Years ago, I used to know a little girl who hoarded holiday brochures. She kept stacks and stacks of them under her bed.
Every September, when the new collections of packaged sunshine holidays went on sale in branches of high street travel agencies, she was there.
Her mum and little sister would help her carry the world home in plastic bags close to bursting point, full of brochure upon brochure.
At home she’d pore over the shiny pages, giving swimming pools marks out of ten and looking longingly at sandy beaches. She’d repeatedly pack everything she’d need for a trip in the imaginary suitcase she had in her head.
She’d play travel agents with her little sister for hours on end, day after day. It was a very a professional affair; the product of detailed study from when they’d sit in a shop and watch their mum book their next family adventure, trying in earnest to bag one of those mythical free child places.
As the bossy big sister she insisted on playing the part of the travel agent, responsible for the make believe bookings. Her little sister would always be the traveller, sold a dream trip that would only ever happen in their own house.
But when the summer came around, the little girl and her sister would help their mum and dad pack a suitcase for real and they’d all go on holiday together. Wherever they went, she’d collect leaflets and tickets and boarding cards, and pin them to a special notice board she had on her bedroom wall.
She waited all year for those holidays and she dreamed of the day she might go abroad more than once a year. People who could do that were so lucky.
She never imagined that one day she would be so lucky (even though she wholeheartedly believed every word Kylie Minogue sang in the 80’s).
But living the dream doesn’t mean winning the lottery. It just means finding a way to do what makes you happy.
I know that if that little girl could read this blog and see me now, she’d grin from ear to ear. And you know what? I’d grin right back.
I’d love to thank her for being the reason I’ll always get excited whenever I see an aeroplane, and of course, for leaving some of those beloved holiday brochures under the bed for me.
I’m sure I’ve still got them now.
Not to mention the countless others she’s been hoarding ever since she grew up.