I’m on my way back, somewhere above Hungary, from skiing. Also known as sliding furiously with a belly full of knots gripping wildly to helpless ski poles hoping for the best down a green slope, or as the Bulgarian who shared our cable car said .. down a run that was ‘for children’. He forgot to say for children who will speed past you and make you feel completely inadequate while shouting ‘go faster’ as they swoosh past you. One of them landed in a shop as he failed to stop. I really tried not to laugh.
I never swoosh.
So, why do this ‘holiday’ to myself? It’s my third time.. each time I ache, I fall and I get no better. This time I chose price over destination. And it showed. I arrived at the small resort of Borovets in Bulgaria that contained more ‘erotic shops’ than chalets for my liking and every corner had a guy trying to pull you into his wooden bar for tripe soup and a beer. A long way from the beauty of affluent Avoriaz in the French Alps.
I looked at my other half, she wanted to come home, I wanted to come home.
This isn’t what we had read on trusted Tripadvisor.
By day 5 we were talking about coming back next year. What changed?
The blokes stopped blowing kisses after the first few times and gave up on trying to get us into their bars. Better still we made it to the top of the Rila mountain in a stunning 25minute frighteningly breathtaking vertical cable car ride and encountered the most beautiful ice white piste on a backdrop of sea blue sky and postcard capped mountains.
And then there’s the little stuff. . I met Paulo a Brazilian guy who told me fab stories of his home country and the political situation over there, then there was the Carol Vorderman double at the very best find, Bobbys bar run by Bobby himself – an ex Bulgarian professional skiier who thankfully managed to look at your face when engaging in conversation. I tried toffee vodka and met a New Zealander bloke while eating warm camambert infused with rosemary and garlic by a log fire along with some Merlot. And there was the rare time together to talk, to play cards, to relax at the spa, to play i-spy in the dark, to have afternoon sleeps and lazily go back out again.
It wasn’t a perfect destination but it was a new one and it pushed some little safety barriers within which is always a good thing. And now I’m looking forward to getting home to my babies (ok, my teenagers) with less guilt than I left with. To eating pizza with Ant&Dec by our own log fire with some Asda Merlot and lots of cuddles.
I always say if you look forward to coming home even when you’ve had a good holiday, it means you have a home you’ve missed and no holiday can beat that.