Holidays have always been something that I’ve struggled with.
Even before my accident I’ve felt that I’ve lacked the ability to properly ‘unwind’.
I’m someone who’s used to keeping active, whether that it’s in work or at home, so taking dedicated time off with the express purpose of sitting back and relaxing just doesn’t quite sit with me. With that being said, holidays are mandatory for all employees at the garage and my wife doesn’t have the same opinion I do on taking time off…
I have dim recollections of visiting musty travel agents and having conversations with over-perfumed ladies in their fifties who tapped their commands into their computers carefully, so as not to chip the enamel on their garish finger nails. Thankfully booking a holiday is a much more stream-lined process that it used to be, and it no longer involves protracted conversations with real people who are not so subtly attempting to persuade you into splashing out on an over-priced hotel room.
The idea of taking a trip aboard was first broached by my better half who was ‘casually’ flicking through blog posts about the South of France.
She would occasionally make cooing noises whenever she found a picture that was particularly arresting, nudging me now and again to gauge my approval. Somehow this ‘casual’ browsing transitioned into shopping around for holiday villas, and before I knew it my nods of approval were translating to real world transactions. By the end of the evening we’d booked a place to say and were wondering how much French we’d need to learn to get by for a week in Avignon.
I’d made my reservations about traditional holidays clear to my wife and, in her typical way, it didn’t take her long to quash all my objections. She suggested that my view of holidays was unnecessarily narrow and that I was getting my wheels in a spin for no reason. The area that we’d chosen to stay in was known for it’s wide variety of activities which including cycle tracks and plenty of wheel-chair friendly paths to explore. There was also a good number of cultural hot spots for us to visit whilst we were there, not to mention some restaurants that came across handsomely on their Instagram feeds.
This journey would be the first for me as a wheel-chair user and if I’m perfectly honest, this was probably the reason why I was so opposed taking time off. The months that I spent recovering from the accident felt like months of wasted time. Although I was recovering the whole time and learning how to accustom my new life, I felt that this period was one of protracted stasis, where any progress that I made was so incremental that I felt I was crawling through quicksand.
I’m glad my wife was brave enough to swat my initial quibbles away, the promise of this upcoming adventure has kept me excited in the past months and I’m now genuinely looking forward to my first real holiday in years.