Guys, I’ve been suffering from some serious nostalgia for a European summer.
This time last year I was lounging on the beach in the Costa Brava in Spain drinking mojitos and working on my tan. Now I am back at home in New Zealand, waking up to frosty mornings and lighting the fire to warm the house up and wearing my down parka and beanie inside waiting for the snows to come. Not the same, guys.
Both have their merits but man, do I miss those bluebird summer days in southern Europe, especially Spain.
I don’t think Europe is on the cards for me this summer, at least not the summery warm Europe I have been dreaming about. For some reason I keep planning snow trips. Why Liz, why??
But I still miss Europe. And I definitely miss living in Spain sometimes. I guess we always want what we can’t have right?
You guys know how much nostalgia I have for anything travel, so this comes as no surprise.
But it also leads to my next point which is a nice giveaway opportunity for you guys. Cheapflights is giving away $2000 for you to spend on flights to getaway from winter. Details at the end of the post.
I know where I would be going – straight back to the old world! I’d fly to London which is the gateway to Europe, and where so many cheap flights route through. I always buy my flights super last minute to get the best deals. And also I’m not that organized. When I flew home from Spain last summer I booked my ticket the day before!
Santorini? Southern Spain? The Turkish coast? The Swiss Alps? The Lake District? My list is enormous.
I’ve spent so many summers in Europe since becoming an adult, it’s almost become part of me. From backpacking in Croatia to sailing around Greece to trainhopping with a rail pass around Switzerland, I’ve left no corner untouched.
If I won, I would head back to Spain and rent a house by the sea. Sigh.
So come along and join me as I muse and go for a long leisurely stroll down memory lane and smile thinking about all the things I love about Europe in summer.
1. Flowers, flowers everywhere
Probably my favorite thing about the warmer months in Europe are the fact that there are flowers everywhere. It’s just so colorful. Heaven!
Almost anywhere you walk you get whiffs of flowers in the hot air, something that reminds me of my time living in Southern Spain where you can smell orange blossoms everywhere. It’s also the time of year where I start to get in trouble when I sneak into people’s courtyards following the flowers. I just can’t help myself!
Serious nostalgia guys. And easy Instagrammable shots.
2. Lazy days sitting at cafes outside
I could (and do) spend hours sitting at cafes in Europe outside in the sun in the summer watching people walk by and doing absolutely nothing except drinking coffee. Or wine. Or pastries.
And I LOVE IT!
Sometimes it turns into a big night out with friends, but most of the time I bring a book; I just love just spending my time soaking up the amazing euro cafe scene in summer. It’s the best!
3. Cobblestone streets
Ok ok, not particularly summery as streets are streets 365 days of the year, but it is something I am super nostalgic about.
I miss the cobbles!
Not that I am super fond of them when I am in Europe as they are a general pain in the ass to negotiate in heels, and quite frankly hurt. But I love the idea of cobbled streets, with my feet slapping away in leather sandals as I stroll about getting lost on purpose.
I must be a romantic at heart.
4. Chilled wine
Chilled white wine or rosé on patios outside in the summer, is there anything better? Street musicians plating in the distance, a general hum and buzz of people moving about enjoying life? I love it.
5. Beach days on the Mediterranean
Nothing beats long summer days laying on the beach somewhere on the Mediterranean. Seriously guys, nothing beats it!
It’s also something I love because I’ve been doing it for as long as I have been coming to Europe because the beaches are just so cheap and accessible. It’s not all about sailing around on private yachts. They are totally affordable holidays.
From Paxos and Corfu, Greece to Nerja, Spain to Brindisi in Italy, I have so many fave beach spots. Take me back! And that water color, unreal!
6. Days that never end
Maybe it’s just Spain, but I love the long summer days where the sun doesn’t seem to set until 11pm. And that’s when the day starts.
7. Walking through forests and olive groves
If I’m in southern Europe, I love walking around the olive groves at sunrise and sunset. They just smell so good. Hot and fresh, and with the world still sleeping, you feel completely at peace.
If I am in other places I love going for easy walks in the dense forest. It reminds me of home back in Virginia.
See guys, serious nostalgia problems over here.
8. All the festivals
Facebook, which seems to know more about my life than I do, kindly reminded me this morning that 4 years ago today I was partying my butt off at San Fermín, the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona.
My head hurts just thinking about it, but in a good way.
9. Long meals outside
When I think of Italy, I think of food. All I do is eat when I’m there, I turn into a machine.
I have such great memories of cooking classes in Tuscany and long lunches and dinners with friends that seem to never end. It’s like time doesn’t matter there.
10. Don’t forget to enter to win!
To help you escape the chills this winter down under, Cheapflights has a competition for you to win $2000 to spend on flights! You guys have a serious chance of winning, so be sure to enter. It’s too easy: First post a picture on Instagram that represents your ‘summer dreaming’ and add a caption that best sums up the photo Tag @cheapflights in the post and use the hashtag #CheapflightsWinterEscape. The competition is open to residents in Australia and New Zealand aged 18 years and over only. Entries close 18 July 2016 at 11.55pm BST, so get on it! You’re welcome!
UPDATE – contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!