Well, that was quite the week for me…
If you weren’t aware, I’ve spent the last week in the south-west of France, close to the Spanish border, right on the coast. I went with my school, to do a sailing course: I was working towards my Stage 4 sailing qualification, if anyone actually knows what that is, or cares what that is. This was my third time going on the trip, and due to my position in the British education system, the last time that the trip was open to me. The trip is a joint trip between my school (an all-boys school), and its partner school, the all-girls school down the road.
IT WAS AMAZING.
I swear I haven’t had that much fun in such a long time — it was one of the most fantastic trips ever, and definitely one of my favourite memories from my time at secondary school. I just felt so … free, and genuinely really happy.
No fake laughter, or I-feel-lonely-but-we’ll-smile-anyway kind of shit — actual happiness.
We travelled to France by coach, taking the ferry across the water. The ferry was PACKED, but it was the first chance I got to see some of my friends from the other school on the trip — friends from previous years of the same trip. Of course we went to the duty-free shop on-board the ferry, and although I didn’t buy any then, I simply couldn’t resist purchasing a giant toblerone on ur return journey today — #BritAbroad! I did, however, pick up some drinks and snacks for the 12 hour nighttime drive through france.
I hate that coach journey so much, but it’s bareable because I know that what comes after it is so, so worth it.
And it was…
The campsite is basically slap-bang in the middle of nowhere, with a cute little village down the road, and beautiful, undisturbed nature all around it. The lake is used for sailing, and it’s just wonderful to be surrounded by that natural perfection. In the mornings, I was woken by the warmth of the sun on the tent, and the sound of birds calling out to one another, greeting the new day the only way they know how.
The sailing itself was absolutely great: I enjoyed the course, and we had so many on-going jokes, it was just insane. For whatever reason, we would all just burst into a rendition of Dancing in the Moonlight every now and then, completely spontaneously, and for no reason. And of course we got just the tiniest bit competitive: at one point, I spent about 30 mins doing nothing but cutting up one of my friends’ boats, just to ensure that they would not get in front of my trusty ship… Captain FunTimes at your service.
Our freetime wae was incredible: I actually felt … popular? It’s not a feeling I’m used to, or have ever really felt before, but it felt so fantastic — too fantastic for words, even. Even the little things, like people saying ‘good morning’ and falling into step with me before breakfast in the mornings, or calling me over to join their group on the grass or by the pop-up café in the late afternoons. I made so many new friends, and strengthened ties with old ones too — it was just so magical.
I think the highlight of the week for me was one of the evenings. we were doing a quiz/challenge activity, coming up with dodgy dating lines and so forth — some of them were just cringe AF:
“I’m no weatherman, but I can guarantee that you can expect more than 10 inches tonight.”
When we’d all finished, the instructors stuck some Ed Sheeran on the speaker system, and everyone just went absolutely crazyyy! Normally, this kind of scene would stress me out, and you would find me hiding in a corner with my head down.
Instead, on this particular evening, you would have found me with everyone else, dancing on top of the tables to loud, bubbly pop music, having the time of my life. It was so liberating,so joyous, and so completely … normal.
I loved it.
This week has been absolutely amazing; I couldn’t have asked for a better school trip, especially with this being my last to the south of France. I will cherish the memories of this trip for a long, long time, and just FYI … tur group chat is ON FIRE!!