New Year Resolutions: Travelling with children
So I know I have been really absent from my blogging in the last year. Every week I would say to myself, next week I will start again but invariably something would come up. What have I been up to in the last year you wonder? Primarily I have been learning how to be a mother. Not to say that I have nailed it, far from it. This is very much a work in progress and the latest epiphanies have all had to do with travelling with children. I had gone to South Africa for my sister's wedding in October and I returned saying to myself. NEVER AGAIN am I travelling with a small child. Not a realistic resolution as I want 4 children I know! I went to Boracay over Christmas for 9 days and that was absolutely lovely. So what was the difference? And what did I learn?
We went to South Africa for my sister's wedding so we had alot of evening commitments. Julian had also never been, so we had a full schedule of places to see, restaurants to try, neighbourhoods to explore and we figured the kid will just come with us and do what we do. Well yes, he will come and do what we do but that is not to say he will enjoy it. The culmination being when we went to a restaurant we just HAD to try, and my son ended up having to eat olives, sous-vide pork and some foam. When we arrived at the restaurant and asked them if they had a baby chair they looked at us as if we were crazy. And crazy we were. With a schedule that packed the only thing that can give is our sleep and R&R time. So we returned home absolutely exhausted with a cranky child in tow and I promptly fell sick the minute arrived in Hong Kong.
Boracay on the other hand was a revelation. There was nothing to do and nowhere to go. Pre-motherhood I would have said, what an absolutely boring place and why would I go there for 9 days! I will go absolutely crazy. Not so. We let our son dictate our schedule, getting up when he got up, and going to sleep pretty much when he went to sleep, naps included. We played in the water and the sand, building snowmen and destroying sand castles when he felt like it (my 60 year old mother even kicked a ball around with him) and ate when it suited him (yes that meant dinners at 6:30pm). It turns out a child's life is incredibly restful and nourishing for the body and the soul. I had never spent so much time doing not much at all and it turns out, it was lovely. Lovely to get to spend so much time with him. Lovely to really turn off and have no plans. Lovely to not have to rush him and us into the next set of plans. Just lovely.
So moral of the story, travelling with kids can be restful, but choose your destination wisely and don't plan too much!