1) Just happening to be in Rome when the pope resigned in 2013 and just happening to have a ticket for a tour of the Vatican on that day. Cue the world’s media, waving in the background of news reports, questioning if limoncello-fuelled antics the night before caused the resignation and definitely drunkenly believing the raging storm that night was a result of all the papal drama. Oh and lots of ‘well when in Rome’ Facebook updates.
2) Spending four days of a jaunt to Thailand visiting family and very young Thai cousins who proceeded to ask ‘where is your dad?’ everyday in reference to my boyfriend, then watching them sit on his lap and ask why he is my dad.
3) Becoming caught up in a military coup during the same trip to Thailand, being on lockdown in a hotel and listening to the same military announcement about 5443300 times. It’s not many people who can claim that they’ve seen Bangkok deserted and silent, I’ll have you know.
4) Landing in Egypt after flying over what looks like mars, realising when you exit the plane and see nothing but miles of desert that you aren’t in Sharm El Sheikh and you will in fact be staying directly in the middle of nowhere. Furthermore, you aren’t even in Africa, you are Asia. This isn’t so bad at all until a bit of unrest breaks out in the middle east and you lay in bed listening to the soothing sounds of shelling in Israel, which is just over the bay. Happy holidays.
5) Eating two takeaways in 5 hours by the Trevi Fountain in Rome because HANGOVER OF DEATH.
6) Drinking limoncello. Waking up and even three years on, still not being able to face limoncello.
7) Walking to get on a coach in Poland half frozen, with little feeling in any limbs, having a massive fight with your umbrella until it snaps, half flies away and you chase it laughing manically while the rest of the group look on. This is all made more awkward due to the tour being to Auschwitz and being judged by various Europeans.
8) Spending a weekend in a hostel in Paris sharing a room with a Korean Justin Timberlake super-fan, who wakes everyone up when he leaves at 4am for hugs and chit chat before travelling to Glasgow to see JT himself in concert.
9) Being hassled by a pub owner in Spain because you’re in a big group and he really wants you to come in for a drink. The selling points: ‘We have good toilet roll, tapas and we sell Walkers crisps for the British people.’
10) Accidentally walking a few miles out of Magaluf on THAT holiday and ending up in a completely different town, navigating back as the sun comes up and forever referring to the whole thing as ‘the night of two cheeseburgers.’
11) Accidentally consuming two litres of wine at a restaurant in Croatia and ending up playing an inappropriately loud game of ‘would you rather’ including the scenarios: you have an aubergine as a boyfriend, you love the aubergine, you have a nice home that you share with it, you take it to social events and your friends and family accept it, but it gives you no love back, no conversation and is ultimately, just an aubergine. OR You have a really nice loving, human boyfriend, but you have feet as hands and a hand on your forehead.
12) Taking a very distressed friend who has been stung by a jellyfish multiple times to a pharmacy in Spain, where you try to explain the whole thing with limited Spanish and exaggerated hand movements, only to be directed to the police station because she translates the whole scenario as sexual assault.
13) Six people being too scared to speak up and complain because of utterly terrifying staff at a ‘Mexican cafe’ in Barcelona despite watching them microwave the food in 60 seconds and everything being 100% inedible and rock hard.
14) Sitting on a balcony, chatting and reminiscing on life when someone asks “Who was that famous black guy that sang r&b in the 90s?” The unanswerable holiday conundrum.
15) Going to a club in Thailand to catch up with an old friend but then arriving at the club and it turning out to be a van that sells buckets of strawberry alcohol, with some plastic chairs in the road and a dangerous looking sound system. Also a man awkwardly approaching people attempting to sell Spongebob balloons and Rolex watches.
16) Spending ages in a shop in Paris plucking up the courage to buy berets in case the owner deems the whole thing racist and gets angry and upset. Buying some other useless plastic stuff at the same time to take the attention away from berets. Going home and handing out useless plastic stuff to disappointed siblings.
17) Getting very merry in a student union in Italy and then proudly showing friends you have found them a table despite it being packed. Losing all feeling of smugness when they point out you are sitting in someone’s fresh vomit and the table is empty due to staff trying to disinfect it.
18) All 9 of the holiday group being on one balcony. Balcony being locked. All 9 people stuck and having to resort to getting some Spanish teenagers on a balcony below to get some staff to set everyone free. Rewarding the teenagers with some peach schnapps.
I would like to thank people for continuing to go on holiday with me, despite all of the above.