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Growing up my family didn’t have a lot, it was a typical working class english household. That is to say we always had a big TV and played football all the time. My mum always wanted me and my brother to have one big memorable holiday though. She thought that we may never have the money to go on a lot of holidays in the future.
Disney World Florida was the destination.
For a 6 year old, that is the dream. To be surrounded by
overweight people pretending to like you all of your favourite Disney characters. My parents, bursting with excitement broke the news too early – a strategical parental mistake. They said we are going in 6 months. 6 Months. That was a good percentage of my life at that age, a human can almost create a human out of nothing in that time, seasons pass, the climate will change will and I will be a man by then.
I wasn’t a man, but I did turn 7 years old by the time it came around. Naturally we had to leave our little terraced home in the early hours and this is the moment I remember so vividly – and more annoyingly for my mother, one of the few things I remember from this very expensive, very flamboyant family holiday. I was the youngest in the family, which exempt me from bag carrying, that meant I was the first outside and it was snowing. If you looked up you could see an orange tinged sky from the
beautiful sunrise mirky street lamp. No one was around, and the rest of my family were still fumbling around the door, and there I was, just crunching through the snow.
I also seem to remember at this point swinging round the street lamp in some kind of Gene Kelly maneuver*. There must be some continuity errors with my memory though as the street lamp was against a fence, so any swinging around would have resulted in mild to serious injury.
That moment though stays with me. I always think of it as the calm before the happiness. When you know something good is coming but aren’t entirely sure what it is. I have been lucky enough to travel a lot since that time, but I have never seemed to re-capture that exact feeling. I think it had something to do with the safety and security of my parents being there.
Now, when I travel, I have to think about losing my passport, checking in on time, finding the place we are going to stay, and dealing with small talk from other members of the general public.
Today though, things are the same. I mean, I’m not trying to say I’ve been Tom Hanks from Big the whole time and now I’ve reverted back to a 7 year old. I am also not going to Disney World, nor am I swinging round a street lamp, and it is not even snowing. It is a nice day outside actually. Tonight my girlfriend and I are off to Ireland, and she has organised everything. I’m merely a 7 year old passenger.
The feeling of going of security and anticipation has been bestowed upon me for the first time in a long time. I really feel that it is going to be a great trip. I purposely haven’t researched Ireland and I certainly haven’t done any admin*. I shall go, enjoy and just see where it all takes me. All I need to do now is find a street lamp to swing around and someway stay away from the general public.
*3 points for the Singing In The Rain reference.
*Thank you to my wonderful girlfriend for that.