(...A little cheeky monkey also joins us on our trips, not only is he a great driver but such a joker too!)
My road trip journeys began when I was merely 3 years old. I left Portugal along with my mum and granny to join my dad who had already moved to England. We were part of a group of 10 who were also leaving Portugal for a better life in pastures new and embarked on our journey in a small minibus. Unfortunately, we had a very bad accident on my very first road trip in the north of Spain. As there were only single lanes to drive on back in the day, drivers were forced to overtake slower vehicles. Our driver's side happened to be on the opposite side of the road and as there were hardly any motorways back then, the driver had to keep overtaking cars and lorries.
As a typical child, I remember constantly saying 'are we there yet?' and 'how much longer?', which must have driven my parents mad but try being a back seat passenger in times gone past without today's technology. I used to spend hours and hours sleeping, reading and looking out the window at the stunning landscapes and staring up at the beautiful moon and starry skies. Very long moments of boredom but at the same time fascinating. In fact, in the past you could see so much more, motorways have somewhat taken away the wonderful views we were fortunate to have experienced back then. I also remember not having to wear a seatbelt so was able to lie right across the back seat. The heat was also unbearable, driving through the middle of Spain mid afternoon was positively a swelter - remember there also wasn't any air conditioning to keep us cool. We weren't spoilt as we are today.
There's nothing quite like being on the open road, feeling free and not seeing another soul for miles and miles. Closing my eyes with the hot breeze tingling my face (highly not recommended whilst driving), the wind blowing through my hair and the sun gleaming so bright - nothing makes me more happy, well apart from lying on the beach of course.
One of my favourite quotes is 'Life is the beauty for those who choose to look for the beauty of life' and that's how we feel about our captivating drives across Europe. Not one country is the same - each has its own uniqueness with impressive architecture and views, we just need to capture the moments and experience them whilst we can.