Another day, another travel blog post. If this A to Z Blogging Challenge has taught me anything about myself, it’s that travelling is more important to me than I thought it was. In my 20s, I knew it was a huge part of who I was and what I dreamed about but then I grew up and life got in the way. For the last five years I wondered if I had lost the travel bug completely but after doing this challenge, it’s pretty obvious that it’s still there. Today O is for Olbia and for those who have never been or don’t know, Olbia is a town on the Italian island of Sardinia.
I’ve been to Sardinia once in my life. It was the summer of 2003, the time that I took a cruise with my family and we sailed to Malta, Italy and the French island of Corsica. It’s actually one of my five favourite trips that I’ve ever been on. During that cruise, we spent a day in Sardinia. The ship docked a couple of miles outside of Olbia on the Costa Smeralda and my sister and I had booked an excursion to the beach for the afternoon, leaving the morning free. It should have been the perfect day, given that we were in a Mediterranean paradise, the sun was shining and I was young and carefree. Unfortunately, looking back, I don’t believe I made the best of that trip, although I do have a few stories to tell.
Because we were docked so far out of the town, we had a long walk from the harbour to endure. I wanted to see the town centre and go shopping, but after walking for an hour, I got bored, had a drink at the first cafe I saw and then turned back. It transpired that the town centre and shops were just another minute of walking away from where I was when I turned back. And if that ain’t a metaphor for how my life has gone, I don’t know what is.
I didn’t pay much attention to the scenery on my walk towards the town because I was too busy taking the piss out of my mother. My sister and I noticed that everyone else was lost too and thought it would be funny if we started a rumour that she was a tour guide who knew where she was going and everyone should follow her. So, my mum, Wee Zabel, ended up with a crowd of Japanese people following her and she had no idea what was going on.
To be fair it’s still funny AF.
On the way back, I was too grouchy about the heat and worried I would miss the excursion to pay much attention to the scenery. Having seen pictures of Sardinia, I can see now that it’s quite lovely.
The beach itself was gorgeous and I remember thinking to myself that it was probably the most idyllic place I had ever visited (at that point in my life). But I spent most of the afternoon uncomfortable because I had forgotten to go pee before I left for the trip. Who knew there are no toilets on Italian beaches?! It came to a point where I just couldn’t stand it any more and walked into the sea, just to relieve myself. And while I was standing there, peeing, this young Italian guy tried to start chatting me up. I used to speak pretty good Italian, but at that point, I couldn’t remember how to say, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend,” because I was too busy trying to hide the fact that I was in the middle of a tinkle. I can’t even recall what I actually did say. All I can remember is the total embarrassment.
So, Olbia is on my wish list because I messed up last time I was there. Ideally, I’d like to go there with my husband, just the two of us, and have a romantic break. We could enjoy the scenery, relax on the beach and maybe I could go shopping? Just a thought. I’d even consider it for a family holiday, although I’m not sure Luke really cares where he is at this point, as long as there’s a pool and some inflatables.
Have you ever had a holiday or day trip that went wrong and you’d like to repeat it so you could get it right?
Tomorrow I’m writing about Prosperity while over on my author site today, I’m writing about O for One thousand six hundred and sixty six. No prizes for guessing what that’s about, because if you’ve done Nanowrimo, you’ll know.