I think it was my trip to France and the UK in 2008. It was the first major trip overseas I had taken on my own, where I could stay where I wanted and do what I wanted (I have travelled a lot in my life, but it’s usually with family).
Even though I was so exhausted when I arrived in Paris I forgot how to speak French and couldn’t order a coffee (yeah, I know), once I recovered from jet lag, my little hidey hole at La Villa Paris was perfect. Exploring the city, meeting up with old friends, seeing incredible things like Saint Chappelle…I loved it.
Visiting Fontainebleau and staying with friends there was wonderful, because it was out of the city and I got to do things like shop at local food markets and be all Frenchy French.
I got to visit Oxford and go to cool places inside colleges, and I got to spend good time with this wonderful friend…
…who made me a birthday cake covered in strawberries and clotted cream.
I visited Belfast to catch up with more friends there, and we went to see Bjork in concert, which was an incredible, bewildering and wonderful occasion.
Sure, there were times when I was sad, lonely, tired, homesick. But it was three weeks of exploring and being comfortable with my own company and seeing beautiful things. It was a truly wonderful holiday.