Today is the first official day of Summer, the longest and one of the most magical days of the year. Summer vacation is on my mind, as I leave tomorrow for two weeks of rest and relaxation…
Here are our four favorite summer destinations.
The island of Reunion, where I spent my honeymoon. I love islands because they usually combine hiking and the ocean in one single venue. Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, I have always had water (Lac Leman) and mountains close to me, making both an essential component of my well-being. On vacation, I look for the same combination with the addition of sun, heat, sand, beaches, and waves. I love to be active and hike in the middle of nature and could never spend all day lying on the beach tanning (you know, my dad’s a dermatologist…). But when it gets too hot, there is nothing like ending the day by having fun in the ocean. The true luxury for me is not having to drive hours between the hikes and the ocean but having everything close by.
Sailing (pretty much anywhere). I wake up every morning grateful for my life and all the beautiful places I have had the privilege to visit. Yet the one place I dream of when I think of summer vacation is a sailing boat. Whether I’m alone with my fiancé, or with my daughter, or with friends… I am never as free as on a boat. Right there, admiring the sunset or the sunrise, I feel surrounded by my version of ultimate luxury: time, beauty, and space.
- Time takes on a different dimension, a different meaning, on a sailing boat: it flies at a very different pace – very slowly most of the time until suddenly something happens…
- I feel goosebumps whenever I recall the beauty of nature. Whether you snorkel or enjoy a solitary sunrise… the beauty of what surrounds you never leaves you indifferent.
- Space is the third magical ingredient, just as paradoxical as that of time: the boat is small but the sea immense and its grandeur never fails to surprise you.
The moments I have spent on a boat are amongst the fondest and most serene I have. I cannot wait to go sailing again.
Italy. When I set foot on this land so dear to my heart, I instantly feel at home as much as on vacation. I could write a whole book about the reasons why… here are just a few:
- Fruits and vegetables actually taste like they should.
- There is at least one beautiful Piazza adorned with flowers and a fountain in the center each village
- By just walking around, eyes wide open, you see the equivalent of ten art and history museum collections.
- The language is heartwarming and melodious.
- The concept of Aperitivo is so much more than having an after work drink…
I must say I have never had an unpleasant experience in Italy. And to be totally honest, there are 3 factors that definitely work in my favor: I am half Italian and I have learned the language; I have blond hair and blue eyes (through the eyes of Italian men, it makes you feel like an angel, a queen, a jewel…); I am a “Mamma” of an adorable boy (all Italians love kids, and all mammas are greatly respected).
The Cyclades. We started going to the Cyclades when I was little, thanks to my maternal grandparents who decided to live there for a couple of years (because my grandfather was a professor of Greek language and philosophy), and to me, this remains the most magical place on Earth. The sea is salty, cold, and clear (like Roxane, I need to be near water). The island is quiet and calm, and time takes on a different meaning (like Rachel, I need a change of pace). The food is authentic and mostly from the island, grown in the gardens behind tavernas (like Cyrille, I crave the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables).
What is your favorite summer vacation destination?