Many of us count down the days until the weekend, and the months until summer. We listen to songs that throw us into a time machine and send us back to warm, hazy nights with friends or forward to new adventures. We hit the replay button on that one jam that triggers the memory of a summer fling or a fuzzy head after a wild night partying in a new country.
I’m always dreaming of summer. Looking at pictures of exotic countries, longing for a golden tan and salty beach hair. Or just to be somewhere brand new, somewhere I’ve never been before – wherever that is. As the years go on, we yearn for it in different ways, but it’s always about the richness of the memories we make.
When I was growing up, summer meant going home and seeing family.
My parents, sister and I would spend up to six weeks in Serbia and Croatia every July through to August. It was what I’d wait for all year round. Our summers were so much fun. First came the excitement of booking flights, then the anticipating countdown, and finally the morning before jetting off – we’d wake up buzzing at 6am, do some last minute packing and jump on the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow. I remember being so tiny and excitable.
The weather was always complete bliss unlike back in London, and this made me super smug. My nan lived in the country surrounded by the freshest air and little mountains to hike and we were only about an hour out from the city too, which meant that there was always a mix of epic things to do. Some of my favourite memories are from those summers – my birthday is in August so every year we’d have a huge BBQ with all of our friends and family and the adults would get blind drunk on my nan’s homemade rakija.
As I got older I began to want for a different kind of summer. I had the responsibilities of work so I couldn’t just go away for six weeks, being away from my best friends for so long sucked and once I started having boyfriends leaving them sucked too. It’s a hard thing trying to explain to your immigrant parents and family at 17 that this just wasn’t exciting anymore, it wasn’t my home, and I wanted to see so many other parts of the world.
But regardless of that, I still remember how special those weeks were to me. I guess what I’m trying to say it that, it’s not just about the sun and the sea and the sand – summer is a beacon of opportunity, it’s a time when people are rekindled with their loved ones, a time when new friendships are formed, a time when people finally get to see their boyfriend or girlfriend after months of long distance, a time where you take the plunge and move to another city, discover a new favourite flavour of ice-cream and a time for a new chapter.