I’m a bit out of practice when it comes to holidaying abroad. I’ve never been a seasoned traveller. I didn’t do the gap year thing. I haven’t been overly experimental in my choice of destinations in the past.
But in just over a week’s time we’ll be embarking on our first family holiday abroad with children in tow. And things are reaching fever pitch.
It’ll be the first holiday with the kids that I haven’t had to prepare by upgrading our wellie collection.
The first holiday where the back of our car won’t need to be packed with Krypton Factor style precision.
The first holiday when the postcard will be stamped with an overseas post mark.
It’s a bit of a momentous occasion for me personally. Not least because we’ve saved up to be able to go. But because I’m finally allowing myself to go. Eight years ago on our, up to a point, idyllic honeymoon, somebody tried to break into our beautiful and romantic Caribbean lodge in the middle of the night. They didn’t break in because I spotted them first and hammered like holy hell on the balcony doors to alert them to the crazy lady within (I was armed with a hairdryer and an ashtray).
It was a bit of a shit time then and for a while after. But long story short, my ability to throw some things in a case and feel comfortable pool side at the other end is a little lacking…
The kids’ stuff is fine. I’ve revelled in buying them new things and they too have revelled in catwalking their holiday style at home (only had to wash one of their new bikinis after a little ‘accident.’)
The hubs has been decked out with a summer 2016 wardrobe as well. I, on the other hand, haven’t been entirely sure where to start. My sister assures me that a kaftan and havaianas poolside is de rigueur. I‘ve braved bikini purchase territory and have been interested to note that the majority come fully fitted with their own form of bosom boosting, no need for photoshopping, padding these days. Is padding everywhere or have I just ‘come of age’?! Not that I’m complaining.
I’m also feeling the need to tame every inch of hair on my person. Fortunately the inches measurement (mainly) refers to the hair on my head so I’ll be resorting to shaving body hair throughout, but what of the lashes and brows? Do I bother with dying so I look effortlessly (as if…) make-up free with just a splash of factor 50 (I’m a grown up now, having to set an example for the kids. Gone are the days of factor 8 and an incident on a sunbed at the local leisure centre that turned me into a giant freckle…)?
And to top it all off, the holiday mission control centre that is the back bedroom, looks less Marie Kondo’s KonMari method and more like the entire cast of the Eurovision Song Contest got themselves ready for Saturday’s performance there.
If preparing for holiday was all we had to do I’m sure it would be fine. But training for a 10k, a family wedding, a 4th birthday, several little people parties over the past few weeks (and some work thrown in for good measure), has led to somewhat of an organisational challenge. A challenge compounded by lack of sleep for typical parenting reasons led to hysterical outbursts from the grown-ups of the household this morning…
I’ll take my holiday with a large glass of something fizzy please.
And some oversized shades.
Cabin crew check. We’re ready for take off.