Make no mistake about it I love airplanes. Without them, I would be grounded, likely in the US, instead of the UK. Let’s say I owe my expatriate experience in many ways to the airline industry. I never took to the waters, if you will.
And certainly I owe my visits to the US to see family and friends to planes, not to mention holidays abroad. And I am not the only one indebted to the industry; the tourism industry must be, too.
In 2013, the UK had more than 31 million visitors with London leading the way with 16.8 million of them, an increase of 1.3 million from 2012, when the Olympics were held here.
The rise was the highest recorded number of overseas visitors since records began in 1961.
Presumably, many of these visitors arrived via airplane, though the Eurostar, ships and coaches provide other travel options. But if you are in a hurry, flying is the fastest route. And I almost always am.
Admittedly, however, I find the preparation for flying rather tedious. I do understand it and wouldn’t have it any other way for safety. Still I long for the nonchalant preparation of throwing things in a bag or two willy-nilly and taking off.
Last weekend, Paul and I did just that, joining our English family at a Center Parcs village, sort of a vacation park, which offers short breaks year-around. How very interesting we found it.
Though marketed for families with children, Center Parcs offers something for everyone from outdoor activities such as walking and cycling to indoor sports including swimming and playing tennis and squash. Also, the facility has a spa, plenty of restaurants and a few shops. The accommodation is not bad either.
Honestly, it’s not a holiday destination that we would take without family but with them, it measured up. I’ll take their Aqua Sana Spa over the chilly rain any day. And most importantly, there was no commotion about packing and travelling. So, I did throw in two bags after all, one for each day.
The next stop, however, calls for flying, with only one-bag to carry on. Argh! Considering that the trip is tomorrow, I’d better get sorting. Otherwise, I’ll be grounded. And I do like flying.