How different it could have been if only we had realised!!!
In the spring of 1993 we had been to Scotland on a fact-finding expedition to see whether we thought timeshare was an option for us. Half way through the break we had decided that timeshare was not something in which we would be interested.
On the way back we stopped at a caravan outside what we have now come to know as Tigh Mor, HPB's Highlands home. We could not go into the site as it was undergoing restoration but were given literature about the Holiday Property Bond and signed up for further correspondence. Though the building looked impressive we went on our way thinking that this was another timeshare opportunity.
For quite a time afterwards, we received regular newsletters from HPB with Judith Chalmers being the advocate for the virtues of being a Bondholder. It was around this time that timeshare was generally getting a bad press so we dismissed the opportunity to join HPB, wrongly assuming that it was also timeshare. Eventually the correspondence ceased.
Some 10 years later, having moved to Shropshire, our new neighbours were telling us of a holiday they were to spend in Majorca. They described the location and showed us the site map - we were captivated. It almost sounded too good to be true. We both love Majorca and had spent many holidays in the north of the island.
On their return they showed us photographs of the holiday at La Reserva de Biniorella. What a lovely name, I remember thinking. They told us about HPB and loaned us copies of The Bond magazine but at that time, having just moved into a new house we felt that we couldn't afford it. Another chance missed!!
Bondholders at last!
However, another year on and they shared with us again their photos of their latest holiday which they had spent at Rocha Brava. That did it! We were hooked on the idea and decided that the time had come to join the Holiday Property Bond.
Our first HPB experience was in the Dovecote at Askrigg in February 2004. There were blizzard conditions as we drove north to Yorkshire. However, the next day though there was a covering of snow on the ground, the sun shone and there were clear blue skies above. It was magical.
Since then our HPB holidays have taken us several times to Biniorella and yes, it lives up to its lovely name. We love Stigliano (we even saw the wild boar in the grounds). In fact the whole of Tuscany is beautiful. Henllys in Anglesey is also a favourite. We had superb views across the golf course from our apartment.
Our first visit to Portugal was in 2006 to Rocha Brava. What an attractive site this is and we recalled that it was seeing and hearing about it from our neighbours that finally persuaded us to join HPB.
We love the quality and cleanliness of the properties and the grounds are always beautifully maintained. And not forgetting the delightful locations of the HPB properties. Everyone, both at Newmarket and all the sites, helps to ensure that you enjoy your holiday.
We have always enjoyed meeting and sharing experiences with fellow Bondholders. Many conversations have helped us to decide which sites we would like to go to next. We have never met any Bondholders who have regretted their decision to invest. And neither have we.
What about the future, we ask ourselves? With the prospect of early retirement for us both, we intend to make the most of our new-found free time.
How different could our lives have been had we not mistakenly dismissed HPB almost 20 years ago? Think how many more memorable holidays we could have taken. If only we had known then what we know now!