Beach vacation vs. City break
I’m ashamed to admit that up until last year, I’d never gone on a proper long European beach vacation. It seems to be the done thing in England, everyone using up their holiday days to fly off to all inclusive beach resorts and hotels. Buying up all the summer clothes, swimwear and coverups and parking their butts at the beach.
I’d gone on a few small beach trips in America, to the beachy boardwalk of Wildwood New Jersey and camping near a beach in New Hampshire (at which time I had a walking cast on, and sand was not my friend). However, I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by lakes and rocky beaches, so spent most of my time in the water at home.
Last year we went to Cyprus and rented a villa for the week within walking distance of a really nice beach. It was heaven, if not scorching hot. We also had a pool at our villa and spent an entire day just in that. I’d decided that I didn’t want to do a lot of exploring this time, just enjoy and rest for the week. It sort of lasted, we ended up spending half a day on a boat on the ocean, and did some watersports to keep me entertained. We also hopped on a bus and into taxis to get into a couple of the bigger cities for nighttime entertainment a few nights.
Instead I’ve mostly opted for city breaks. Walking amongst the buildings, visiting historical sites, and eating everything on offer at the local food stalls. There’s something about strolling down a famous street in a popular city that so many have strolled down before that makes me feel like a bigger part of something (cheesy) and part of a travel club of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, I love going off the beaten path, but I’ve spoken before about my love of visiting touristy places. After all, they are that way for a reason.
If I’m being honest, I’ve got a longer list of cities I’d like to visit than places with beaches, so I guess that says it all. Maybe it comes from growing up in the countryside, but I love a good city with the hustle and bustle going on. I’m a sucker for the different architecture found in each city we visit, unique and special to that particular place. I love experiencing the different cultures of a city, and the little hidden unknown areas that house secret gems.
I think each has its merit and place. I know I’d get quite bored with only going on beach holidays, but sometimes just forgetting your troubles laying in the sand and swimming in the ocean is called for. I’m hoping in the next couple of years to get to Thailand, and have the perfect mixture of beach holidaying and exploring, I think a mix of beach relaxation and exploring is my perfect holiday.