The holiday culture first took over the UK in the eighteenth century, when the wealthy began to discover spa breaks in places like Bath. By the nineteenth century, holiday resorts across the UK such as Blackpool and Southport first opened. Although foreign holidays were popular in the twentieth century, they appeared only available to the rich. For any fellow fans of A Room With A View by E.M. Forster, Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson’s trip to Italy would have been a privileged occurrence. Foreign holidays only really became available to the working class during the late twentieth century, when flights started becoming cheaper.
Today, the holiday is seen as essential to many people’s lives. Whether it is a caravan holiday in Dorset, or an island holiday in Mauritius, the summer vacation is regarded as a chance to recuperate and revitalise. With lockdown and foreign travel bans, many people have missed out on a holiday this year or planning on attempting a trip later this summer as resorts begin to reopen. I think a primary reason people are wishing to go away this summer is the need for a change of scene. Being in one place for a continued amount of time can be dull and holidays are often seen as a solution.
This year, I will be having a staycation. Originally, I was supposed to go on a short trip to Barcelona in the middle of June but this was, as expected, cancelled. Many of my friends are planning on spending time this year in Cornwall, but I will not be doing the same. I also know people who are having a driving holiday in France. Although this does sound like a nice break, I don’t think I can risk it. Areas of France are going into lockdown again, and the thought of being stuck abroad somewhere is terrifying to me.
While I am missing the summer vacation I originally planned, for many reasons I think it would be best to stay home and enjoy the scenery around me. I have taken holidays in the UK before; last year I had a one-week holiday in Charmouth with a friend, and it was lovely. However, one of the reasons I found it so lovely was because the place was almost empty. I hate crowds and, especially this year, I know that the UK holiday spots will be far too busy for my liking. The photos on the BBC of rammed beaches, such as Bournemouth, make me shudder.
My final reason for not going away is the thought of having a potentially wonderful summer next year. If the crisis does not return, our summer should be as free as it has been for many years. My way of thinking is that by not going away this year, I can save the money I would have spent and go somewhere more amazing than I would usually next year.
So, for now, I shall enjoy the view from my own window.
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