Longing For My Lost Youth

When you return to the same resort on holiday six years running, there’s obviously no doubt that it’s a place you love, and is somewhere special.  But I think one of the main things that sets Porto Sani Village in Halkidiki apart from other places we’ve travelled to over the years, is the staff.

Obviously, having been there six times, we know many of the staff pretty well – I’d go so far as to say some of them are good friends (two of whom are coming to stay with us in November).  There are a lot of seasonal bar and waiting staff, in the main in their early 20s, on secondment from hospitality management university studies, mostly from Eastern Europe.

Overall, I’d much rather spend my time interacting with the staff rather than the other guests – let’s just say that the majority of British people who frequent Sani are a ‘certain type’.  But that’s a whole post for another day!

We were invited out with the staff in the evenings several times this year – on one evening we were taken out to dinner in a local village (fabulous night), and on another couple of occasions, we partied till the wee small hours in various too-cool-for-school beach bars.

At some point on one of the evenings, I found myself sitting for a moment alone on the periphery of the crowd watching it all going on around me, and oh, how I yearned to be 20 again – tanned, slim and effortlessly gorgeous, with enough energy to party until it’s getting light then turn up for work at 10 am the following morning; and having wildly inappropriate love affairs with gorgeous Mediterranean men; and no responsibilities other than for myself.

And I wanted to tell them all somehow (because with hindsight I know it to be true), that they should cherish every moment of the fun they were having, because in the blink of an eye it will all be over, they’ll be married with kids and up to their necks in mortgages, school runs, laundry and tedious routine.  Spontaneity will become a last minute family meal at Wetherspoons on Friday evening, not dancing till dawn under the stars on the Med.

Even though I’d done all the same things that they were doing now – I worked in a bar in Spain for a summer after my A levels, went to university (in Wales rather than Kiev, admittedly), and spent five years travelling the world and having an absolute whale of a time on board cruise liners – I felt INSANELY jealous of them all.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my life now, but I would give anything to go back and live my early 20s all over again.  And I think this holiday just brought it home to me how far away those days are now, and made me sad that I will never have them again.





9 thoughts on “Longing For My Lost Youth

  1. Glad you had a fab time. I can just imagine what the fellow holiday makers were like, that’s why I’m an independent traveller who shuns hotels, nothing more embarrassing than most Brits abroad unfortunately.
    My life hasn’t changed much from my 20s except for the hip replacement and the fact that I now get hangovers! x

    • Hi Vix – yeah, the hangovers just get worse the older we get, sadly. Doesn’t put me off, though, weirdly!! I think not having kids is probably a big plus when it comes to maintaining a similar lifestyle to your 20s when you’re in your 40s. That, and having a youthful outlook of course!

  2. and having wildly inappropriate love affairs with gorgeous Mediterranean men; – I loved that phrase. I understand where you are coming from and it passes to another thought, “What would you differently if you had your time again?” For me I wish I hadn´t got married at 22 and hadn´t accepted my father´s advice about learning shorthand and typing “because you will always have a job”. He was right in one aspect but at 16 I wanted to do so much more. I won´t go in to any more details as we have our 40 year anniversary this year and that might not happen if I do!! But yes, Caroline, I can so agree.

  3. I’m not sure who said that ‘ youth is wasted on the young’ (probably Oscar Wilde – he seems to have thought of all the best quotes) but, by God, it’s true. If I could go back to my early twenties I do so many things differently (as long as I took my knowledge of hindsight with me of course.) It’s a wonderful, unfettered, glorious time of one’s life and, sadly – for me at least, it was all pretty much squandered withouth a second thought – though I do have some fabulous memories!!

    Anyway, to cheer us all up, I hear that summer is finally on its way to the UK – yeehaa!!.

    • Just watching Wright Stuff and one item is “Do Women of a Certain Age Feel Invisible”. Yasmin on it said she still wants to feel sexy and attractive and she must be late sixties. So yes we want our youth back to feel that as well. One of the waitresses in our local venta said to me the other night, “Guapa” meaning attractive, good looking and I felt really chuffed.

  4. I get it – I really do. I often think that when I see young people doing things I did…..au-pairing especially or the freedom of university etc. But saying anything can make you sound ‘even older than you may feel’ – shudder.

    Welcome home btw.

  5. I found myself nodding along with every word you wrote, and also very glad that I travelled a heck of a lot before I got married and had kids. Although both my husband and kids now want to go to many of the places I’ve been to, so best get saving!

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