Say your goodbyes — to the class tarantula, bully, boring math and unending history lessons. The next few days are your own. Holidays are heavenly creations like tons of ice cream and tall glasses of lime juice on a hot summer day — glorious, deep and wonderful.
This break, get set to travel the world. Discover places with exciting things for you to do. Get out the globe. Run your finger on the smooth shining surface. Cross the seas with the ease of bees, and hop over mountains, friskier than lambs.
It's those ads that help us think the world goes to Europe in summer. Don't be a rat in a conducted pack tour. There's more here than churches and wild flowers. Explore Europe through its museums. Not the kind full of dead kings, sabre-toothed tigers in jars and paintings from parties long ago but through the homes of young people, who like you suffered school and rules, and went on to be famous.
The Anne Frank House, like most things in Amsterdam, is situated right by the side of the canal close to the main square. Suddenly Anne is a more than the 15-year-old who wrote a diary. She was into movies and stuck pictures of the stars of the time on the wall. You can even touch the bookshelf the secret annexure was hidden behind, walk through its small rooms and see the toilet (where noises with the flush were taboo) with its porcelain bow done up in delicate blue etchings so common in the Dutch delft pottery.
Contained within the walls of this now famous building is the life of a girl who back-chatted her mum, got mad with neighbours but also believed there are more good people in the world than bad. In short she was someone you could have been friends with in the Amsterdam of 1942. And she isn't all that history too. Ellaf Vlessing was 13 when the Nazis invaded The Netherlands and today lives in America. Anne Frank was a classmate.
Take this chance to dedicate yourself to art. Van Gogh's original painting of the “Sunflowers” combined with the specially made children's tour explains beautifully why his almost childlike drawings appeal so strongly and today are almost priceless.
Over to the Big Five
South Africa is a warm country that almost looks like it's contained in a large soup bowl thanks to the Table Mountains on its sides. Of course, it's mostly Nelson Mandela. But there's also the Big Five Safari (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes) and hiking up the Table Mountain.
Museum buff? Goose-bump inducing moments as the ship in the Slave Museum recreates the journey of people torn away from their homes with nothing but their “bodies, memories and stories”, are certainly not to be missed.
A visit to the Cape of Good Hope is a must and not just for the incredible colours of the oceans. This is proof of how important India was for nations globally at all times. The Cape of Good Hope has pointers showing how far Delhi is and it sure is a staggering distance! Learn how people like Vasco Da Gama found his way to India and got his place in history books. If you are lucky you can have your first supernatural experience and see the “The Flying Dutchman”, the ghost ship doomed to sail the high seas forever.
Celebrate the macabre
Follow the Ravens to the Tower of London, UK. Built during the times of William the Conqueror, this medieval prison housed kings, arms and guards the crown jewels. The home of the famous Beefeaters, the Tower's history is bloody and exciting. Knights jousted on its grounds while nobility lost their heads inside, literally, for this was execution ground for the royalty and commoners weren't allowed to watch. Feel Ann Boleyn's fear as she spent her last days in the Queen's House. Walk the same streets on which Queen Elizabeth I strode. See how history and modernity stand together as you look over the ramparts straight at the London Eye. While in England don't forget to pay tribute to your favourite author, Roald Dahl. He called grownups names, put dead rats into the jars of mean shop owners and created Willy Wonka. Need any more reasons? He also hated school.
Want a dash of clean? Visit the Roman town of Bath to understand how seriously the Romans took bathing. Children too scrupulously washed, though holding down each other's heads to see how long the bubbles came out being a favourite pastime.
Sunny San Francisco
Think Old Lady Liberty is all there is to America? This summer, experience life in prison. The island of Alcatraz housed the kinds of Al Capone and other notorious mafia. Rows of tiny prison cells with beds and tin cups stand strangely quiet. The windows show the bustling city of San Francisco, only a few miles away. Today only birds live here. Rows of Western Gulls look down with a mean glint in their beady eyes and see people struggling to walk up the steep steps. Once a maximum high security prison now a bird sanctuary. That's America for you!
For the nature buffs, summer is a good time to shake hands with a Bottlenose. These smiley dolphins are the chief attractions of the SeaWorld San Antonio. You can train, feed and befriend one of these before you leave.
Sing in Singapore
What's a holiday without ice cream? The ice cream chefs in Singapore should solve that problem with their various cold delights. Lots are on offer or make your own. Ice cream on the rocks is all yours for the taking. But hold back before you become too cool to thaw. Singapore is a young person's paradise. The island is easy to travel in and the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, designed to make wildlife up close and personal, aren't for the faint hearted. Birds your deal? Then shake a wing at the Jurong Bird Park.
Want a dash of more adventure? Trek up the rainforests of Malaysia to find the elusive Rafflesia. It might be the world's largest flower but like holidays take the longest to find.