It really feels like the end of summer now. As much as I’ve tried to drag it out, it’s now usually necessary to wear a jacket when leaving the house and I have no more trips booked. But I can’t really complain, I’ve had so much fun and made so many memories this summer and I’m glad I’ve made the most of what is my penultimate ‘official summer holiday’ as a student. I’ve also been working quite a lot and making some money, most of which I’ve spent on decorating my second year university room. Anyway, I wanted to write this post to commemorate and look back on this summer and talk about why the summer months really are my favourite part of the year.
As a January baby, you might not expect me to be such a summer lover, but I am renowned for always wanting what I can’t have. I do love Christmas but apart from that, the winter months just don’t do it for me. So many people talk about how much they love winter fashion, and I must admit I am getting very excited about buying some new knitwear, but, generally, in the UK it’s too cold to wear anything remotely stylish and so I end up wearing the same outfit with the same ugly coat all the time. The thought of snuggling up by the fire in a blanket with a book also appeals to me but honestly this actually happens to me three times at a push and most of my experiences of winter involve waiting for the bus in the freezing cold/rain and dreading leaving my bed in the morning. But enough of my complaining about the winter, let me tell you about why I love summer so much, and why this summer was one of the best.
I guess I always associate summer with time off, time off from education that is. Summer is the time when I can do all the things that make me feel like myself and this always leaves me feeling so reinvigorated. It’s also associated with travelling, which is one of my favourite things to do, and, this one’s not always a given in the UK, sunny weather, which is inarguably better than cold weather and I refuse to dispute this with anyone. My happiest place is probably lying on a beach in a bikini with a book and I don’t think there’s a time when I feel more relaxed than this. Summer for me isn’t an excuse to be lazy though. Despite taking time off education, I always make the most of summer to allow me to be creative, travel and really make the most of the free time I have to spend with friends and family. I think pretty much all my favourite memories have been made in summer and I was worried that this year because I have been working pretty much full-time that this wouldn’t be the case, and summer just wouldn’t be as good. But, as much as working has exhausted me, it has by no means ruined my summer and this one has still been one of the best ever. I think this proves that it’s not just the time off that makes summer so great for me, it’s the ease that comes along with it, whether that’s simple dressing, spontaneous plans or the fact that I find it so much easier to be happy when I’m woken up through the sun shining through the gaps in my blinds.
This summer I have travelled more than ever before. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have been to so many incredible places and if you’d like to hear more about them in detail then head to the travel section of my blog here to catch up on travel guides and my travels documented on 35mm film. I thought in this post what I would do is share some of my favourite memories from this summer, home and away, so I can always remember to be grateful for everything the past few months have had in store for me.
The start of summer for me feels like my holiday in Corfu with my sister and my mum- this was the ultimate girly, relaxing holiday from spending our days by the pool to our nights on the balcony in our pyjamas dancing to terrible ABBA tribute bands. I was still in the midst of my exams at this point but managed to really put them to one side and enjoy this holiday, which was so important for me in my process of remembering that academic excellence is not the be all and end all of life.
When my exams were over I headed to Parklife Festival, which, as a weekend, is one of my favourite memories from summer. I met up with new and old friends and danced the weekend away and I still have the remains of glitter dotted in and amongst my belongings to prove it. Parklife is also an amazing memory for me because I remember every single bit of it because I was more or less sober for the whole weekend! I’ve talked about this briefly before but as someone who deals with anxiety and chronic stomach issues, me+alcohol = bad news, so to be able to enjoy this festival without feeling judged sober was a big feat for me.
Then came a period of about a month that I spent at home and at work and enjoyed the UK’s glorious heatwave. My favourite memories from this period mostly took place in beer garden’s with friends and also in the garden soaking up the sun (and attempting and mostly failing to put up a paddling pool) with Sam. This is what I mean about summer weather making seeing friends so much easier and spontaneous! Everyone wants to go out in the sun when it’s there so everyone generally does.
The main event of July was my trip to Barcelona, a city I absolutely fell in love with and an AIRBNB that was my dream home for when I’m a 20-something. I fell in love with the city, the people and, more than anything, THE FOOD. Oh the food. I will never stop talking about those vegan Nutella donuts. I consider booking a flight over there almost daily just to grace my mouth one more time with those heavenly creations.
The first week of August for me was spent in Bath with Sam’s family, a beautiful city and a really relaxing trip, proving that you don’t need to go abroad to escape everyday life. Note to self: must go on more UK-based holidays. I came back to a week home alone as my family flew out to Fuerteventura a week earlier than Sam and I so I could get some shifts in at work but it seemed like no time until I joined them out there. This felt like a quintessential family holiday for me, with all the good bits and the bad…but mostly good. I got through three books (relaxing holidays like this are always an excuse for me to read as much as possible) and spent some quality time with my family and Sam and also ate a lot (that’s definitely a theme of this summer).
I got back from Fuerteventura and within less than a week I was in Paris, on my final trip of the summer with one of my closest friends, Maisie! I’ve been to Paris before 4 years ago but I fell in love with it even more this time. There is a mini guide to Paris coming your way very soon so I won’t go into it too much but let’s just say that Paris truly has my heart.
So yeah this summer has been pretty amazing to say the least. And not just because of the places I’ve been but because of the people I’ve spent it with (sorry for the cringe). During the academic year I am a hectic mess so I am so grateful to have these summer months not only because of the weather but because it reminds me how important spending time with the people in my life really is. But I’m still going to try and stay positive for the autumn/winter months, however hard that might be for me. Not to wish my life away but I feel like I’m already making plans and counting down the days for summer 2019, I just can’t help it!