As I am 18 in a few days, my mum is paying for me and a friend to go away for a weekend. Due to my stressful International Baccalaureate, I am looking forward to spending a couple of nights in another country where I am literally hundreds of miles away from teachers, homework and graphical display calculators.
Unfortunately, the planning of this trip away is causing me almost as much stress as my biology coursework. I always knew booking a holiday would be hectic. My parents rarely argue but the few times they have in the last four or five years it has been because of disagreements over holiday destinations. My mum likes to relax in the lap of luxury and barely leave the sofa, whereas my dad wants to spend the whole day at the beach, snorkelling and drinking. For me, there is one necessity for holidays: I don’t want to spend it relaxing.
I don’t understand why I would spend hundreds of pounds travelling to a new place and staying in some hotel if I am going to spend the whole time reading a book. I can do that at home, and I could spend the whole time in my dressing gown. No, no, no. I am going on an exciting city break.
“I’m hoping the Dutch language is some twisted combination of French and German”
I think Amsterdam is where I want to go. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not going there to eat space cakes and to naively wander into the streets of the Red Light District. I am going there for Advocaat and Van Gogh paintings. There’s something exciting about the Netherlands. I’m fascinated by any country where the language is so complicated that nobody outside of its borders bothers to learn it. I’m hoping Dutch is some twisted combination of French and German, in which case my two GCSEs will serve me well with the locals.
Once I have decided where I want to go, that is only the beginning. I have the choice of Eurostar or flying; a three-star hotel with a view of a dustbin, or a five star that has beautiful views, but will inevitably have a receptionist who will look down on me after taking one look at my Primark travel bag…
There are so many choices that this planning is causing me more stress than what I am trying to escape! Maybe, by the time I get there, all I’ll want to do is relax.