20th July 2018
Often when we think about holidays or escaping we think about hot, exotic and far away places, yet our own country is overlooked. I think with travelling you should begin with roots - almost learning the history of your country before you venture out to the world.
So we decided to venture off to a mini paradise in Suffolk - Centre Parcs. Most of this journey was devoted to grounding ourselves and finding peace with nature. Now, most of these days were awoken with bad moods and fairly chipper people on the other side of the phone at seven in the morning, but cycling for more than half of the day and swimming for the other half makes you realise how much you are capable of and how much energy your body actually has. One thing we realised on this trip was that time was endless. Wanting to capture every single nostalgic moment, it is fair to say that there were way too many photographs of ducks and trees. It’s as if every corner, every turn was different.
I have to say out of everything, sipping coffee on the balcony every morning while the mist and white skies surrounded us, seemed to be our favorite pastime. It made breakfast the best meal of the day. Tiger bread, coffee and Krispy Kremes was the epitome of perfection and the only thing we liked eating on this holiday, seen as you had to book everything in two years advance. Nice one Centre Parcs.
After knowing each other for six years and dreaming about both travelling and living together, we finally got to experience both of these things and honestly it was nothing and everything like we imagined. After our ritual drinking coffee on our balcony and inadvertently inhaling the not-so-nice-strawberry vape from our lovely neighbours below, we would turn up Stormzy and get changed for our next activity, yet most of this time was dedicated to complimenting each other whilst naked. After six years there are no barriers between us, none.
The stage between being unbelievably exhausted yet full of energy was a constant phase for four days, to the point of one of us crying in an overwhelm of emotions (being hit with a two kg camera in the head doesn't help.) Getting lost in the midst of all the trees meant no crying children, no yelling parents, nothing, absolute silence from civilization.
As we said before, obsessing over making sure we captured every moment, was the biggest understatement of the entire trip. The cameras went where we went. sometimes it didn't always work carrying two analog cameras and a larger than life Polaroid camera in a back-pack... which definitely was not a mary-poppins bag but, we made it work and getting almost three different shots of everything was 100% worth it.
Although, Center Parcs had so many different activities to do throughout the day we were honestly more concerned and content with being outside hiding among the trees, hearing the birds sing and feeling the real burn in our thighs riding from one end of the resort to the other. The only other thing we enjoyed just a much, if not more, was the aquatic center - swimming that is. Neither of us are Aquarius' (which is the supposed water sign) but we were in the water for more than four hours a day and frankly, we could have stayed longer if it didn't shut at nine - again, thanks Centre Parcs.
Being attached at the hip to our cameras didn't prove much of a challenge when it came to the aquatic centre. We just trotted straight in with our analog cameras (full of fear) with the notion of keeping our hands as dry as possible. As we were really the only ones there with out children or who weren't children, we got a lot of stares, thinking a photo shoot was about to take place among the water. Personally, we didn't really give a shit. We were more worried about the splashing kids in the amazingly lit lagoon pool. Yet, it was worth all the tip toeing and trying to steer clear of overly excited and eager toddlers who sensed our cameras needed a bathe.
We found that a lot people in this resort were just outside to get from point a to b and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the facilities on offer in the way that you want, but we wanted to find the sweet spot between a and b. We did however find a way to enjoy the facilities even more and take advantage without being inside all day. Neither of us could pronounce the name of said activity to save our lives but it was basically cycling in water, which in hindsight doesn't sound like the smartest thing to do but it was so unbelievably blissful... except for the lovely bruises from our ever so co-ordinate paddling, and the falling off the bike, but that's a another story, for another day.
When it comes to the weather, the worry of exploring England is the inconstancy of it, but we're so unbelievably lucky that we got to enjoy this nature paradise under the warm sunshine which made it feel like we were by a lake in Canada. Having good weather and nice lighting makes everything better, creates a better atmosphere, gave us more energy to make the most of our trip. But it mainly made Centre Parcs heaven for us and even though at the time we were physically and mentally drained, all I can remember is being in the moment, laughing, exploring and making the most of what we had.
Four days of waking up at seven in the morning, getting dressed, ready for the day ahead after having sprung from bed, had our warm coffee in our peaceful little haven, with a dose of strawberry flavoured vape from downstairs of course, we were ready for embark on a new adventure every day. It's safe to say that exploring this beautiful forest up in Suffolk was a beautiful get away. We focused on what was important. Time was endless here and we made the most out of everything, especially the bikes. We stepped out of our comfort zone and pushed ourselves to explore everything we possibly could in the time we had and boy was it worth it. I can say with all my heart that focusing on the little things and getting back in touch with nature was and always is absolutely needed. Experiencing what mother nature has to offer, from appreciating all the tones of green there was to stopping near lakes to gaze at the parenthood of Geese or Ducks, was beyond beautiful to us... and cycling away from easily agitated Canadian Geese, although that was quite scary.
Below you'll see more photographs of what we experienced and I only wish the photographs could do the location justice, but you'll just have to do with them, for now.