In September 2010 JJ turned one and the hubster and I got married. The year before we had visited the Isle of Wight with my family (I was about 6 months pregnant at the time) but we hadn’t been anywhere abroad since October 2008 so we took him to Menorca with us for our “honeymoon”. When JJ was about 20 months old I went to a holiday village in the New Forest with him & my mum for a week in June (it rained. Heavily). The hubster wasn’t involved in that one as he claimed it wasn’t worth trying to go on holiday with a toddler as it would be too much hard work. It was a lot of hard work but it was still a holiday. Last year I went away with my family to Devon (see this post) when JJ was nearly three and EJ was five weeks old). Hubster didn’t make that one either as he was involved in stuff to do with the Olympics (professionally – not as an Olympian!).
This year I took the boys to the Isle of Wight with my mum and dad (hubster didn’t get time off work but came down for the tail end of the week). Now we are finally booked in for our first proper “family” holiday – a week in a lovely toddler-friendly cottage in Bude, North Cornwall in October. In considering this it has occurred to me that maybe this is a bit of a frivolous way to spend our money (which is being squeezed every day by austerity measures within the – public serving – organisation for which we both work [me part-time]). Then I realised that, for me, some of my most vivid, happy memories are of holidays. I guess that stands to reason. I tried to think of other great memories from my life. The things that immediately spring to mind are either parties or holidays. Some of my time at College and University.
Holiday highlights of my life (other than those fab childhood memories I have covered in this post and this one) have been an amazing trip to South Africa when I was 20 to stay initially in Cape Town with my Aunt & Uncle & cousins (who were living out there) and then travelling with them across the country, driving the ‘Garden Route’ and going on Safari for three days.
I re-visited Cape Town twice since that time – once on the honeymoon after my first marriage (more on that another day!), and once when one of my best friends won a trip for herself and 5 friends to be flown out by BA and stay there in a four star hotel for a week – incredible luxury!!
The other holiday I consider to be one of a “lifetime” was my trip to Australia for five weeks in 2005. I was between partners and before kids, between jobs but had some spare cash so I opted for a backpacker style trip up the East Coast with Trek Australia from Sydney to Cairns. This included a sailing boat tour round the stunning Whitsunday Islands, a boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling, white water rafting on the Tully river, a bumpy landrover drive round sandy Fraser Island and a tandem parachute jump from 14000 feet over Mission Beach (if you’re going to do it anywhere, do it there!). I made some lovely friends on the trip and Jack Johnson formed the soundtrack to the adventure (how very ‘mid-noughties’!).
I know holidays won’t be like that any more now I have kids. But a whole new chapter of holidays has opened up and I am extremely keen to have holidays which we can all enjoy.
So is it worth the money? As part of the rich fabric of our lives it can only be a resounding yes!