Do you have a certain holiday style? I used to think that I did, but over the years I’ve realised I’m not so sure. Some of my friends are city break people, some much prefer an all-inclusive do nothing. Most travel bloggers tend to be wanderers, some are itinerary planners… everyone tends to have a style that they love and prefer.
But I don’t think I have that? I love city breaks. I love being a beach bum. I love sight seeing. I love relaxing and soaking in the atmosphere. I love planned trips and I love spontaneous ones. I think my travel style is as varied as my blog style!
Wait there is one thing I’ve realised I do gravitate towards these days, and that is making sure not to create an on the brink of stressful holiday. Over the years Mo and I have realised that sometimes it’s ok not to see everything, not to try and cram everything in and rush from one place to the next. Holidays are supposed to be just that, a holiday – a break to re-charge and enjoy. You can’t do that if you’re rushing around all the time.
This past year has been quite chaotic. From the get go it’s been full on: travelling, working, battling sickness, working some more… but as we head into the last few months of 2017 things have started to calm down (ish) and looking back I realised that Mo and I have hardly had any decent holiday time together!
I thought perhaps winter is the perfect opportunity to find a break for us both to unwind and spend some quality time together.
I found perusing the Inntravel Pinterest board a great start to planning our potential winter break. Inntravel offer ‘slow holidays,’ recommending off the beaten path routes and making sure to provide something for everyone. So where better to look for a winter travel itinerary that helps you explore an area – but in your own time.
Personally, I believe winter breaks lend themselves perfectly to ‘Slow travel.’ Having grown up in very hot country in the Middle East, experiencing winter is still very much a novelty even now. By winter I mean snow and frost and beautiful wintery scenes – not quite the rain and damp we tend to get here in the UK. I can’t think of anything better than wrapping up warm, wooly hat and gloves and venturing out to explore markets, ice skating, or just playing around in the snow.
My fantastic four group and I went to Oslo a few years ago now in the midst of snowy season and we had an absolute blast – even on days where we just walked around the City and didn’t accomplish anything. Earlier this year I went on my first ever ski trip, a new experience and one I would love to try again.
So what wintery treats have I yet to tick off my bucket list?
Northern Lights in Norway
We all fell in love with Oslo, but I always said to Mo that when we return to Norway, I’d like our next trip to be much further up North so we could chase down those magical Northern Lights. Tromso came up on a number of searches as one the best places to witness this phenomenon of Mother Nature and as a destination it has so many other winter activities to offer, such as snow-shoeing, reindeer safaris etc.
Exploring a magical winter wonderland
I’m sure every (Santa-Claus-believing) child regards lapland as their idea of a magical winter wonderland. For me, its all about the idyllic scenery, snow topped trees and houses, cute old building, tiny cafes serving hot heart warming drinks. I remember stumbling upon a place called Mosern in Austria. I was drawn to it when reading about issues of creating borders and segregating groups of people – as here in Mosern there is a sight called the ‘Freedom bell.’ The bell symbolizes cross bordering peace initiatives and friendships made between the people of the Alpine Area. I remember looking at pictures of the surrounding area and realising it was exactly the magical winter destination of my dreams. And hey, I’ve always wanted to go to Austria 🙂
Christmas Markets – anywhere in Europe!
Ok so as I’ve said many times as a Muslim, I don’t celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy the markets! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not the atmosphere is always electric at these outdoor extravaganzas. I’ve never experienced one in Europe, my only gauge are the fabulous set that arrive in Manchester every year. I can only imagine how nice it must be to experience it elsewhere, especially when in ‘holiday’ mode rather than: I-have-a-love-hate-relationship-with-this-Christmas-market-it-is-causing-me-no-end-of-hassle-because-of-traffic-but-I-love-crepes-too-much-stay-away mode.
As I haven’t personally experienced these destinations, I can’t take credit for any of the pictures above. I have borrowed them from the Inntravel website, as they basically provide experiences that cater to all three of my wishes.
I’ve not quite decided what Mo and I are going to do just yet… but I know that I definitely want us to do SOMETHING. And I know a slow travel break is definitely the thing for us, as I learnt the hard way this year that with life moving as fast paced as it seems to do these days, it’s always important to make time to slow it down…
What’s your holiday style? Have you tried slow travel?
*** This post was created in collaboration with Inntravel, of course all recommendations and opinions are completely my own. ***