When I recall summer memories my thoughts beam me back into the long Summer days of the 90s, when my sister and I would be off from school for almost 9 weeks, same as our Mum who was a teacher back then. As a kid you don't pay attention to the details but today, I honestly wonder how Dad could also, almost every Summer, manage to be off a couple of weeks.
Most of the years we packed up everything during the last days of school to be the first ones on the highway as soon as Summer holidays started. We would have a tent, a gas cooker, and heaps of sports equipment in the boot of the car and head towards Italy to catch the first ferry to Corsica. Once we reached the highway and the sun would start to rise, with sleep still in our eyes, we would turn on the radio, listen and get excited for the weeks to come.
It was my sister and I who insisted to go back to Corsica every single Summer. My Dad would happily have travelled to Norway, Iceland, or any country below 30 degrees. But we needed our dose of Summer in Corsica every single year because of the unique feeling and memories. The never-ending days in the sun, climbing eucalyptus trees, pretending to understand French and watching the sunset while Mum prepared dinner.
All our friends gathered at the same campground every year and we would go canoying together, play beach volleyball, fight over who must do the dishes and be jealous of the older ones, who were allowed to stay up one hour longer and have a sip of wine. During these weeks I lived in the water as I've always been a free spirit. You would only see me coming out to get a snack to fuel up for the next snorkelling adventure where I was happily making bubbles with all kinds of nemo's and collecting shells all day. In the evening, Mum would cook pasta on the camping stove and even if the meal was so easy, you could never replicate that taste at home. It's a different experience, when you have pasta from the gas stove, out of a plastic bowl while you're barefoot at the campground, salt in your hair and guessing what your new friends on the campsite next to you are having for dinner by the smell floating by.
It is a funny yet fascinating thing with scents and memories, how they allow us to travel back in time and can even press the play button to feelings and emotions we had back then. The smell of Eucalyptus will for me always be the feeling of hiding alone in a huge tree after I lost the fight of "who must do the dishes". I'd hide there until I had my emotions under control just to then realise doing the dishes takes only half of the time I just spent moaning.