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Saturday 18 May, 3:50pm
I call group holidays, where you join a group of unknown people for a holiday with a shared interest, friendship holidays. Of course you may not make friends for life on these trips, and there may of course be people on the trip that you can't stand the sight of, but in the main I have found group holidays with a shared interest to be bonding experiences.
I have been lucky enough to go on two such holidays this year - a week sailing around the beautiful turquoise coast in Turkey with a wonderful group of interesting, well travelled people and a week hiking in the Italian Dolomites with a bunch of intrepid hikers.
I have to put you straight on this, I am neither a sailor or an intrepid hiker. On the boat I was in the hands of the experts, while I swam, hiked and sang (it was a singing holiday after all!) which gave me a full week to get to know my shipmates.
In the Dolomites, I was surrounded by a group of 'proper' hikers, who spend their free time tramping the moors and hills in their local area.
Both trips I loved. I find people fascinating, so found the chance to chat and get to know my new 'friends' for the week to be a privilege.
I was lucky enough to make some special friends on both trips, who I continue to meet up with and develop our friendship further. But even if you just bond for that particular week and don't take friendships further on your return home, those people have added to your special holiday experience and allowed you extra special memories.
Friendships can be formed in so many ways - at the school gate, in your local choir or art class, on holiday or while volunteering for a local charity. However and wherever friendships are made, some last a long time, some are short term friendships, but whatever type of friendships they are, keep them special, they will always remain in your heart.