Going on holiday and traveling abroad are experiences that can sometimes leave you with incredible memories that will remain with you for the rest of your life (and no, I’m not talking about relaxing and partying in Benidorm); many stories can be told to friends and families, or shared online through photos and videos, and these adventures can be worth more than any money in the world.
It is no wonder that I like to think of myself as a bit of a globe trotter ( I am not a Gulliver or a Christopher Columbus), but I can truly say that through traveling I feel like I’ve discovered myself, broadened my mental horizons and met incredible people from different cultures and places, making (almost) all my holidays unforgettable
I’ve partnered today with British Airways Holidays to write and share my favourite Holiday moment with you guys, and I have to admit it took me some time to think of what to write about, as I’ve visited so many countries with friends, my partner and even alone, that it’s hard to just pick one single moment …. but looking through my iPhone and flicking through my holiday photos, I’ve stopped at a photo I took of myself next to a Sakura tree and I knew immediately, that it was the right choice.
You might be wondering why I’d write about my encounter with a cherry tree, but rewinding back 20 years, I can say that visiting Japan has always been my childhood dream. I was obsessed with Tokyo and the Japanese culture, as I grew up watching Japanese cartoons and befriended a boy who was partly Japanese, I went through my childhood daydreaming of what it’d be like to wander the streets of Tokyo, listening to the local people talk, smell the different scents of the orient and walking to a park during Hanami season.
So this year, on my latest trip to Asia, I decided to seize the moment and take the plunge, hopping on a plane to Tokyo.
My holiday moment was certainly my visit to Ueno Park during Hanami, as it’s known to be covered in Sakura trees, making it an incredibly romantic and out of this world place to be . Being in Tokyo during this time of the year is super special, I had a chilled picnic under these magnificent trees covered in pink petals, and it made me think of how lucky I am, doing what I’m doing, and where I am in life right now. I spent hours that day, simply wandering around, listening to my favourite music and people watching. I remember observing in awe all these women wearing their traditional kimonos featuring a sakura petal print and having fun together! These simple things really sealed all the beautiful expectations I had in my mind about Japan, making it a dream come true .
Cherry blossoms are very important to the Japanese; not only brands and restaurants create specific dishes and things to celebrate Sakura, many young people and families gather around the parks across Japan to witness Hanami and welcoming spring (translated into cherry blossom viewing ), which only lasts a couple of weeks in a year, and is supposed to remind us that life is beautiful but also very short.
Something that can get most people very sentimental due to its short period and nostalgic meaning (a beautiful sunset is very special but you can get to see it regularly, while Sakura is a once in a year event)
I was also told by some Japanese friends, whom I happened to meet at the Peak in Hong Kong in 2015 and took the time to meet again this time (It’s all about Omotenashi, which translates as more than just good hospitality), in Shinjuku, that Sakura trees in Japan all carry identical DNA, which is the reason why they fall (which is spectacular,as its almost described as snowing petals) at the same time. How can anybody just not love this?
Sakura trees have been known to be the perfect spot to propose, and do something romantic or kind for your loved ones, and that’s no wonder why my heart was filled with joy when I first laid my eyes on these gorgeous light pink clouds on sticks.
And I’m here writing this article, looking at the photos I took (and shared below) , wondering if the next time I will see them again, will be with my loved one.
British Airways Holidays has teamed up with HuffPost Travel to celebrate those amazing little moments that make your holiday unforgettable. Share your favourite holiday moment and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a city break to Rome
Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by British Airways Holidays