A holiday of firsts.
February 20, 2012
We have always gone on holidays in some way.
Usually we end up visiting family or staying with them…. which is lovely, just not always that restful.
We often end up at the beach, again we love the beach but would often find we came back more exhausted than we left…. which is dumb, because part of the reason for taking holidays is to be refreshed.
But this year we tried something different.
We started our holidays planning with what made us feel rested…..which for Tim and I are reading, playing board games, doing puzzles, sleeping in and watching tv. For the kids it’s more…. having things to do so they are not bored, having some space to get away from under each others feet, water and walking activities, watching DVD’s, reading and one on one time with the parents. I needed it to be long enough to get bored and want to go home.
The two most unrelaxing activities we have done in the past during the holidays are: spending time with others outside the immediate family and the daily outing to the beach. Now don’t get me wrong! I love both these things very, very much….. but they were rarely restful for us at this stage of life. I would feel so guilty coming home from holidays more tired than when I left and ….well….grumpy about the unpacking and washing and ….. maybe it’s just me.
So we decided to look for a house with a pool that we could stay in for two weeks. We didn’t care where it was, as long as the house had space and the pool was a good size. Now I can hear some of you saying….are you kidding? I would find that super stressful…. and I would have agreed with you until this year. This holidays is the first time all our girls can swim in deep water unaided (but supervised of course) and all of them can read (or play on an iPad for a time by themselves).
The house we ended up renting for 2 weeks was near the beach but we didn’t feel the need to go everyday. We did swim though, everyday in the pool, sometimes together, sometimes alone, sometimes in the dark……..so relaxing and joyful. We were also a close drive from beautiful rainforest, that we walked through together and enjoyed. We chose one movie to see at the cinema and went to the shopping centre a couple of times. We read about 30 novels between us and did about 5 large puzzles. We played board games, enjoyed our Christmas gifts and I did some cross-stitch. 13 year old positioned herself on the headland one morning and painted. We ate simple meals in and out, slept in, stayed up late, took long bubble baths and visited the markets and op shops. We talked to each other and have some lovely memories of just hanging out together.
By God’s grace it was by far the most restful holiday in 13 years…. Maybe more. It was the first holiday in a long time I could joyfully answer unequivocally…Yes, we had a fantastic holiday…..
We have booked it again for next year! A first for us.
What makes your holidays restful or not?