Catalan Bay Gibraltar

Can Travel Bloggers Have “Normal” Holidays?

Before I even started writing a travel blog, I always loved trips that involved jam-packed itineraries, fascinating tours and delicious foodie finds. I thrive on exploring new places, learning about different cultures and seeing new things, and writing this blog has only made me even more consumed when it comes to planning trips. But our recent break to Gibraltar included none of this. This was the first time I was going away with family since I started blogging, but this trip wasn’t going to be a blogging one; it was to celebrate my mum’s birthday and to unwind in a place that is close to all our hearts.

But, unable to shake my typical blogger ways, the obsessive trip planner in me started to panic a few days before we left. We had absolutely nothing planned and I really do mean nothing. I hadn’t organised a single tour because we’d pretty much seen all of Gibraltar already and I hadn’t even scouted out any new restaurants to try. What on earth were we going to do for 4 whole days?!

When Mr Ayla and my family suggested how about just relaxing, my panic subsided a tiny little bit. Relaxing…I could do that. It was only a few days. I’m sure my itchy feet could keep still for that long couldn’t they?

Gibraltar is the place that my mum and grandparents took me and my sister to when we were growing up; it’s where I spent every summer holiday becoming a mini adventurer; and it’s where I later went on to marry the love of my life. As our plane started to descend and I caught my first glimpse of Gibraltar Rock in 5 years, with my family just as excited beside me, I knew I didn’t need to keep myself occupied to enjoy it here.

Flying over Gibraltar Rock

The title of this post may seem slightly moot as I am, in fact, now blogging about it, but the pure bliss that I felt at not having to take a hundred photos of every single thing, not worrying about keeping up to date with writing and checking emails, and only uploading the odd photo to Instagram, well it was wonderful to be quite honest. I even let Mr Ayla tuck into his food as soon as it was put in front of him without making him wait for me to take pictures!

I can’t remember the last time we had a trip that involved nothing more than chilling out by the pool, pampering ourselves, and just enjoying our time away, and it just goes to show we could all do with a little break away from social media and the rest of the world every now and then.

Gibraltar marina

Beach time is always a prerequisite on relaxing holidays so we spent lots of time running across the burning hot sand, frolicking in the sea, climbing the rocks along the shore and, of course, eating ice lollies.

Catalan Bay Gibraltar

Catalan Bay Gibraltar

With my mum and sister – my mum doesn’t look any older than either of us!

Ice cream on the beach

But most of the time we spent in a state of blissful paradise, all our responsibilities and worries forgotten, sunbathing by the rooftop plunge pool with its gorgeous views over the marina and Gibraltar Rock.

Rooftop pool Sunborn Gibraltar

Aqua Bar Sunborn Gibraltar

As it was my mum’s birthday during our break we had plenty of celebrations from drinking all the sangria in Gibraltar, cocktails by the harbour at sunset, and toasting with flutes of champagne on the rooftop bar.

Sangria in Gibraltar

Aqua Bar Sunborn Gibraltar

At least I know where my love of a good drink comes from…

By day we strolled by all the colourful houses along the beach front and by night we watched the sunset over the marina.

Catalan Bay Gibraltar

Sunset in Gibraltar

I’ll admit that there was still the odd moment when my blogging tendencies surfaced but who could resist taking photos in a place this beautiful?!  And it seems I’m not the only one in my family who’s snap-happy!

Most of all though it was so lovely just to switch off from everything and enjoy a few days with my five favourite people in the entire world.  I know that I won’t be leaving it long before another blissful break is booked with my crazy wonderful family.

Holiday in Gibraltar

Family in Gibraltar

Do you think us travel bloggers can have a “normal” non-blogging holiday?  Let me know how you switch off in the comments below!

33 thoughts on “Can Travel Bloggers Have “Normal” Holidays?

    • Ayla says:

      Haha well this post is more just sharing my photos and memories rather than actually writing a review on a tour or our hotel or a restaurant, etc. We just went with the flow and were spontaneous for a change 🙂

  1. Catherine Lux* (@luxlifeblog) says:

    It looks like you had such a lovely holiday! And who cares if you did end up blogging it? Blogging is a hobby, not a chore/work, thus go forth and blog as much as you like! Also, having it on the blog is basically just like having your own personal diary about the holiday? Right? 😉

    C x | Lux Life

    • Ayla says:

      You’re right, it is mainly a hobby but sometimes work too – especially when it’s a press trip or I’m reviewing a tour or accommodation, etc. which means I sometimes don’t feel like I’m getting a proper relaxing break. This was completely free from all of that though so I felt lovely and refreshed when I came home. And of course ready to get back into blogging! 🙂

  2. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    Well done on taking a break from it as it isn’t all that easy once you get into the mind frame of blogging! Gibraltar looks so gorgeous – I honestly had no idea it was such a stunning place and it’s totally tempted me to have a peek at how much flights and things cost 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      I may be a little bias but it’s so pretty! There isn’t a massive amount to do as it’s such a small place but it’s so friendly and chilled that I think it’s a great place visit. Let me know if you do end up looking into it. We’ll come back with you!

