I was told several times that the best way to know your friends is by travelling with them. I tend to agree – to travel is one of the best things ever, especially with people that are close to you. But sometimes your best friend in life is not the best travel buddy. It is possible to have a friend for life that don’t enjoy the same type of food, films, music, but your trip together will be compromised if you go to an amazing beach and one of you hates sand, sun and salty water.
Family is even trickier, I think. Because it’s family and you want to be together. Yes, you could give up travelling for good or limit your trips to places close to home, when you can go back if things go wrong. Or you could make an effort and go somewhere you think everybody will enjoy a little bit.
Despite living in the UK for quite a long time now, both Mr. C and I miss a decent summer. He handles winter and cold weather better than I do, but he also enjoys nice, warm temperatures. So whenever we can, we try to go to a place that sun is not a lottery prize. Now that we have little Laura, it seems that places with nice beaches are the perfect destination for our family.
Laura went to Brazil three times, to California, to Cyprus and now to Barbados. All these trips involved going to the beach or swimming pool, so these are not alien to her. Still… Sometimes it feels like we are trying things for the first time. One day she is scared of the sea, the other she braves it on her own, and the following day she just won’t go even close to it.
Every trip is a way to learn a bit more about her. Her eating habits, her sleeping patterns, when she is exhausted, hungry, annoyed. Her fears, her limits, her understanding of the world around us. Yes, sometimes we are all tired and the boundaries are pushed a little too far – and being adults and bigger and stronger, sometimes our way will prevail. Unfair, I know, and we will realise later on, but we are humans and also make mistakes.
I’m not an experienced traveler and I’m an even less experienced traveler mum, so I confess I find it all overwhelming sometimes. I just don’t know what to do, where to get an extra dose of energy and patience and at times thoughts like “is it worth it?” cross my mind. I totally sympathise with parents that won’t spend the money – unless they can afford taking their parents or in laws for an extra pair of helping hands – on long trips because it’s just too much hassle for little resting. Holidays with kids can be – I’m not saying it will be though – as hard work as being in the office 9-to-5 for a whole year.
So why do we do it? As I said (a million of times probably), I’m not a winter person. And the UK is not the best place during summer either, so I NEED to go to a warm place once a year – or more, if I can. And also, travel is a great way to know and get closer to your family. It’s hard work, it can be expensive, but it can also be rewarding.
These few days I have been with Laura and hubby reminded me of how lucky I am and how amazing they are.
It took less than 5 minutes for Laura to fall asleep today. She kept showing signs of being exhausted the whole day, we pushed her beyond her limits and as payback she misbehaved in several occasions. We learned our lesson and will change the structure of the day. There is no point to carry an exhausted child to places we think she will enjoy when all she needs is a nap.