A shaft of sunlight falls across the sheets of the bed. You wake to the sound of birds singing, water splashing from the filter of the aquamarine swimming pool outside your windows and the laughter of your children. You realise that you are somewhere different, somewhere special. The smell of fresh coffee and freshly baked sweet rolls wafts through the room. You feel immensely satisfied to know that you’ve slept solidly for over eight hours.
As you pad across the room and out into the living area you sense an atmosphere of excitement. Something a bit different is planned for the day. A scenic drive down a beautiful coastline in a hired mini bus full of family, young cousins laughing and joking, everyone singing along to old Motown classics. You stop to spot exotic wildlife and do some beach combing along the way, filling buckets with the most beautiful seashells you’ve ever seen.
Everyone is treated to lunch at a pretty little seafront bistro with amazing ocean views. On the next part of the drive you stop to take photographs and buy beautifully crafted wooden animals from native roadside vendors.
The drive takes you into more mountainous country – the most stunning valleys and long distance views – some have described this as a view from ‘God’s window’.
You reach your destination for the night – a little b&b from the Victorian era, updated to boutique standards for the weary modern traveller. Everyone from your extended family take stock of the journey so far over dinner – funny things that have been said, holiday catchphrases and chatter about the itinerary for the following day – following a gold rush trail, passing through more frontier towns heading ever closer to our final destination – Safari!
I wasn’t sure where I was heading with this imagined description to begin with but almost straight away my thought process was hijacked by memories of the most wonderful holiday I had when I was 20 – travelling with my sister (and her then boyfriend) to Cape Town in South Africa to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins who were living out there for a few years due to my Uncle’s job off the African coast at the time.
The description above is a bit of a re-imagining based on the fact that I am no longer one of the kids but one of the adults! We really did take this most amazing journey up “The Garden Route”, saw wild baboons on the roadside, beachcombed in the most stunning places – beaches us Brits can only dream of. We visited the Kimberley Diamond Mines, stayed in a place called Pilgrim’s Rest, perched high in the lush mountains of the Mpumalanga Province and continued on to a safari lodge within the limits of the Kruger National Park. I’m getting shivers and tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
My Aunt and Uncle were the most wonderful hosts and it was fabulous to spend some quality time with them as young adults. The only thing missing really was the company of our parents as well. And the memory of perfection is more than just thinking about the physical location – it is a memory of a feeling – a feeling of such happiness. It was a time in my life when there were no real complications or worries. I was on that border between childhood and adulthood – enjoying the best of both worlds.
Of course that’s not to say that I haven’t had perfect moments and days since that time or that I won’t again.
I guess to sum it up my perfect day involves being in a special place, surrounded by special people. It has to be outside of the usual routines, and away from all the worries and chores of daily life. Love, laughter, sunshine and blue skies, new places and new experiences all add to the mix.
What would you’re perfect day look like?
This post was inspired by this week’s Prompt from Sara at Mum Turned Mom: A Perfect Day.