Yesterday I returned from a week’s holiday in France with my husband and our boys. There are many things that are really great about going on holiday, here are a few:
Having only a few possessions with us. I love this part of being on holiday, it always reminds me of how little I need to get by, be happy, have a good time. I took a few luxuries with me like my Kindle for reading, my laptop so I could catch up on some writing, my journal, a hair dryer, that sort of thing, but not having to look around my house thinking about everything that needs doing, and not having so much stuff to tidy away daily provides such a break and a rest.
A change of scenery. Being in a different place is great because you get to see different sights every day, being at home, although we get out and about a lot, it is often to the same places week in and week out, and seeing different types of buildings and streets, flora and fauna is really exciting.
Being more relaxed about what we eat. We usually eat pretty healthily and I make about 80% of our meals from scratch but on holiday I excuse myself from this (although I like to eat healthy food, I do not particularly enjoy cooking it) and use frozen and easy to cook food when we are on holiday.
Sitting in the car. As sad as It sounds this is probably one of my favourite things about being on holiday, we travel by car to visit different places, usually by the scenic route to enjoy the views and I get to read my book, the babies sleep and I can enjoy looking out of the window at the different sights, I find this most relaxing.
Enjoying my children more. Although I am with them all week, they are often off playing in playgrounds, playing with friends in their bedrooms or taking part in activities, but on holiday there is a much more intensive closeness because we are doing things for them and with them. So for example walking round a museum requires much more of our attention in stopping them running off/climbing on the exhibits/getting they to focus on something and we therefore get to experience them more. I realise I am not selling this so far, it is hard work, but the things they come out with that I might otherwise miss, or might not be said are brilliant, (Biscuit said one evening “When I am older I am going to get a motorbike, then I will be the best man in the world, like Jesus!”) seeing them achieve new things (Boris went down the water slide in the swimming pool for the first time, he was really brave, he was scared, I could see by his face, but he did it anyway and I felt so proud) and watching them play together is priceless. We also didn’t have TV or internet connection so were far less distracted than we would be normally.
I am sooo glad to be home. Begin away makes you realise the things you miss doesn’t it, and it’s make me immensely thankful for some things that I haven’t really considered before. Here are some things I am newly thankful for:
Speaking English as a first language. How lucky am I that I speak English?? It’s spoken in so many places around the world, and although I do make attempts to speak the language of the countries I am lucky enough to visit, I am not great at it and we can often ask “parlez vous Anglais?” and continue an otherwise disjointed and confused conversation in my native tongue.
Access to lots of delicious vegan food. The French are great at food, but they aren’t great at vegan food!! And by vegan food I am talking about processed food because the fruits vegetables here are really great, fresh, tasty, huge variety, seasonal and without all the packaging you are encumbered with in the UK. However if you are after a Linda McCartney sausage, and tin of baked beans, a carton of oat milk or some dairy free cheese you will be out of luck. There is a growing variety of convenient vegan food in the UK which is so liberating and exciting.
Having a sofa to sit on. We have spent this week in a static caravan and there is no sofa, just a bench round a table with a soft-ish pad of it. I miss my sofa, it’s big and squashy and soft and fluffy and I love it and I am so happy to be back snuggled up on it with a big cup of tea (only small cups here, sad times). I realise that being able to afford a holiday at all is the height of luxury relatively speaking so I am well aware how ungrateful it sounds to be complaining about a lack of sofa, but you know #firstworldproblems.
So yeah, we had a great time, but I really am glad to be home. Now where’s my cup of tea?