Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I'm a nightmare to travel with

I'm a nightmare to travel with, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, travel, france, nice, travel photographer


It's Saturday morning, just after nine on the beautiful Côte d'Azur and I'm having breakfast on my own at our hotel, Abigail is still fast asleep after begging for a lie in because she's exhausted and I'm wondering just how long I'll actually have to stay still.   To me if you're not up and out pre 9am when you are travelling then you are wasting precious seconds, it's no wonder that I'm pretty much seen as a nightmare to travel with!

The thing is you see, I've always been someone who believes that you have to grab life by the neck, that you should go out there and not stop until you have extracted the very last drop of juice from that fresh orange that we call our existence.

I have a blister on the bottom of my foot, yesterday evening after climbing every possible hill for the best view in Villefranche-sur-Mer I decided that once we'd got back to Nice on the tourist bus that we should walk the length of the Promenade des Anglais back to our hotel, the promenade of course starts at number 1, we're around 450 (ish) or maybe 6 or 7k, I can't be sure but I know when we got back to our room yesterday we'd walked over 22k, not that much, you might think, well try it in 34c heat.

I'd say that it was the straw that had broken the camels back but we'd already argued before that point, Abigail likes to know what's going to happen and although I like to have a guiding schedule, it's not quite moment to moment and I do tend to wander and dander just a little too much.

This morning I promised that she could not only stay in bed but that the first half of the day would be a pool day, this is my actual idea of hell, I can manage a pool half hour but then I get a little stir crazy and want to be out exploring so that I feel I've gotten every last moment of the travel experience whilst we're here.  When you go to a destination you only have a few days, a week, if you're really lucky, a fortnight but what if you never go there again?  What if you miss the best thing you'll never see?  I don't want to be that person and yes, I can understand how this makes me the person you'd least like to travel with.  I'm sure if you asked Harriet, she'd tell you exactly how it is, that I have an inability to stay still in one place for more than 20 minutes, when we went to Barcelona I actually enjoyed our mid afternoon pool hours but that's all they were, I don't think I ever managed any longer before I wanted to be out there experiencing life and other cultures and capturing each experience so that I can not only hold it in my mind but so that I can share it with the people who read my blog or watch my vlog, oh and that's another thing, my usb and camera aren't speaking to each other which means my daily vlogs are pretty much trapped in my camera until we get home next week, it's a good thing I suppose as it forces me to not worry about working for several hours each night editing the masses of video I've captured.

Yesterday I didn't take my big camera, I thought I'd just take my small one, the pains in my back and neck had been bothering me and I thought I would get to see more if I just took along my vlogging camera and the result?  I'm disappointed with the images I did capture, to me they're not authentic or professional enough, I probably won't share them, or very few of them will make the cut and so part of my experience of Villefranche-sur-Mer will be lost forever.  You know, I waited my whole life to visit there, I'd fallen in love with the place after watching "An Affair To Remember" one too many times, when Nickie visits Grandmere Jalou at her little house at the top of the mountain of Villefranche-sur-Mer, even in the late 50's it looked like the most beautiful place in the whole of the world, and it was, it really was.  It's vast curving bay with an azure sea, we lunched on the edge of the harbour wall, our only views were the small yachts bobbing up and down with the gentle currents of the mediterranean sea, bougainvillea lined the walls of the old town, it's fragrant purple flowers smiling at us as we explored (although with me, it's more of a forthright march) and climbed to find the best vistas.  This pretty village will always remain in the corners of my mind, a place I dreamt of seeing and I finally got to fulfil my wish.

In all of the years that I have been a single parent, first with just me and Iain as we struggled together against the world and later with all 3 of my fabulous teens, through the dark and turbulent days, through the lean times, the mean times, the barely scraping enough money together to survive times, the one thing which pushed me onward is the thought that one day I would travel, I would travel as much as I possibly could and I would admire the jewels of the earth. For it's these very things that make me feel enriched and whole so I hope you'll excuse, now that I can, my inability to let each moment pass me by, I can't relax, I can't sit still, there's too much to see and next week I'll be back at my desk with only the memories of my time in the sun.  Of course I'll be planning my next chaotic full on trip to somewhere else I've never been, somewhere, no doubt I'll remain a nightmare to travel with!
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