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How does your summer in Europe look like? Camping in France or Italy, or "veranear" in Spain?

How does your summer in Europe look like? Camping in France or Italy, or "veranear" in Spain?

Growing up in The Netherlands for me personally summer time used to mean we would go abroad with the family to celebrate the holidays. My parents took me and my brother to many different countries in Europe when we were young and outside of Europe when we got older. Those summer trips really kick-started my interest in  other cultures, languages and different rituals compared to my own upbringing.

To be able to witness those differences from such an early age on feels like such a privilege to me, which I've always felt like passing on to my own daughter as well. Today it's more "normal" or even expected for families to travel in summer time, but back in the days when I grew up it was really not such a common thing. The summer plans in The Netherlands were quite different from the ones I got to experience once I started living in Spain for example.

For me as a Dutch girl growing up in a small village and fortunate enough to be able to go away for the summer vacation together with my family, we would usually go camping for 2 or 3 weeks somewhere in Europe. The first few years my parents were always going to France, but later Italy became the new favourite country to spend our summer abroad. The rest of the 6 weeks of my school vacation we would spend with friends or family close to home. 

One of the things that surprised me when I got to visit the family of my ex-boyfriend in Spain for the very first time back in the 90's, was the length of their summer vacation. They get to be away from school for 11 (!!) weeks and actually have a special verb for the time they spend in summer: "veranear" (to spend summer somewhere else from where you reside). 

Lots of people I met during that first time in Spain were people from the big cities like Seville and Madrid for example, who would just come down to the Spanish coast during summer time and live there for almost 3 months with their family. I guess some Dutch families do something similar with a fixed spot somewhere at a camping in The Netherlands or abroad, but I never experienced that with my parents.

Going back to the same spot every year where you get to meet the same people as the year before was something I only experienced later in life. The summer contacts I made during my childhood holidays were always very nice and enriching, but never something that lasted longer than a year or two maybe. I guess that's where I started to learn how to meet and connect with people without really having any expectations on the duration of that new friendship. I just enjoyed the time together with these new people and appreciated all the things it taught me.

It's so funny to see how these summer trips with my family were the base of what my current lifestyle is today. I really simply enjoy the time I spend with people and have no expectation on the duration or intensity of it. Summer seems like the perfect time to meet new people and learn new things, which will slowly integrate into your daily life once you're back home.

To me all the experiences with my own little family over the past 4 years have been so enriching and really helped me define the way I live my life and educate my daughter. Becoming a mom has truly given me so many insights to my own behaviour and what my purpose in life is, that I am very passionate about sharing those experiences with other parents. This is one of the reasons I'm currently setting up my own Ibiza Experience where other parents can meet up and share a great time together.

If you're interested in joining this one day event, please contact the Esther Ibiza Dream Team via for more information, locations and prices.

I wish you a wonderful summer time wherever you are and hope you get the chance to disconnect from all the daily stress & worries and connect with yourself and your loved ones.

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