Eating piping hot chips dripping in vinegar, catching crabs from rock pools and returning to school with a face full of freckles - summer holidays in Ireland when I was young were a thing of magic.
Now though, it seems that all people want to do for their escape is head to another country. The grass is always greener and all that lark, but I think people often forget just how idyllic a holiday spent on our own shores can actually be.
My family very rarely went abroad before I was a teenager - there was the odd trip to Portugal or Spain where I spent my hours eating unlimited ice-cream and developing a crush on the English boys, but mostly we spent glorious days and weeks exploring the beaches of Ireland.
Holiday homes with views of Curracloe Strand in Wexford, cycles through winding country roads and the feeling of freedom made my holidays in Ireland some of the best I've ever had. So why don't we do it anymore? If you tell someone you're off to Galway for 10 days for your hols right now I'm sure they'd think you're absolutely mad.
I get that it's often cheaper to go abroad, but the love you gain for your own country after spending sun-soaked days on its land can't be beaten.
Picnics of sand covered sandwiches, flasks of tea and cake mushed in tinfoil would be the best meal you'd have all day
Never mind the seafood buffets of Spanish resorts or gooey French cheese and grilled meats at the dusty campsite; the flavours that you won't forget are the first lick of an ice-cream cone after sitting in a hot car for a three hour drive, or a hastily packed Tayto sandwich.
Running around at dusk in your pyjamas seemed to go hand-in-hand with summer in Ireland
Friendly locals gave the villages a neighbourly feel, and kids were let run riot as parents relaxed with tea or a sneaky pint.
Staying up way past bedtime and being allowed to sit in and play Twenty Ones and other card games with the adults might have led to my competitive nature, but that's hardly a bad thing.
The memories you make on a weeks break in Ireland somehow stick with you longer than those made anywhere else.
Whether it's the vague familiarity of the Irish scenery or the giddiness of having such a good time mere miles away from your usual town, there's something so special about a holiday at home.
My love of travel stems from the adventures I had on family holidays growing up, and I've been to Paris, Amsterdam and Ghent in the last six weeks alone (I have an addiction to cheap flights, okay?).
I've also squeezed in a weekend in Killarney and Donegal, and the rugged scenery and homely vibes there were just as good, if not better, than their fancier European counterparts.
A holiday in Ireland means you can travel for as little as an hour and end up somewhere utterly wonderful.
Spend a week in any hotel resort in any beach across southern Europe and you'll leave with the exact same experience each time, but going fishing for your very first time and playing charades in a bustling campervan park in Cork will stay with you forever.
My plans for summer 2018? I'm spending at least a week becoming young again in our oft-overlooked piece of heaven.
I can already smell the chips.