Holidays are a time for travel. We all have done our memorable trips, which are as a reminder of good times, sometimes of external or interior discoveries. Some of these memories are marked for life.
Whenever I can, I make a trip to a different place, either from a long waiting list of destinations, or to a place I never really intended to go. Sometimes to a place I never heard of before. In part is this the charm of a trip, the discovery of something new, something which for us is of a formidable exoticism. Even though this exoticism only exists for us and other outsiders. Indeed, by definition, a place is only exotic to a stranger. There will always be someone for whom that place is familiar, sometimes too familiar.
The trips we do, whether for vacation or work, will enrich our experience, making us more educated and knowledgeable. And if we're lucky, more tolerant to the difference. They increase our experience and our intelligence.
Being rapidly transported to an exotic location has also the advantage to make us quickly forget the stress of the last days, and depart from of our daily lives. We have more to worry about! The exotic, in principle, always provides memorable moments and exciting holidays.
But there is another essential component to my holidays since childhood. Even if I manage to do a fantastic trip, I have to spend one or two weeks in Ericeira, a small coastal town north of Lisbon.
Although a small distance, this place has a completely different climate than the city where I live. If Lisbon has scorching summers, Ericeira is mild and fresh. Sometimes it is windy (sometimes too windy to be exact!). As a child, I used to spend three months of the year here.
Once known as a fishing center (fish and seafood continue to be excellent) is best known today for Surf related events. It has several beaches with beautiful and powerful waves and the only Portuguese integrating the ASP circuit lives here and here developed his skills.
It’s not easy to explain why an increasing number of people come to this town and these beaches every summer: It has an unstable and cool climate, morning mists, fogs in the afternoon, much less hours of sunshine, cool nights, cold water and beaches with rocks and strong waves. But it is certain that for the unconditional fans, this is the best place in the world, or at least the one we feel better. Turning off the car and get out into the street is a whole sensorial experience. The smell and freshness of the air immediately change our mood for the better. There is the added pleasure of finding, every summer, the same people with whom we grew up, many of them already having children, that are now our kids friends.
There is absolutely nothing exotic in this version of holidays. But there's a pleasant sense of familiarity, awareness of belonging to a place we associate with mainly happy times, the long days, the rash baths in huge waves, the endless summers. And being with some people we really care about.