Flight or Fancy – Travel Truths   10 Apr 2012

Ally Fabish


Here in Scotland, they like their sun. However, it’s probably the one place that it rarely shows itself. Summer sneaked her head in last week with 20 degree days, but alas it was short lived with a snowy three degrees this week. After living in the dark for a winter we are craving sunlight.

Our skin is pale and yearns for warmth to heat our blood. We look to the skies, to send down its tanning rods to paint our skin. I have never been so white in my life and I have never bought so many bottles of fake tan (a much healthier option though, I might add)

The birds thought they had made it through the worst. Some starved because all the ground and greenery was covered in snow and was too thick for their tiny feet and beaks to dig through.

But it’s around this time of year that people look at holidays and the pre-season cheapies are in abundance.

Therefore, having cheap airlines are a necessity. For instance this week I saw advertised

Flights to Venice – £10.99
Flights to Greece - £21.99
Flights to Barcelona - £32.99

In New Zealand we couldn’t even comprehend this, yet over here when you look for cheap flights, it ACTUALLY means cheap flights.

The airlines certainly have their heads screwed on about as right as you can get when it comes to bums on seats here. They fill up their aeroplanes with a reduced set number of seats, sold off first before normal prices to ensure the plane is full.

When you ask a Scottish person where they are going on holiday, its generally answered with something like

To Spain, Greece, South of France, Grand Canaries… the opportunities are endless. The Scottish holiday is one of sun, sand and drink. Much the same as a New Zealand one except we only need to drive to one of our beautiful beaches. Most beaches here are pebble, not very comfy to lie on and the water would chill you to the bone.

So a few years back I took a “cheap trip” to the Greek Islands and in the end decided to stay for a while. A flight for a tenner is an easy motivator. An apartment for £30 euros per week split between 4 of us. Tropical paradise, white sands, 30 degrees every day, I can honestly say I didn’t see a cloud for 3 months.

We have an abundance of small island type countries around New Zealand yet we could never imagine any offers like these. Travel here really means travel. No wonder there are so many foreigners calling this home, a place to work and base yourself while you travel.

We can go from Scotland to Germany cheaper than from Scotland to England, by flight or train. We can travel from New Zealand to Australia cheaper than in New Zealand - North to South.

I was annoyed and saddened to hear last week that Air New Zealand is pulling a few flights to save costs and the UK could be in the firing line. Of all my years here and all my flights home, I have never used Air New Zealand, simply because they are one of the most expensive and this is a major disappointment to me. As patriotic as I am to my country and wanting to use her services as much as possible, it just isn’t possible.

I think bonnie Scotland sum it up well

“Fancy was a bonnie dog but fortune took the tail from it”
(its wonderful until seeking fortune overpowers it)

(Ally Fabish was born in the big smoke of Te Awamutu where she had an automobile business for 16 years until leaving for the big O.E in 2003. Writing children's books and motivational speeches are her favourite pastimes. Having spent a few years travelling in and out of London, she moved to Scotland in 2005 and is about to become a British citizen.)

Photos. Dusk on Kos: Kevin Gibbons - Flickr CC
Kos in the sun: Ally Fabish

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