A holiday can mean completely different things to different people. Sometimes it’s a chance to explore somewhere new, to learn about a different culture or to experience another way of life. Or, it can simply be an opportunity to disconnect and escape real life for a short while. Or, as is often the case with me, it’s a combination of work and leisure.
One of the upsides – and downsides – of my job is that I set my own schedule. On one hand, this means I have the ability to get away on more trips a year than the average person. But on the other, it also means that there are times where it can be difficult for me to switch off my brain and stop myself from working (especially as I love my job). However, every year I make a point to fit in one holiday that is a pure vacation. For this, I have a few tried and true favourites – the South of France – from Saint Tropez to Monaco or Cannes (being on a boat in the sea is always a bonus), and of course, there’s always Cabo. When I’m in LA, Newport Beach is also a favourite.
I recently loved travelling to Croatia. My last visit included jumping from Split to Hvar, and then finishing the trip off on Korcula Island. Montenegro is also a new hot spot – I think of it as the new Monaco, just not quite as developed, which is a large part of its appeal. After all, discovering new places and new people are part of my favourite things about travel, and even the most beautiful place can become monotonous if you’re constantly at the same spots and running into the same crowd. Considering there seems to be a new hot destination every year, my wish list is quickly growing. This year, I have a few new additions to add to the list. Being 100 per cent Italian, I’d love to spend more time exploring Italy, with the Amalfi coast and Lake Como at the top of my list. And for a different experience, I also love the idea of a meditation retreat amidst the surreal landscape of the Joshua Tree national park.
While I’ve been lucky enough to travel to various locations all over the world, one thing I’ve really come to appreciate in the last year or so is Dubai’s proximity to so many beautiful destinations. Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka is breathtaking beyond belief and is within five hours’ travel from Dubai. Also accessible in five hours are Santorini and Mykonos in Greece, the Seychelles and Jordan. The UAE itself has become one of the world’s most sought-after hotspots – from Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach to Nurai Island, the private boutique island in Abu Dhabi that is absolutely breathtaking and as leisurely or as activity-filled as you want it to be.
However, no matter where I go, the most important aspect of any holiday I plan is the company I keep. From catching up with close friends to bonding with new ones, the people you surround yourself with are just as important as the scenery, and are what truly make the experience.