From the 12th to the 19th of August, we went on a wonderful holiday to Estepona near Malaga in Spain. We did so many amazing things on the holiday and I still can’t quite believe that we went on it. I had never been to Spain before so it was the very first time for me to experience Spanish food and culture so I was very excited. It was an utterly beautiful place and I am so grateful to have experienced and done what I have.
My family has had a difficult few years due to the loss of my Dad who was in the Army, still serving. He died of Brain cancer and it ripped a huge hole in my family, causing so much pain and grief. I loved him so much and I didn’t know what to do with myself.There were days where I didn’t want to get up. My life was totally pulled apart by cancer. But we were offered an amazing opportunity to help us to heal and that is what I am here to tell you about.
It was a cold, wet day in March (classic for the English Spring). I was at school getting ready to do my GCSEs. I was probably sitting in my dreaded maths or physics class, to be honest, not listening. However, my mother got a call from Denny Wise. He was offering us a trip to Spain during the summer holidays. And it was like the clouds opened and a sign was sent to us, telling us that everything was going to be ok. Well, maybe that is an over exaggeration but my mum couldn’t believe that we were being offered a trip to Malaga. It was one of the top places to go on our family bucket list after watching the Katherine Tate / Daniel Craig skit for Comic relief (please watch it if you haven’t, it’s the funniest thing in the world and you’ll understand the reference).
She immediately said yes and when me and my sister Bibi got home from school that day after many lessons filled with pathetic fallacies and the equation for acceleration, my mum broke the news to us. We couldn’t believe it! Spain. Think about all that Tapas, flamenco and tanned spanish boys that we were going to experience (I’m a 16 year old girl btw so boys are a big part of what I look for in a holiday). We knew we wanted to do it and after the last few years we all needed to get away from this country for a bit. I couldn’t wait to go. It was like the silver lining through the dark, dark clouds of GCSEs – something to look forward to as I slaved over subjects I grew to love and hate, the ones I love continuing with for A levels.
GCSEs ended (finally!) and the summer holidays began. It grew closer and closer to the time we headed off for Spain. The day came and, of course me being me, I pulled on my guns n roses T-shirt, green trousers, converse, Vans backpack and pulled my suitcase filled with flip flops and bikinis to the car for the first leg of the journey. We arrived at Gatwick about 8.30 in the morning, which for me was too early as being a teenager, I love to sleep more than anything. We went through security, made our way to the lounge, ate some breakfast and boarded the EasyJet plane to Malaga.
I love flying so much but this time I was even more excited than usual, I was off to a place I had dreamed of going to and I couldn’t believe it. I put in my airpods and blasted YUNGBLUD and Declan McKenna until the 2 and ½ hours felt like nothing and we were there.
We got our hire car sorted (after some arguing from Mummy with the car people as they messed up our booking) and climbed into the Renault Clio that carried us around the Costa del Sol. But here comes the bit that no one would expect. My Mother’s driving. In England, she is the best driver I know but it’s as if when we go to another country, she forgets how to drive. I was honestly scared for my life as she sped down the Spanish motorway, on the wrong side of the road. I love her dearly but god she can be an interesting driver sometimes to say the least.
We arrived finally at the beautiful Bene Vista resort and were shown to our home for the next week. An amazing house became our base. And our holiday began.
All the Spanish food you could imagine was eaten from prawns to omelettes. The food was amazing, particularly the melon ice cream I ate in Estepona old town. There is just something about eating food in a different country which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. We even went on a very exciting trip to Lidl which can I just say was an absolute highlight for me. And I’m not even kidding you. They are amazing there! They even have an orange juice machine! Like where are those here?
We did so many amazing things too but unfortunately to do this I had to experience more of my mothers driving. I honestly can’t even describe how bad it was. Lets just say she made many local drivers screech their tyres and a grown man cry. Anyways, we enjoyed the pool that was at the resort. We went to the Market and bought clothes that look like they are from Anthropologie but are half the price. We visited La Canada (literally the biggest shopping centre I have ever seen in my life) and bought clothes for my new College. We went to the beach and swam in the sea and ate chips. It was perfect!
My favourite day was the last full day we had there. We spent the entire day on the beach, drinking diet coke (or Coke zero as it’s called in Spain) and sunbathing. Unfortunately, being ginger and from Scotland, I got very sunburnt, even though I was wearing a thick layer of factor 50 and lying in the shade. Like how is that even possible? Then we went out in the evening for waffles in Estepona. Again, it was perfect.
And of course, y’all have been waiting for the update on the boys. I did a lot of spotting and I did see a few nice ones but I think the language barrier was a slight issue as I kept having to ask my friend Tom who speaks spanish over text what to say so I gave up in the end.
It was so amazing and honestly I had the most amazing time, apart from my mother’s driving. Spain is a beautiful, HOT, interesting place filled with friendly people and very good looking teenage boys. You should go if you get the chance, which I did thanks to the Forces Children’s Trust. Without them, I would have never gone and experienced Melon ice cream, tanned spanish abs, tyre screeching caused by my mum, sunburn or anything else. I honestly can’t be grateful enough. You are amazing! Thank you for giving me and my family this opportunity! We love you Denny and thanks for helping us to heal!
By Scarlett Carrell, age 16 nearly 17