When I was 8 years old, my parents took my two brothers and I out of school on a 3 month trip of India. My dad wanted to show us all the best sites and we toured the North of India and saw some amazing sites. There was the Taj Mahal in all its splendor and glory. Oh so white in the gleaming sunshine and not just white but different shades of white, depending on how the sun was shining that day. Who knew marble could give off so many atmospheric looks and feels to one grand building that was already so majestically built. Being 8 though, I, err, was rather bored. I kept asking when we’d leave and saying how hungry I was. I only appreciated the wonder of this monument about 10 years after visiting it. I was rather more taken by Jaipur. The pink city and its fantastically busy streets. And of course I loved the food. Because, I do love food a bit too much. that bit never changed.
I think that may have shaped the person I am today. Today I love nothing more than planning our next holiday to somewhere where we can not only appreciate a lot of quality family time, but to learn about the place we are going to; to see awe-inspiring sights, to admire the architechture and customs of the country and to work our way through the very best of the cuisine. Of course, things go wrong all the time. Like the time none of our transfers arrived in Malaysia as they’d all been accidentally booked for the wrong month. Or like the time we got left at Istanbul airport because we were still waiting for our buggy to come out of baggage check. These moments are some of the best (after the holiday!). The ones we tell stories about for time to come.
These days, my perfect holiday is a mish mash of the wonderful and the teeny things go a bit wrong. The perfect holiday nowadays can have…
A ride on the most rickety of buses where 20p will get us around the entire local area. As long as we hold on for dear life whilst trying to take a family selfie that’s not too blurry. Then nodding profusely when the bus conductor asks if you’re ok as you nonchalantly try not to show him you’re sat with both legs and arms rammed up against any kind of support you can find.
Lots of moments to watch the boys
Holidays are that one time I feel like I’ve stopped and taken a deep breath. Where things stop and you really get to enjoy time. Time to sit. Time to read and get lost into a good book. Time to watch the waves on a sandy beach and wonder about where you want your life to go. And time to sit and watch my boys together and appreciate all that I have.
Moments of trying to get your kid excited in all the beautiful scenery. Eventually giving up trying to convince him that it is all so wonderful and letting him be excited by the helicopter that’s flying over.
Lots of sweets moments
And lastly, amazing, amazing food!
I’m a complete foodie and when I’m not eating I’m usually thinking about or talking food. One of the best things about going on holiday, in my eyes, is half about the food. The local cuisine, the street food, the hotel dishes, the buffets, the cakes. Oh, the cakes! There are days when I could simply just work my way through eating places. If only there was a holiday where that’s all you did.
With Baby E now at almost 5 months old, we’ve started thinking about our next adventure where he’ll get to join in. He may only get to pivot on his belly mission impossible 1 style, shout at the top of his voice and do 360 rolls when he gets a bit too excited, but it’ll be amazing to see the world through another little boys eyes.
We’ve done a little video of some of our best moments from our last holiday. Our mish mash of perfectly imperfect.
This post is our entry to the Mark Warner Holidays #markwarnermum competition under the creative writing category. If you’d like to enter then check out the T&Cs here.