How ice cream taught me to love travel
One dessert can help you navigate the rest of your life
When me and my little brother were teeny tiny babies who only cared about the amount of Barbies and Action Men we owned, our parents would drive us all up to Gateshead for a few weeks in the summer holidays to stay with our grandparents. It was the highlight of the year for us kids. We couldn’t afford to go abroad every year like friends at school, and my parents worked incredibly hard to pay the bills.
We’d spend all our time with grandma, grandad and various aunties, uncles and cousins. We’d bake apple pies, eat the perfect boiled “chookie” eggs every morning, feed the ducks at the park, and my ultimate trip out as a kid — for Minchella ice cream in South Shields.
For some reason, trips to the beach felt like they were trips to Australia — it was always boiling hot! We’d revel in building sandcastles, paddle in the sea, and finally get to munch on the mint choc chip ice cream of my dreams.
Those summers absolutely made my childhood and I loved nothing more than listening to my family have a great time together. My mum’s accent would get broader the longer we were up north, and me and my brother would mimic it. We even walked around the park talking to people and pretending to be Geordie! The other kids didn’t believe us though — I guess we weren’t as good at the accent as we thought.
I have so many amazing memories of those family summers on the beach, eating as much ice cream as we could and enjoying each other’s company — knowing that in a few days we’d travel back to Lincolnshire until next summer. It was heartbreaking having to go back home, and we’d cry in the back of car almost all the way home.
I loved that ice cream so much, my perfumer friend 4160 Tuesdays created a bespoke scent for my wedding, based on the memory of those trips to Minchella.
You see, I believe that ice cream is the root of my love for travelling and exploring. And it all comes down to making memories.
I remember the beach always being busy, packed with families enjoying the few days of the British sunshine together. I can still hear the waves rolling in, the chatter of my family catching up, and so much laughter. With this recent heatwave in the UK too, I’ve thought about those memories more than ever before.
I remember thinking about those ice cream days as me and my husband strolled hand-in-hand through Central Park, again as a group of my closest girlfriends snapped selfies in a row in Paris, and again watching families eat together on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka.
It’s those kinds of memories that have kept me wanting to create more — with friends, family, my husband, and hopefully sometime in the future with our own kids. I take them with me everywhere. And wherever I go, I always think about eating ice cream at Minchella with the people I love.
Ice cream taught me to love exploring. And I’ll never forget that.
Originally published at This City Life.