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In search of a cute little cottage...

A week in the Turks and Caicos? A month in Toronto or Melbourne? Maybe a long weekend in Rome? An overnight stay in York? Island hopping in the Med? Following the civil rights trail across the American South? Whale watching in New Zealand? A safari in Botswana?

If we could go away tomorrow, where we would go? What would we want to do? Where would we choose to stay? Big trip or long weekend?

This is a game we have played all through lockdown, a way to remind ourselves that was a big world out there, even if we didn’t feel part of it at the moment.

The answer has changed depending on the time of year, the weather outside or how stressful a day we have had. It would be prompted by a TV programme, a news report or, more usually, a 60 second vacation on CNN.

Where would we choose? Somewhere new? Or an old favourite?

And once the game has started, it can last for hours. We have debated which restaurants to visit, museums to explore and parks to run around. We have found about festivals and special events (in non-covid times). We have checked out annual rainfall patterns and flight options. We have downloaded walking tours and maps, just so we can orientate ourselves properly. We’ve searched for books set in the location, just for extra inspiration.

We might not be able to put our ideas into action for a while but that doesn’t mean we can’t look.

Making plans for “one day soon” has been a vital part of our approach to surviving the last 12 months of lockdown.

But where should we stay?

That question has always occupied most of our holiday-from-home discussions.

With imaginary holidays, we don't need to choose a Travelodge or Premier Inn. Anywhere with brown curtains is immediately ruled out and definitely no shared bathrooms. There are so many more options when money is no object and you don’t need to worry about availability. It has to have some character, a special feature.

But will it be a a cosy B&B or a sleek shiny apartment? A fancy hotel with all the best facilities? Something quirky like a lighthouse? Or a cute little cottage?

Somewhere with a view?

Somewhere with some history?

Somewhere with a grand staircase?

Somewhere with a theme?

Somewhere for a weekend break or a month-long adventure?

Somewhere that brings back memories of favourite holidays past?

We could go back to the Ziggurat Hotel in Guernsey (wow factor views), the Hotel Master Johann in Malmo (best hotel breakfast ever), an apartment in Zagreb (perfect people-watching balcony), our happy place on the Coromandel Peninsula (spectacular sunsets), a triangle shaped house in Dunedin (with a log fire), all inclusive luxury in Tobago (with a swimming pool bar), a sci-fi themed room in a boutique hotel in Durham (with Tardis doors into the bathroom and a resident dalek), old meets new in Berlin (with an unexpected upgrade), the ultimate stopover hotel in Hong Kong (with a rooftop pool), a historic hotel in Napier or a tiny little cottage in Chepstow (the last place we stated before lockdown).

Happy memories. 

Prompting plans for the future...a few bookmarked for “one day soon”…

Which one would you choose? 

Or if you have another suggestion, just let me know. 

One day soon…. 

Postscript… we’ve booked a weekend in Preston and two days in Manchester. Small steps but progress!


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