I love being able to choose when I take my time off work. Working a 'regular' job means I get to go on holiday when flights and hotels are cheaper – New York in February, for example, is a fraction of the price as New York in August, not to mention more bearable weather-wise. I've also enjoyed long weekends in Paris, Barcelona, and, most recently, a week in Puglia, Italy. So I guess you could say there are some benefits of no longer being in education, as much as I miss those long summer holidays.
At the beginning of July I flew to Bari with my mum, dad and sister and we hired a car to drive to the small village of Coreggia, near Alberobello. It was quiet, and with virtually no other tourists in sight I was in my element. Fellow introverts will know where I'm coming from when I say I need time to just be. I needed to unwind after a busy six months of constant working and socialising and Italy offered just that.
We spent most days wondering around various towns and villages, visiting markets and the locals' favourite restaurants. I ate the sweetest peaches, devoured Nutella on bread for breakfast, discovered mozzarella's sister, burrata, and even learnt some Italian thanks to Duolingo.
I ate more tomatoes that week than I have all year – but if you knew how flavoursome they were you'd understand. Everything tasted exactly as it should and it was all so ridiculously cheap.
I've forgotten the name of this restaurant, but it had recently opened in Ostuni and employed the kindest staff. My spaghetti 'Nicola' came drenched in olive oil with a roasting hot pan of tomato sauce on the side, which I was to add as I pleased. I tried the spaghetti without the sauce and it was the best I'd ever tasted; silky, al dente and the olive oil actually tasted like olives. The rich sauce made it even more exquisite.
I mostly wore dresses on my holiday – it was too hot for anything else - and this Monki number served me so well:
|Dress: Monki (£20!!), Sandals: Primark. Sunglasses: Topshop Bag: Skinnydip (ASOS)|
A week away was just right, and by Saturday morning I was ready to come home to Bristol and get back into the swing of regular life. As I re-familiarised myself with the comfort of my own bed, I realised that bit of variety in life is sometimes all we need.