"This is what I have always dreamed about", I said to my grandparents. I was five and we had just arrived at our hotel in Tenerife. It was my first trip abroad.
The memories I made on that trip have stayed with me ever since. Flying to Tenerife, the captain made an announcement on the plane - children could visit the captain in the cockpit. We peered in the dark cockpit from the cockpit entrance, admired the bright knobbles. The captain showed he could move the controls and tilt the plane, ever so slightly. It was exciting.
More memories were created in Tenerife. While driving to the top of volcano, we drove through a cloud and my grandparents stopped the car to let me feel and taste the cloud. It looked like white cotton candy from below. Inside the cloud, it was disappointingly grey and foggy.
In the evening we would walk along the beach side in search of nice restaurants to eat at. In one of the restaurants a caged parrot was chattering and I inched closer and closer, wanting to pet it. When I was right next to its cage, it squawked, loud, scaring me away and back to my grandparents. The restaurant owner laughed, came and consoled me and gave us tickets to a water park.
The hotel had a swimming pool, and I swam in it every day, for hours. I remember pretending to be a mermaid, diving to the bottom of the pool and holding my breath as long as I could and I remember my grandfather telling me the soles of my feet would get tanned because I was diving so often. I remember my grandfather calling me out of the water every hour, pretending to do an Indian war paint on my face with sunscreen, before rubbing it all in. He would then check between my toes and inform me that he could definitely see the beginnings of webbed toes appearing.
To me Tenerife is made of beautiful memories. To many, it might not be an exciting place to visit. It might not be a glamorous place to visit. But to me, it is a beautiful place with memories that happened in the past and memories to create in the future. And it is those memories of trying to lick a cloud, chance encounters with scary birds and friendly old men, and the clear blue waters to splash about I want to create with my own little family, right here, right now, 25 years later.
|Me, 25 years ago, very tanned after my holiday (the soles of my feet were normal though!)|