I booked a family vacation. Charter. For the first time ever, we are going on a beach vacation. One week of sunshine, 7 swimming pools, a long beach, and all meals included. It’s I myself who’s chosen the uncharacteristic destination, I’m usually dreaming of going to big cities and museums… And even though I must admit that I have been somewhat arrogantly frowning at charter trips before, I’m totally looking forward to this one. Looking forward to spending time together as a family, to the change of scenery, to not having to cook. To let the sun and the warmth of the air penetrate every cell of my body, in to the bones.
I have been in Spain before. As a five year old. My dad felt tired of the German climate and dreamed of relocating to the south coast of Spain. Torremolinos. I love the sound of that word, how it rolls in my mouth! My artist father thought he might make a living out of holding drawing courses, of teaching tourists how to paint. If it was the wrong place, or the wrong time, or if it was that my dad was more artist than entrepreneur – who knows? – the project failed. Back to Germany I took with me some wonderful memories, which soon got integrated into my and my best friend’s make belief world.
In Düsseldorf, we lived in a blind alley. From an adult perspective it wasn’t a beautiful street. For me, it was. Our part of the street was calm, with little traffic. Above all, it was OUR street. Mine and my friend’s. It’s where we spent our days playing. My “house” was represented by the doorway of the building I lived in, my friend’s home by her doorway. Another doorway represented “the office”, yet another the ice cream parlour. And there was Spain. It was close to the most dangerous and child despising neighbor, an old woman with a little scruffy dog. Also, the entrance representing Spain was quite ugly. But that wasn’t what I saw. I saw the beautiful memories that I carried in my heart, which were all about sunshine, the beach and a warm ocean, learning to swim, mountains, goats and flowers, frogs by a pond. Happy, feel good memories. To be enjoyed on MY STREET, with MY FRIEND without being thousands of miles away. Perfect!
Spain can truly be anywhere. It can be on the southern tip of Europe. It can be close to the west coast of Africa. That’s where we’re going this summer, to the Gran Canaries. And it can be a grey doorway. Best of all: I got to carry it in my HEART.