I ‘travelled’ in my 20s. I felt the ache to discover myself by chucking myself into unknown worlds to see if I prefered the version of me that I was running away from. I’ve backpacked alone, and had to find out the hard way if I’m the kind of person who can make friends with strangers easily (I am). I worked out how to eat in restaurants alone, and tricks to make staying in hostels less creepy. I wandered through the rougher parts of town with a broken flipflop in my hand, while people warned me to hurry up and get in a cab. I’ve got on ferries not knowing where their final destination was. I’ve sat in bars and made friends with women who then ‘adopted me’ for a few days, driving out of their way to collect me and take me out with them. However now that I’m in my mid-30s, I just don’t feel that itch. I don’t seek ‘newness’ in the same way. I don’t feel a need to run away from myself, and I’m pretty sure I get who I am, the bits I like less as well as the bits I like more. I crave comfort, and relaxation in the ways that I used to crave random adventures. I now want to holiday, rather than travel.
I think I realised a lot of this while I was on a press trip with 50 travel bloggers (I was sent to Menorca to review, but as ever, all words and thoughts are my own). They excitedly collect stamps in their passport and stories of off-the-beaten path adventures. They’re ticking off lists of cities they’ve visited, and are consuming the world in such a joyous (but exhausting!) way. I realised I now love holidays, not travel, and I’m ok with that making me sound dull and a little old.
As the group were whisked around on tour buses, seeing local buildings, and learning about the history and factories of local crafts, I settled onto my sun lounger, and made friends by the pool. The responsibility of a travel blogger is to review, gather details and take inspirational photos. As a lifestyle blogger on a holiday, I eagerly shared my selfies, outfit pics and excitement about seeing a gecko. But I adored it, and remembered why holidays are so good for the soul. There’s no shame in wanting a holiday, without wanting too much travel.
So, after being sent to enjoy the small island of Menorca, and having a bleedin’ brilliant time, here are my top 5 reasons you should consider going to Menorca if you’re in your 30s.
1. It’s so peaceful. I had wrongly dumped sweet and beautiful Menorca in the same box as some of the more rowdy parts of Spain. I imagined fast food, loud noise and hen parties. I am so sorry Menorca, please accept my apology. You are quiet and still, and simply glorious with your glistening blue ocean and bright white buildings. Please forgive me.
2. It’s a perfect retreat for the hobby you never dedicate enough time to. I found the trip so tranquil, and the streets so pretty, that I can imagine a trip away would be perfect for a painting holiday, or a photography trip, or just a ‘tackle the book pile’ trip.
3. The hotel we stayed at, although is ocean facing, doesn’t have a beach as such, and the Menorcan landscape is made up of volcanic rock, which is fun but sharp. This means that it’s not super kid friendly, which is fabulous if you’re child-free like me! The hotel was popular with older couples, who loved a friendly chitchat with some of us ‘younger’ lot.
4. We were flown by Jet2, and the flight was just a smidge over 2 hours long. I tend to forget that Europe has lots of lovely sunny holiday destinations, and seem to always think, oh I should go further afield (for example I went to Bali last year). The memories of the hideous long haul flight, including my own tears and misery, make this short haul option deliciously appealing.
5. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday, just some time to switch off and reset, going somewhere that speaks English can just make it all a little simpler. It is fun to learn some phrases when you travel, but if you're just on a well-deserved break, ease of communication is a winner in my eyes.
I was so surprised at how beautiful the island was, and disappointed in myself that I had previously written off short-haul travel as a little less fabulous. I loved how sedate the island was, and have returned refreshed and ready for action.
Thanks again to Traverse Events, Jet2, The Menorcan Tourist Board, The Spanish Tourist Board in the UK, and all of the fabulous content creators I was able to spend a week in the sunshine with.
As a little fun bonus, check out my little appearance in Brendan's vlog (I'm at 3mins in)
You can also read some of my daily #MustSeeMenorca blogs by giving this a little click and scroll.