides. Or loll around in outdoor pools. Or languidly soak up the sun, book in hand, whilst downing multiple cocktails. I love culture as much as the next person but, when it comes to vacations, once in a while I just want to switch off entirely, unwind and relax.

   Recently, I was invited to a Jet2holidays blogger event in Manchester (#Jet2Sunchester) which confirmed everything I had previously known - whilst there may be no place like home, there's similarly no place like that found under a parasol, with nothing but the tranquil sounds of waves lapping at the shore, to instill a calmness in one's soul. A nice drink or two (like the ones found at the event) never go amiss either.

   Over the course of the afternoon I was introduced to a handful of Jet2holiday's top destinations, each of which made me more avaricious for a break in the sun than the last. From Majorca's Sol Katmandu (a family-friendly resort in which I had the pleasure of staying last year) to the same island's BH Mallorca (featuring live concerts and an adult water park) through to Malta 's natural wonders, I was getting itchy feet to book an instant vacation.

   It was, however, Tenerife's Hotel Botanico which truly got me day-dreaming - the massage treatments (as demonstrated at the blogger event) available in the resort and the close proximity to Loro Parque  (a world famous zoo), and Siam Park "Water Kingdom", make this look exactly like my kind of vacation destination.

   Come Monday morning and my imagination finds me still located in a Mediterranean terrain but, alas, my reality is somewhat different. For the sake of prosperity I decided to record the events that unfolded throughout the day in both my real life and, in a piece of Sliding Doors-esque storytelling, what I would be doing had I instantly booked a Jet2 vacation at the Botanico. (I do note, at this point, I am rather keen on my day job but.... does anything compare to a holiday in the sun?) The below images are taken from my day and from Hotel Botanico's web-site. Let me know in the comments which looks more fun:

5:30 AM

What actually happened:

   I am awoken from my slumber by the relentless barking of our neighbours' dog. It emasculates me to note that its not even a "proper" canine - this is one which looks like it should live in a reality TV star's purse.

   Now awake, I decide its best that I crack on with a couple of hours of film research for my studies before I have to get ready for work. I'm not going to become a leading authority on North Korean cinema through osmosis sadly so, alas, I plow through academic journals featuring theorems relating to the topic of transnational cinemas. It is difficult to concentrate due to the yapping of a tiny canine and, as my partner is till asleep, I refrain from turning on the lamp and use the illumination of a mobile phone as my only light source. I have a swelling headache before I've even got up.

What should have happened:

   The early-rising sun has broken through a gap in my curtain and dappled rays of light hit my head. I remain, however, fast asleep as I have no concerns in the world and the fresh linen soothes me even further.

8:00 AM

What actually happened:

   My belly rumbles as I realise I need breakfast as time is running out before I begin work. Somehow, I've not replenished my cereal stocks over the weekend, nor do I have any bread for an early sandwich. What I do find in my cupboards, however, is a box of out of date pop-tarts. I put one in the toaster and tell myself I won't cry this early on in the day.

   I walk to the office. In the rain. At one point, a rat runs across my path.

What should have happened:

   I awake from my refreshing slumber and make my way downstairs to Hotel Botanico's buffet restaurant where I fill my plate with fresh fruit. I sip on a glass of orange juice and exhale with contentment. My only worry relates to whether or not I have put on enough sun-cream for the day ahead as I take an early morning stroll through the hotel's landscaped gardens. At one point, a small bird jumps into my path and enlivens my morning with its pleasant, tweeted melody.

12:00 PM

What actually happened:

   Having whittled my inbox down from the 150 messages I received over the weekend, I note that I've still got scores to answer, as well as multiple new projects I need to press on with immediately. Despite taking a couple of paracetamols, the pain behind my eye begins to swell. I feel like Brock Lesnar is trapped inside my skull and trying to force a way out.

What should have happened:

I've made my way across to Loro Parque and have to make the biggest decision of the day - do I spend more time watching the gorillas? Or do I head back to the penguin enclosure? I surprise myself by going to see the parrots instead. They're a delight.

18:00 PM

What actually happened:

   My headache has teetered on the verge of a full-blown migraine for most of the day as, having returned from my office, I slump onto the couch. I remember I've yet to go to the shop to replenish food supplies but can't muster energy to go. There is still one pop tart left. Do I sink low enough to eat it? Of course I do.

What should have happened:

   I have never, nor will I ever, faced regret in booking a pampering session. After a day of sauntering in the sun, I've a massage booked at the Oriental Spa Garden. I don't need to unwind - my day was the opposite of stressful - but... sometimes you have to, in the words of Tom Haverford, "treat yo' self". This rates very highly in a day of great decisions. That I have an evening meal booked at the Il Pappagallo is an even greater joy for me.

  21:30 PM

What actually happened:

   I know I should retreat to bed at this time, admitting today was a total write-off. Yet, I can't. My inbox has begun to fill up again, I have a couple of thousand words to proof-read and, even if I wanted to, I can hear the faint echo of a tiny dog yapping. I resign myself to the fact that my cranium will never stop aching.

What should have happened:

   I look back on a day of animal encounters, pampering sessions and relaxing in the sun and decide now would be a good time to call it quits. Why not grab ten hours or so of sleep whilst I can?


   As my real life day concludes, I lay myself down to sleep and think of the head-aches and the stress I've accumulated since I woke. Then I imagine the blue waters of the ocean and the calming rays of the sun. Despite the hardships of my day, I no longer care: the exhaustion and panic, the physical strain and emotional damage will all be worth it when I've saved up to go away once more. My work days are not any less stressful but at least #Jet2Sunchester has given me the dreams I sometimes need to get me through.


  1. Replies
    1. Haha thanks Andrew! I had fun writing it, I must say :)

  2. Looks like you could do with a holiday bro haha

    Reply Delete

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