|image by VictorMk1|
I can not, will not, must not spend another winter entirely in the UK. I just can't. Every year I think 'I've just got to get through to solstice/Christmas/New Year/my birthday/the end of February and it will be nearly spring and I'll be fine. But the truth is, I get to the end of February and I feel so completely bruised by the preceding four months that the fact that it's nearly Spring is no comfort at all and it's only in mid-May that I stop feeling traumatised.
I know it sounds extreme to react to winter so badly and in theory I know; it's not that bad, stop being a big pansy, but I hate it. I hate the cold and the short days but most of all I hate the lack of sun when there are daylight hours. It's noticeable as soon as there is a bright day that I feel like a different, happier, person. A person who stops questioning her life and her career and her every decision, who stops wondering why she isn't happy, a person to whom it suddenly becomes obvious 'I'm not unhappy, I've just been IN THE DARK FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS.'
About 6 weeks ago I was so close to taking out a credit card just to pay for us to Go Somewhere. I've never had a credit card in my life but this seemed like a genuine necessity. It was only that I was too tired to organise dinner let alone a holiday that stopped me. At that point I swore to Nye that I was NOT spending all of next winter in the UK, that we had to go somewhere where there was sunshine for a week at the beginning of February. That, I figured, would be enough to tide me through to Spring. Thankfully he agreed that yes, it probably was a necessity.
So I've started thinking about next winter with something other than utter dread. We have neither a tonne of money or the inclination to spend more than four hours on a plane, so that rules out anywhere tropical. If you draw a circle around London that is eight hours wide, the furthest you can cheaply get where there will be sunshine in February is the Canaries in one direction and Turkey in the other (and Northern Mali in the other direction but as of yet, I don't think Shitty Air fly there.) Morocco appeals, because we know it and love it and have been talking about taking the girls there since before they were born (And it's cheap. And I really want to stay at Maryam's place, which isn't cheap but which is probably worth going into debt for), but I feel like maybe we should try something new, something adventurous.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Our budget is small but so are our needs. When we went to Morocco we stayed in backpackers hotels that cost £3 per person per night and where you shared a bathroom with the whole floor. I'd like to upgrade on that trip slightly, maybe with a bathroom to ourselves (the luxury!). But 'basic' is what we're going for, we're in it for the sunshine and the food. No cities, preferably a beach, ideally warm enough to run around naked.
Answers on a postcard please.