A couple of weeks ago we headed off with friends to Mallorca for a week for our summer holiday. We stayed in a wonderful villa and spent our days enjoying the warm sunshine, with daily trips to the beach, dips in the swimming pool and countless BBQs.
I absolutely love being away with the kids now they’re just that bit older. Sure, there are the odd stressful moments (just like at home), and the travelling itself is still a means to an end, but after the stress of making it through check-in, security, boarding at the airport you’re rewarded with a little boy who laughs hysterically during take off (or “blast off” as he calls it) and landing and kids that are largely pretty well-behaved throughout the flight. And then you get your holiday. Well worth any travelling woes.
I have long haboured a dream of going travelling with the kids while they’re young. Following Victoria’s travels last year made me hanker after that dream even more, and our short week away reawakened those hopes, which, thanks to the gorgeous sunny UK weather, are now on my mind pretty much every waking moment.
I close my eyes and picture us at a taverna by a beach on a remote Greek island, while the twins run amok with the local children, language no barrier. We’re idling wondering whether to catch the ferry to the next island tomorrow or to opt for yet another lazy day pottering round our immediate surroundings.
Or I can see the twins, wide-eyed with wonder on our first day in Bangkok, pointing out all the amazing, unusual things they can see and smell – tuktuks, the odd cow in the road, street vendors cooking up tasty treats.
Or we’re in our campervan in New Zealand, having just arrived at our latest stunning campsite. We’ve got a BBQ on the go, while the kids explore the site and introduce themselves to the other families staying there. They rush back over to point out that we can see the sea from one point of the field.
Obviously these daydreams are rose-tinted and I’m under no illusion that there would also be some incredibly tough and frustrating moments. But I’m determined to find some way to fulfill my dream next summer, before the twins start school. It might be on a smaller scale than my rather lofty imaginings, but the idea of travelling without a strict itinerary and setting out on lots of adventures (preferably bare foot and in the sunshine where possible) is within reach without a doubt. The planning starts now.