Lifestyle

Lizzy Hoo wanted a European summer holiday. So did half of Australia


Ok, is everyone in Europe this summer? I’m convinced Europe is the new Bali. Once we’d just opt for a cheap and cheerful five-hour flight to our unofficial seventh state, drink $2 Bintangs and hit up a beach club. We’d stay for a week, get burnt, drink too much, venture home on a red-eye flight with little dignity and a penis-shaped wooden bottle opener.

But now, we’re going to Eurrrroooooooope. Ciao ciao, kiss, kiss. Pass me my linen and statement sunglasses daaaaaaaarling. Ala Kath and Kimderella, we’re off to Positano! When I heard a group of Aussies refer to the romantic Italian seaside town as Pozi – “Yeah we’re going to Pozi tomorrow” – I shuddered in my Birkenstocks.

Nope, not Bali. Paris mate!

Nope, not Bali. Paris mate!

Armed with months of annual leave accumulated during lockdowns and what might have been an OK home-loan deposit 20 years ago, Aussies have descended on Europe ready to let their mullets fly in the wind and their tattoos kiss the sun.

I was part of the hoards of Australians enduring 25-hour flights and trading in my puffer jacket for a sundress, lured by the European aesthetic of bronze skin, crystal blue waters and the food. Why do the tomatoes there taste like, well, tomatoes?

Europeans know how to while away the days and live the slow life. There’s nothing better than the sight of a crispy Italian man weathered by the sun patting his belly like he’s in the second trimester of a pasta meal. I love them so much – they look like Gucci handbags – I want to wear one on my arm.

To me, the European summer is not just an experience but an attitude – a chance to let it all hang out. Musicians play in the streets well into the night, crowds gather around them and dance like nobody’s watching, except we’re all watching, taking videos and uploading them to our socials.

Kath and Kimderella braving the traffic at the Arc de Triomphe.

Kath and Kimderella braving the traffic at the Arc de Triomphe.

Our Australian summers are comparatively rigid. We swim between the flags, we wear our SPF7000+ under our Cool Cabanas, and we drink alcohol within the designated spaces. We follow the rules, which is why Europe is so appealing … it’s whatever goes in Europe. Take your top off? Sure! Carpe f—ing diem.

But is the hype worth the trek?

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