Wednesday, 9 April 2014

High Days and Holidays...


It’s April and I’ve been Missing in Action for two months!

I spent all of February and a good bit of March settling into our lovely new house by the river - but that’s not all I did - as Mr JH and I grabbed a last minute ‘late deal’ to celebrate my March birthday by cruising the Caribbean.

We flew to Barbados on the new ‘Dreamliner’ plane and joined the ship ‘The Dream’ on which we sailed to ten fabulous Caribbean islands over two weeks. It was all very dreamy indeed!

A dream Caribbean cruise

Mr JH and I have always loved to travel. As soon as we met, we began planning our adventures together and spent an awful lot of time and energy saving up to fund our dream destinations. We started off with an exciting one week trip to the Scilly Isles, where we took our tent and spent every day scuba diving on eighteenth century ship wrecks. A year later we married, and then spent the next two years saving up to go to our dream destination of Barbados. In 1985 we managed it. Two years after that we went to St Lucia. While on St Lucia, we were caught up in Hurricane Gilbert but despite the winds and rain and decimation all around us, our love affair with the Caribbean was far from over.

When our three kids came along we went to Centre Parcs in the UK and Euro Disney in Paris. Then once they were a bit older, we saved up every penny we had to take them to America. We would much rather save up to take the kids to theme parks and beaches in Florida than to put in a new kitchen or buy new furniture. As you can imagine, it took us many many years to get the house fixed up!

Horton's caricatured at Universal Studios Orlando Florida! 

More than anything, Mr JH likes to scuba dive, and just like chips of the old block, two of our sons are PADI scuba diver instructors. I have tried scuba diving too, but these days I much prefer to snorkel a coral reef or to lie on the beach in the hot sun with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other.

Holidays are important to us and we have always given them high priority. We have been very lucky and have been to some amazing places all over the world, but as we’ve got older and our three lovely sons have grown up, graduated, and made their own way - it not just holidays - but travel and adventure - that calls to us.

Scuba fun!

So this year, Mr JH and I are planning to take a ‘gap summer’. Hence the new blog title! We haven’t actually retired from our day jobs yet of course, as we are both still reasonably young and we need to work, but we are fortunate to both be self-employed. As such, we have shifted our schedules to accommodate taking time out to travel before we do get too old! This will mean we will have to keep hopping home from time to time to check on things but that’s just the way it will have to work this year.

I’m hoping to use this blog over the summer months to record our experiences while we travel, so that our lovely friends and family can see for themselves what we are getting up to and share in our adventures. For the interest of my author and reader friends, I’m also hoping to chart the progress of a book I'm hoping to write this summer. ‘Love Under Construction’ is a contemporary romance novel – itself under construction – which I hope to finish and publish later this year to Kindle and paperback.

So later this month, we are back to the Caribbean: this time to the Dominican Republic – the land of waterfalls and rainforest and palm trees and beaches. I love the Dom Rep: culturally it reminds me of how Barbados was thirty years ago.

Exploring caves and climbing waterfalls in Dominican Republic

During the month of May we will be home in Scotland again, but in June we are flying off to Seoul in South Korea via Dubai to visit #2 son, who lives and works out in South Korea as an English teacher.

At the start of July we are off on an epic and exciting three month long trip, returning to the UK on the 1st October. So where are we going exactly…..?

I’ll give you a few clues. It’s a tropical island that is approx seven miles long and two miles wide. It is surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia) and it’s in the Caribbean.

Another clue…? Well, getting there is not easy and takes a bit of time as it’s not possible to fly direct. We are flying from Glasgow to London and then from London to Miami. From Miami we have to fly to Honduras, Central America, and then we will take a small plane out to the island….

Intrigued…? Well you’ll just have to keep popping back here to my blog to find out exactly where in the Caribbean our mystery destination is....

Public Domain Map of the Caribbean: Wikimedia.org

Do please join me on this amazing adventure!
Janice xx

17 comments:

Glynis said...

Wow,have an amazing adventure!

Rena George said...

Oh, Janice. You take my breath away. What an adventure - and so much more to come. Can't wait to hear how it all works out. You're living the dream ... ENJOY!! Rx

Gill Stewart said...

Go for it Janice. Sounds FANTASTIC!

Melanie said...

Wow! What an adventure. I totally agree with you - travel while you're able - financially and health wise. You never know what's around the next corner. Life is too short - embrace every minute of it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice - it certainly sounds the way to go .. and so pleased that all your ideas are coming together ..

Happy Holidays I saw to the Adventuring Author .. cheer Hilary

Berta Fatso said...

These seemed to be great adventure, I hope you enjoyed it. la villa lopud

Linn B Halton said...

So wish I could hop inside your suitcase and jet off with you! What an adventure - and what a 'gap summer' it will be!

Patricia said...

Janice, how exciting!!! I can't wait to follow along on your adventures! Bon voyage!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

How fantastic, Janice! Much as I like to travel each year and have been to many beautiful places, I don't have your spirit of adventure to go away for so long - I'm always glad to get home again! Looking forward to reading all about it.

Joan Fleming said...

Sounds brilliant, Janice! Looking forward to sharing in your adventures. Enjoy every minute.

Sheryl Browne said...

I admire you for 'going for it', Janice. You only live once. Time to grab a little 'you' time. I can't wait to read your posts! Lots and lots of pics, please. ENJOY, sweetie! :) xx

JanieSeventeen said...

Wow, Janice - that sounds fantastic! And I must say that I'm incredibly jealous! I can't wait to read all about it....have fun :o)

Janice Horton said...

Thanks for each of your lovely and encouraging comments. I'm packing for the Dom Rep right now - beach clothes only - and can't wait to fly back to the Caribbean. Today, here in Scotland, it has been a fabulous Spring day with sunshine and blue skies - and it reminded me how different life can be here when it's not constantly raining! :)

love, Janice xx

Janice Horton said...

I heard an amusing thing this week. Those who are taking a few months out to visit far flung places and have new experiences - as opposed to taking a 'gap year' - and who are typically in their forties and fifties are dubbed ‘snappers’ not 'gapper's!

So Mr JH and I are 'snappers' - well who'd have thunk it...?! :)

Janice xx

myraduffy said...

Enjoy it all,Janice!

Caroline James said...

Lots of amazing experiences for the memory bank Janice, all to treasure in years to come, go girl! :-)

ange said...

Love the title of your latest work in progress and I look forward to reading about your adventures. Lucky lady! xx