I’ve just come back from holiday.
That’s it for another year.
It wasn’t the holiday I would have chosen. It was my husband’s 50th birthday in June, so the holiday was ‘his choose’, as my kids would say. So he chose a lodge in North Wales surrounded by family.
And it was a holiday. I know how to count my blessings. And I am counting them, believe me.
But a night in a Travelodge on the way back from Llangollen gave me time to reflect on what I love and hate about holidays.
Ten things I hate about holidays…
- Being surrounded by people all the time. And I’m talking a lot of people. And being seen as anti-social if you withdraw with your adult colouring book for a while.
- Cooking in a strange kitchen. For fourteen people. When you open every cupboard every time you want to find something. Never having enough baking trays. Struggling with a different oven. Never remembering to take your own vegetable peeler.
- Never enough mugs. Never ever ever enough mugs. Unless you use the same mug all day and wash it between uses.
- Having to look like you’re enjoying doing things you would never choose to do at home. Like eating sandwiches in the rain. And kayaking.
- Not being able to browse in a beautiful Italian clothes shop called Ragamuffin. Because five bored grumpy people and three dogs are blocking the pavement outside waiting for you.
- Driving strange places on strange roads. In a hire car. With a hefty deposit.
- Everything being weather dependent. And being grateful for the half hour of sun a day that is supposed to make it all worthwhile.
- Gift shops. Tacky gift shops. When the most suitable souvenir you can find is a badge that says Galley Slave.
- Returning home with unopened books. And a yoga mat that was only unrolled twice. And games that weren’t played.
- The exhaustion. Arriving home knowing that what you need now is a holiday to recover from that one.
Ten things I love about holidays…
- The early morning calm. The promise of waking up somewhere different and going out onto the balcony to enjoy the view and the peace.
- Being away. Away from home. Away from work. Away from the responsibilities and duties and routines of everyday life.
- Playing family games. We never ever do this at home. But there are some advantages to a patchy Wifi signal. To be fair, not once did anyone say they were bored. The Beer Pong created good memories – as did Logo and Mr and Mrs.
- Creating memories. All of them. The good, the bad, the funny. Shared experiences that draw you all together.
- Packing. I love packing. Packing to go away and packing to come home. I don’t know what it is about it. It’s the only time when I’m properly methodical.
- Lifting my eyes. North Wales is a beautiful place. And on holiday, you take the time to lift your eyes and really appreciate it.
- Being cut off. No phone signal and Wifi from only one spot outside the lodge. It changes the dynamics when everyone is forced to put their phones down.
- That lodge. It was amazing. Perfect for us and our dogs. It reminded me of the Twilight house but not so grand. Like a tree house. And there were loads of twinkly lights.
- Family. Holidays throw family together. Which can sometimes be a good thing. Watching my kids interact in ways they don’t at home. It had its moments of pure joy.
- Focusing on my husband. We don’t normally do that. We don’t normally go out of our way to please him and do what he wants. It was a novel experience for all of us – especially him!
So this holiday was a week of highs and lows, but isn’t that true of every holiday? Isn’t it true of your holidays?
What do you hate about holidays? What do you love about holidays?