Take a Jaunt

With summer coming up, it’s a good time to start thinking about taking a vacation. In fact, I’m sure that many people don’t wait until the summer to think about this favorite past-time. Some of us think about it all year round and my friend is definitely one of these people. She’s just booked a trip to Turks and Caicos and will be staying in this luxury villa that she found at a place like Isle Blue (https://isleblue.co/turks-and-caicos/villas). All I can say is wow! I’ve seen the pictures and it’s made me so excited about having a vacation and I’m not even going there. I definitely want to go there one day though, it looks amazing. But while it seems most people travel for specific events like music festivals or weddings, if you don’t really have a reason other than you just gotta go, I would personally recommend trying Jauntaroo.com.

It’s a matchmaker for traveling. You can select your budget, the vibe you’re looking for in various categories (party/ nightlife, off the beaten path, romantic, family friendly, etc.), geography (island, city, mountain) and weather. From there, it will offer a set of suggestions for you. I haven’t really taken a vacation in a while, so I had a gander at the website.

I thought it was pretty cute to see that I matched with a place I used to live: England.

When most people think of England, the first things that come to mind are probably those cool red phone booths, The Beatles and the bustling city of London. But where I lived was the furthest thing from a city: It was a seaside fishing town in the southwest leg of the island, a small surfer haven called Newquay.

While many of the people who lived in my town had never even been to London, let alone the United States, there were quite a few people from London and the other larger cities who came to us. Newquay is the big vacation town for everyone else. Even though it never really gets warmer than 70 degrees, there are tons of outdoor festivals, surfing competitions, and sports that make the place quite the tourist attraction.

My favorite tourist attraction was a holiday called “Run To The Sun.” In the summer, there is one weekend when everyone in the country drives out to camp in the beautiful countryside surrounding Newquay. It’s specifically a car and music festival, and it’s mostly classic Volkswagens. They all would parade through the town before heading to the car show. I’m not sure how, but it became a tradition for the locals to hang around the high-traffic areas and shoot the cars with Super Soakers. Every roundabout would be a war zone of water.

My least favorite tourist attraction was what they call “Stag and Hen” nights. They’re like bachelor and bachelorette parties on steroids. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these types of parties and I love going to them back home. They’re a lot of fun. My friends seem to agree because it’s the perfect opportunity for them to look for someone similar to these North Carolina strippers for hire to come and join the party when they have a stag party to go to. Each to their own, but you’d be surprised to know that such parties here are even crazier. My flat was right in the center of town, and I can’t tell you how many nights I was kept awake hearing soccer (or football) anthems being sung, or how many mornings I would wake to find a naked 20-something guy Saran-wrapped to a telephone pole.

Living in a summer town meant very close camaraderie among the locals. Even though I was American and not “technically” allowed to talk about what I did for work in the Navy, I built great friendships at the local bars and shops as a resident of the town for two years. You see the same people every day all year, so during the months that it’s packed and crowded, it was still easy to get a drink or get a table.

As far as cuisine goes, I was not very fond of the food in England – it was very heavy and rich. It was customary to eat in the pubs, with “Sunday Dinner” being a big lunch where everyone nursed their hangovers by drinking half orange juice/ half Sprite in pint glasses with roast lamb and mint jelly.

Knowing that my tastes, weather preference (I like to be cold when I travel) and budget allows for a trip back to the United Kingdom (if I ever get to take a vacation) was actually quite endearing and brought up all these memories. I really did like that town.

Christa Wittmier is “SUPERCW” on all social media. Find her on Snapchat, SoundCloud, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. By night, she is known as DJ SuperCW. By day, she is known as senior marketing director for Young’s Market Company of Hawaii. Her nightlife blog SuperCity runs every Wednesday on HonoluluPulse.com.