Are you feeling sorry for us after reading that title? Haha! Please don’t. We have been on lots of holidays but it is always with family or friends. We are now going on our first family holiday where it’s just the four of us. And I really don’t know why it’s taken us this long!!
Staycation – a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
Memories of the coast
Weekend getaways are something that I have grown up with from as far back as I can remember. My parents would plan trips to the coast for us and it was one of the most exciting things to get fetched early from school on a Friday so that we could get home, pack the car and hit the road. As a kid those hours between Friday lunchtime until Sunday evening felt like forever. This was especially true because my cousins were almost always with us on the holidays which took the excitement level up a few notches. Bunk beds and walks to the beach at night to light a bonfire, sliding down banks on cardboard boxes, this is what childhood memories are made of. These getaways are probably what first sparked my love for travel and seeing new places.
Seeing the world
As a newly married couple, Jarrod and I did a couple of international trips on our own and a number of local stays with our friends. The international holidays broadened our minds and sowed the seeds that began our love for experimenting with food. It also gave us a case of wanderlust and it’s why we are always ready to relocate at the drop of a hat. You will never know how small the little bubble that you live in is until you venture out. I encourage everyone to not only travel, but to live somewhere new. There are two things in life that you are unlikely to regret, that is travelling and children. I can tell you now, it is way cheaper to travel than it is to have kids! Haha!
The local holidays that we took solidified friendships. The best way to make memories and build bonds is by spending time together without having anywhere to rush to. It’s the long chats into the early hours of the morning. It’s the New Years Eve costume party with the surprise marriage proposal. This is the foundation that long term friendships are built upon and I miss those friends of ours! (The downside of moving out of your bubble is that you lose touch with the friends that you grew up with.)
Then the kids happened
Ever since having kids though, we have only ever been on holiday when we visited family. This is because we have lived in different provinces from the rest of our family for the better part of the last five years. Since there is only so much of annual leave that we have to play around with, that time was used to visit grandparents because we are a very close knit family. The girls have grown up with their grandparents being a constant and consistent presence in their lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I confess, I was also scared to go on holiday on our own. The whole idea just felt as if it would be more work than relaxation. The idea of carrying bottles, formula, nappies and the other 50 things that babies need made me tired. To steal a wise mans favourite phrase ‘the juice was not worth the squeeze’. Visiting my parents on the other hand WAS a holiday. The girls were happy to follow their grandparents around and Jarrod and I could go out together knowing that the girls were safe and cared for. And so we got complacent.
No more excuses
But now it’s time to also make our own memories as a family. The girls will be 3 and 6 in a few months. There hasn’t been any bottles in years and my two year old said goodbye to nappies about two months ago, literally. The girls are old enough for them to not only understand the concept of a holiday, but to also look forward to it and enjoy it I’m not sure what got me thinking about this a month ago but once the idea popped into my head, I couldn’t get it out. If you know me then you know that when I want something I will find a way to get it and as soon as I possibly can. I don’t believe in delayed gratification, haha!
This was my criteria:
- I wanted us to go somewhere that was different enough that we could take a mental break from our day to day lives.
- It couldn’t be too long of a stay because it had to fit around our erratic schedules.
- The destination needed to be relatively close by because I didn’t want to lose too much of time on travelling, especially with Jhb traffic.
- I definitely didn’t want self-catering because then it would end up being just as much work for me as being at home but without my own utensils.
I have always said that I am a very lucky person and I am so grateful for the way things work out. It just so happened that I chatted to a friend of mine about this whole holiday situation. Two days later she called me to say that her mum had received an email about a 50% discount at Tsogo Sun for their 50th birthday special. 50%!!! Of course I ran straight to the laptop and booked us a 3 night stay!
I hope that this is the first of many little local holidays for us. I want the girls to have memories of us experiencing different things and visiting new places together. What I also plan on doing is not just taking lots of pictures but also printing those pics so that we can create travel albums to look back on after the trip.
So watch this space, there will be more travel posts on here very soon.
-This post was not sponsored by Tsogo Sun.
-The Instax camera and film are both gifts.
-The book was sent to me by Penguin for review purposes
-The Lush bath bomb is for Jarrod but I’m hoping he shares with me.