Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A French holiday


For the first time in at least 10 years, we're going on a "real" holiday. OK, it's more like a short week away because it's only for 5 days, but still, it's in a place where we don't know anybody, and far away from any family.

We're going to the south west of France, near Biarritz, and I'm very excited. We'll be staying in a house with a couple of Irish friends and we have planned to drink wine everyday a great deal of activities for us and the kids. I've already been online trying to find things to do in the area like surf lessons, museums, beaches, boat trips... There's even a train that goes up the mountain and I know the boys will love it.

But why am I so excited to go to France? I mean, I shouldn't be so happy to visit my own country like if it was an exotic destination! When I was younger, all I wanted to do was go abroad, discover other countries, landscapes, and I have to say, I have travelled a lot more within Ireland than France.

Now that I have been here 13 years, it has become my home and I'm less eager to go on holidays in other parts of Ireland. I'm in the same situation as when I was 20 years old. I want to go abroad, visit other places and see something different.

The weird thing is that going on holidays to France fills me with the same excitement than the first time I went to Spain, Scotland or Mauritius. I feel like I'm going abroad, even if it's my native country.

I know there will be no language barrier asking for directions or buying a baguette in a boulangerie. But I will probably act like an Irish person, marvelling at the price of the wine (and regretting to only have a hand luggage!), discovering Basque country culture, food, drink and traditions. And in true Irish style, I might even moan about the hot temperature, but I won't go as far as looking for an Irish pub (although you never know...)

Maybe France really has become a foreign country and I should take more time to discover it because the diversity in landscapes, climates, architecture and regional cultures is just exceptional.

We often overlook what's just next to us, and for many years I didn't see the point of travelling within France. Maybe living abroad has made me see my native country under a different perspective.  And I can't wait to uncover what a French holiday has to offer!