We got home late this afternoon, after a lovely week in Tenerife. The weather for the most part was good, but the last couple of days were cloudy, so sunbathing was off the cards.
We got very lucky again with accommodation, in that the villa we rented was great. A few small grumbles, but overall a lovely place to stay. Very clean, calm, spacious and quiet and not commercial at all, a real retreat.
OH got to spend a couple of days cycling up to the foot of El Teide, the highest mountain on the island, we all spent a day in the mountains and then another at a beautiful water park on the island called Siam Park, which was LB's highlight of the week. We had a hilarious night out watching an Elvis impersonator, came second in a pub music quiz and took walks along the harbour that we could see from the balcony of our bedroom suite.
One of the small grumbles was that there was no WiFi, unless you were prepared to sit outside the office of the property manager, or sit in a bar that provided a free connection. I managed to catch up on a bit of blog reading this way on a couple of occasions, but it was actually very liberating not to be able to open up the laptop and instead just spend time with others. In this sense, this grumble was actually a good thing, as I was able to have a bit of a digital detox, although not a complete one. As a consequence, I had a very relaxing time.
On an altogether different note, on this holiday, I did actually manage to achieve something that I've never achieved before, which was to travel with a carry-on suitcase of clothes for a full week. This felt pretty good, and to be honest I still didn't wear several of the items I took. It helped, of course, that the villa had a washing machine, so I was able to wash and re-wear my favourite items.
I'd like to manage with even less the next time we go away for a week, providing washing facilities are available of course. The main reason I made myself do this was the £90 cost of checking in a large suitcase. It's amazing what a bit of financial pressure can do. I was quite proud of myself though and having succeeded in this regard, I am determined to hone things down further on any future trips.
I can always remember going on a holiday to Spain with some friends when I was 19 or 20 and finding myself admiring one girl in our party, because she managed to take just a small suitcase of clothes, yet still looked fabulous every day. She had her own very personal style that was really pared back, but quirky, and I always wanted to be able to do something similar myself. It's only taken 30 years to get things down to a carry on, but I'm hoping that now I've done it, there's no going back and eventually I will be able to attain this goal. I can live in hope.
On the subject of money, I didn't spend too much whilst we were away, coming at the end of the month meant I didn't have too much cash left over to take. I did, however, want to buy some more Aloe Vera Gel whilst there, as this plant grows in abundance on the island and many different products containing it are available. I was looking for one which was as pure as I could possibly get, to use for making beauty products and eventually managed to find one in an artisan shop in the mountains.
I did most of my spending here, as the prices were incredibly reasonable, unlike in some of the resorts. I also bought some lovely pairs of ball stud earrings made from island lava and coral. These will serve as a nice reminder of our holiday. Plus a lovely visor made from natural materials, which rolls up wonderfully small (like a panama hat) without losing it's shape, to facilitate easy packing. I know that this is going to be a very useful item on any future holidays in warm climates, as I do like to protect my face from the strength of the sun's rays.
As you will know if you have read any of my previous holiday blog posts, I always come home from our holidays having had some realisation about some aspect of my life and on this occasion it was how little I actually needed on a daily basis to function well, enjoy my holiday and get by. Such a realisation never fails to inspire me to make small changes in my everyday life once I get home and consequently I will be looking to part with a few more things now I'm back, starting with some of the things I took with me, but never wore or used!
Whilst away, I also did quite a bit of reading, finishing three books, one of which I borrowed from a bookshelf on site, after I'd finished the two I took. One of the titles I took with me was a Christmas present from OH and was called 'The Moneyless Man - A Year of Freeconomic Living' by Mark Boyle. It was his account of spending a whole year living completely off grid, without spending any money at all. It was a very interesting read and did get me thinking about how little you could actually live on, if you seriously put your mind to it. I'm not thinking of doing anything similar myself, might I add, but making a few changes here and there to cut costs wouldn't be a wholly bad thing to do.
Anyway, back home, the dog now home with us and a good choice of English speaking TV channels, it's nice just to get back into our normal everyday routines and eating habits. It's still half term this week so LB is off school, and I have a few things going on. I'll post again when I can. I hope you've all had a good week.