    • Ayla says:

      You should definitely give it a try Upasna. I felt so relaxed and refreshed when we got back. Just the sort of break we all need every now and then 🙂

  3. wisemonkeysabroad says:

    Love the title!!
    So glad you all got to unwind and have a family holiday. Great photos and thanks for sharing. We’ve never been to Gibraltar so your post has got us wanting to make sure we visit the next time we are in that part of the world!!

    To answer your question – We enjoy sharing our experiences when travelling and are very ‘slack’ when it comes to reviews and itineraries etc… So based on that, we have rather ‘normal’ holidays we don’t think about our blog when we decide what we do. We do what we want and then decide if it is worth sharing on the blog. Probably not the best way to do it but hey, we don’t want to lose the love of travelling or blogging because we worry about it too much
    And how to switch off? We don’t take our phones! That’s probably the easiest way for us to disconnect. We do use wifi to connect online though…

    Anyway, hope you are well and enjoying your European summer!!

    • Ayla says:

      Thank you! Gibraltar is only a small place so there isn’t a massive amount to do but a few days would be perfect to see the sights and everyone is so friendly.

      You seem to have got the perfect idea but I’m not sure I could manage it to be honest. Whenever we’re away I’m always thinking ooh that would be good to talk about on the blog! It doesn’t ever distract me from fully enjoying the trip though but I can never seem to switch my blogging brain off completely! Glad you’ve got the hang of it though!

    • Ayla says:

      I know! All the time I’m thinking ooh this would be good for the blog and let’s just take 20 photos of that for the blog. It’s so hard to switch off but glad I managed it this time. We all need some down time every now and then 🙂

  4. Taylor Hearts Travel says:

    This looks and sounds like such a relaxing break. I think I’d be the same as you, wondering how I’d cope with switching off. I think I’m probably my own worst enemy!

    You have such good genes – your mum looks so young (and you two look so similar)! Love your peachy skirt/cream vest combo too ❤ x

    • Ayla says:

      Haha my mum is going to love you forever for saying that Char! It’s actually a dress but I’m a little bit in love with it. Makes me feel like a ballerina! 🙂

  5. connie says:

    I think you’re absolutely right – sometimes we just have to switch off the blogger brain and just enjoy the moment then and there and not feel like we have to snap a photo of everything! I’ve been doing that at restaurants too a little more now… not everything is ‘content’, especially when we’re out with friends and family!

    • Ayla says:

      It is hard but it’s so nice to just not worry so much about the blog and social media sometimes. And I’m sure not taking pics but getting to eat your food when it’s still hot is a great feeling too!

  6. thegrownupgapyear says:

    Aw, this is such a lovely post. I know what you mean about finding it difficult to switch off. I’m exactly the same. I do think it’s important to do sometimes though, not only for yourself but the other person in your life too. Mr A and I went away last weekend and I managed to get through two whole dinners without taking a single photo! Quite a challenge for me, but I think he appreciated it 😉

    • Ayla says:

      Food is the hardest thing not to snap away when it looks so mouth-watering so that’s quite an achievement Emily! Hope you enjoyed your weekend away! 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      Obviously I still take photos but this time it was just like taking snaps on a normal holiday rather than taking 300 a day of everything and anything! Oh a safari would be the worst for me though as I always love animals pics! You’ll have to visit one day, Gibraltar is a lovely little place 🙂

  7. Emma Hart says:

    I love this post! I was just thinking the other day that I need to take a digital detox on my next break as even when I’m on holiday I find it hard to switch off from thinking “I need photos of this” or “I can write about this on my blog”. It can be exhausting even though it is a fun hobby and I can imagine it’s nice just to switch off and relax and it looks like you did that in Gibraltar! It looks so pretty there, I might have to take a trip one day 🙂

  8. Packing my Suitcase says:

    Awesome post!
    I think that even though we try, it’s almost impossible to have a non-blogging holiday. During the trip we think about the posts we can write and can’t help but take pictures and post on instagram. I have tried doing this before, but it never works with me hahaha… the blogger in me never goes away!

    • Ayla says:

      It’s so hard to switch off! I don’t think it will ever completely go away but I tried really hard on this holiday and I did manage to switch off a little bit. Posting photos on Instagram not included!

      • Packing my Suitcase says:

        hahaha! I’m glad you did it.
        I had to laugh when you mentioned you didn’t take pictures before eating. I often do this to W, and he always happy when I let him eat without taking pictures of his plate 😀

  9. Michael Huxley says:

    I can completely empathise with this post, and I think travel bloggers CAN have a normal break, but it is extremely difficult. Firstly because it is such a difficult and all consuming job (most people don’t realise just how hard it can be) and secondly just the sheer inability to switch off from the pressure to perform all the time. Fantastic post Ayla.

    • Ayla says:

      Thanks Mike! Despite the hard work and not being able to switch off, I do love the whole blogging world and I don’t think I’d want to do a trip in any other way now! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s