They say January is the most depressing month of the year; with Blue Monday and 5 week paydays, everyone’s skint, still hungover, and already broken a decade’s worth of New Year’s Resolutions. I personally think January is the most underrated month of the year though; it’s peaceful and less frantic than the ever-increasing run up to Christmas and a lovely time to make plans and goals for the year ahead. One of my resolutions was to make an effort to see more of friends and family and to travel more, so I’ve been combining the two and working on my 2018 holiday wish list – including a hidden gem that I’ve discovered.
Where better to spend St Patrick’s Day (which falls on a weekend this year, for all of you who have run out of annual leave) with the Queen of Bad Decisions herself Scarlet Wonderland than the Rebel City of Cork. We’ve a host of wholesome activities in mind from kissing the Blarney Stone (my idea) to catching actual leprechauns (her idea – she thinks they’re real) not to mention imbibing in a little festive bevy. Mental note not to get into the state I got in after 8 pints of Guiness in the Kerryman in Birmingham on St Patrick’s Day 2006 when I begged the Virgin Mary to grant me the sweet release of death.
To another of God’s Own Countries and the home of pizza – I really want a short family break in Naples around Easter time. Whether the solemnity of Lent or the celebration of Easter itself, it’s a wonderful time to observe tradition and culture in and around the churches. Situated by the Bay means there’s plenty of seafood to enjoy as well as the obligatory pizzerias. 4 year old Spaghetti Legs is fascinated by volcanos so even the most distant view of nearby Vesuvius or the ruined towns of Pompeii or Ercolano in its foothills would be amazing.
If you want to spot the (only slightly) younger version of Ab Fab’s Patsy and Eddie sunning themselves in Ibiza this summer then you’ll find me enjoying yoga and sunsets with my friend just before the season starts – which means we’ll hopefully avoid most of the brats who are sitting their exams back home. Big hats, big sunglasses, big bikinis, and big lies in. We like our bass loud, our SPF high, and our travel documents in order.
I hesitate to add the teenager’s city break of choice to my 2018 holiday wish list on account of my last trip to Amsterdam, but we have some unfinished business. I never got my boat trip, bike hire, or traditional Dutch cuisine ticked off last time, but at least I know what I won’t be doing next time!
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
The real wildcard on my 2018 holiday wish list is the hidden gem of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. I’ve never been this far east before but I’ve sussed out that with family friendly all inclusive resorts from familiar names like Hilton and Waldorf Astoria to choose from, Ras Al Khaimah is a cheaper but just as luxurious alternative to Dubai. I love the idea of exploring the ruins of the nearby Al Jazirah Al Hamra ghost town and visiting a Bedouin oasis – or just keeping cool at the pools and beaches (described as “immaculate” btw!) at the resort because let’s face it, I start seeing mirages in the Asda car park if it goes over 20 degrees so I’m not entirely sure I’m cut out for desert life. I’ve been eyeing up the Cove Rotana resort because just look at the design – it looks all villagey and authentic – and the prices are ridiculously good.
So there’s my 2018 holiday wish list – what’s on yours? Let me know your recommendations and if you can think of anywhere I’d like (prerequisites: there must be wifi and pizza) then tell me all about it and I’ll get saving!