This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
There’s a special sort of delirium reserved for going on holiday – let’s call it Holiday Behaviour. Fuelled by the fact that you got up at 4AM to catch a Ryanair flight to Kiev, Holiday Behaviour is getting into a low-level argument with your boyfriend because there’s a 20 minute wait for an Uber and he wouldn’t let you book a taxi the day before. Other examples: sorting your mouthwash and toothpaste into a lil plastic baggie and realising how much like your dad you’ve become; buying fags from Duty Free even though you don’t actually smoke. Holiday! Behaviour!
We go weird like this because British people cannot handle excitement sensibly (see: World Cup 2018), and a holiday is one of the most exciting parts of the year. Going on holiday is pretty universally lauded as “‘very good” because it is a break from ordinary life. It is a chance to relax, or to do something unusual or exciting – or, more realistically, to get really pissed and sunburned every day for a week, sitting on the terrace of an Irish bar called O’Craic’s.
Everyone’s idea of what makes a good holiday is different and therefore, your destination selection is actually quite revealing about you as a person. Like, you can be a Go To Berlin And Come Home One Week Later Having Missed Your Flight and Not Slept person, or a Cotswolds with the hubby and the dogs x person. But what about you? Say it’s 5AM and you’re at Gatwick weighing up the pros and cons of an airport pint (pros: it’s funny; cons: everything else). Where are you going? And what does that choice signal to the world about you – your very self, your heart, your soul? WELL:
You say you don’t like social media – you are a simple soul, and favour emptying your tumbling thoughts into a precious leather-bound diary – but you’ll be generous enough to share some images of your little vacanza on your private Instagram: shouldn’t your dearest friends get to experience its beauty, even if they can’t be there?
The grid, as a result, is swimming with pictures of statues of the Virgin Mary, cliff landscapes and seafood that looks like a Doctor Who villain (caption: “what wonders del mar we enjoyed last night!”). Your hobbies include making tagine and just, like, blouses. You were personally insulted by Bougie Lit Woman; your dad (a banker, so much of a banker that it’s not even funny and instead just a grim inevitability) owns your flat.
LADS’ / GIRLS’ HOLIDAY TO MAGALUF OR MAJORCA
You have probably just finished sixth form and you are going to uni in a party city like Nottingham or Bristol or Leeds in September. Your idea of a good time is drinking a fishbowl – which, judging by colour alone, looks like it is going to seriously damage your digestive system – and snogging a holiday rep called Lee. Delighted for you.
LADS’ / GIRLS’ HOLIDAY TO SPLIT OR BUDAPEST
You have probably just finished sixth form and you are going to uni in a party city like Nottingham or Bristol or Leeds in September, but as you’ve heard of an artist called, aha, Four Tet, you feel that you are cooler than the Magaluf and Majorca crowd, so you choose somewhere “less touristy” like Croatia or Hungary instead. You end up drinking the lurid fishbowls anyway, but you might also do a bit of MDMA (which is actually just speed) bought for a large markup from a street dealer. Delighted for you lot, too.
You go to the gym for fun.
You bought a special new tracksuit for the flight, and made your friend take a photo of you wearing it as soon as you got to the airport. While everyone else checked their bags in, you were getting the perfect shot of you sat on your suitcase (arse half off, for angles’ sake), tagging the location “Heathrow Terminal 3,” and typing in the caption “Do You Believe That Airplanes In the Night Sky Are Like Shooting Stars?” You took so long doing this that you had to be rushed through security so you didn’t miss the flight.
Out of your mates, you’re the best at makeup, and you have an Instagram following of at least five figures. You were meant to go on Love Island but unfortunately lost out at the last minute to a swimwear model called Maisie–Lou.
A EUROPEAN MUSIC FESTIVAL WITH ABOUT 20 OF YOUR FRIENDS
You are a person who, on some level, enjoys and welcomes chaos: there can be no other motivation to attempt this sort of trip, which is the least restful holiday you could possibly hope for. You have, at least once, had to pay an AirBnb charge because of the state you left a place you rented in (for your part, you maintain that the bin was full of sick when you arrived); you definitely, definitely own at least 1x bucket hat.
Your Instagram is full of candid shots of your friends looking high or ugly, in order to maintain an image of being SuPeR fUn and NoT cArInG (this is in fact highly curated); you did graphic design at uni.
You have a job where you have to wear a tie and when you get home, you will change your main Hinge photo to one of you next to a sedated tiger.
When someone asks you where you got your outfit you look down, coyly smile, look back up and say, “Haha, just, you know, um, thrifting in the States.”
SOMEWHERE REMOTE IN THE UK
You are a stressed millennial who has been driven to such distraction by life in the city that you have paid the little savings you had to go and stay on a farm where you can’t get phone signal. After two days, you consider renouncing everything to Stay Here For Good and Write Your Novel but then remember that the countryside doesn’t have Wagamama. You go back to London or wherever and spend the rest of the year complaining.