I spent three years working overseas and it was the best time ever, I still miss the lifestyle (and the sun). I did four seasons as a rep and three as admin and during that time I got to live in some incredible places that most people will only get to visit for a week or two.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of Lanzarote before I went, like many people I knew it was referred to as ‘Lanzagrotty’ and I expected it to be filled with the worst type of British holidaymaker (you know, the ones who complain when the locals can’t speak English and refuse to touch a plate of tapas ‘cos it’s too foreign). I spent just a few months there and loved it. I spent many lost nights at Centro Atlantico, laughed till my tummy heart at the Music Hall Tavern, travelled to the bottom of the Atlantic on a submarine and stood on top of a volcano at the Timanfaya National Park. My favourite resort was Playa Blanca as it was so beautiful, although Puerto del Carmen will always hold a place in my heart as that was where I’d usually spend my weekends.
Fuerteventura was quiet, the kind of place where people go to sit on a sunbed for a week and do little else. Most of the customers were repeat visitors so I found that work-wise I was a bit bored. But having said that, I would have loved to have stayed there more because the workers were a close knit community and I made a lot of friends, despite being the only rep for my company on the island. My favourite place was the sand dunes. Whenever I drove between Corralejo and Caleta de Fuste, I was always amazed by the sight of it – it’s like driving through a desert. Not a bad commute!
Menorca is the slower, quieter, Balearic island. I lived in Ciutadella, an authentic Spanish city with a beautiful harbour. The beaches were lush, too – the sea was so blue and the water so warm and gentle. While Menorca is known for its relaxing atmosphere, many people won’t know the nightlife is pretty good. One night my friend and I found ourselves at Ciutadella harbour in the early hours of the morning, dancing in nightclubs which were in actual caves!
Working in Lapland was hard, I honestly feel like I could cope with anything after doing two seasons in Lapland – think working outdoors in -40° (my eyelashes froze solid), 18 hour days and spending every waking moment, even mealtimes, with your guests. But it was the best experience of my life. It’s so cheesy but I loved knowing that the hard work we were putting in was ensuring our guests would never forget their time there. I got to mush a husky sleigh (I crashed it onto a tree), I took a reindeer sleigh ride through the forest (I fell asleep), raced across a frozen lake on a snowmobile, visited the ice hotel, saw the real Santa in his village, and even saw the Northern Lights.
My season in Crete was full of drama but then what’s a summer season without drama! I spent most of my time in Rethymnon, a traditional Greek city with a massive beach and a beautiful old town. I also visited Chania a lot, which was my favourite place on the island (partly because it had a Dominos). Of course, I did go out in Malia a few times too. And I spent the day at Balos lagoon, which was stunning.
I loved Mallorca. It was where I felt most at home and I’m still a little sad I had to leave. I lived in Palma, the capital city, which was bustling with a thriving nightlife scene and a decent selection of shops, too. We went to Magaluf pretty often and I also loved going out to Arenal, especially Megapark, a huge Bierkeller.
My final winter season was spent in Torremolinos. If I’m honest, I didn’t particularly like Torremolinos that much. While the old fishing district of Carihuela was pretty, and I liked the ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars), I found the rest of the town to be a little seedy. I mean, every other building seemed to be a swinger’s bar! I liked Malaga, though, and definitely appreciated the fact there was a Poundland and a Primark nearby!