Earlier today I wrote about the start of my journey back to the UK with the boys and the preparation that I needed to do. This got me thinking about my own childhood holidays. When I met my husband my country count stood at 11 countries. That is the Toddlers count now. After being together for 7 years my country count now stands 34. Since I have met him I don’t think we’ve been back to a country together. The world is a big place and we have wanderlust.
Prior to meeting my husband, with the exception of a few holidays where myself and my friends thought we were the bees knees doing the 18-30 circuit (we weren’t), the majority of my time abroad was spent on family holidays with my mum and dad and younger brother.
These holidays formed the basis of my childhood and I want my children to experience the same and to give them the everlasting memories that my parents afforded me and my brother.
These holidays were time to reconnect as a family, time for my dad to come away from his job, time to relax as we got older, and time to explore.
As I have travelled back to the UK for a month with the boys, it also means I have had access to my mums photo albums. One night , with too much wine involved for dealing with small people the next day, we went through the photos and remembered some fabulous memories we made.
The time we flew to Formentara, Spain, where I was amazed standing in the queue to board that everyone was going to the same place, I don’t think I quite understood the concept of planes then (I was 6). When we got there my mum and dad realised that they had left their driving licences on my Grans dining room table, cue travelling by bike for the whole 2 weeks. And my mum falling off the bike into a ditch as I rode ahead leaving my poor dad stuck with my brother balanced in the bike seat trying to rescue my mum while getting me to come back. I loved that holiday. There was something magical about riding a bike all over the island with my mum and dad who didn’t do that at home.
Many a holiday to the South of France, nighttime swimming the dark. Trying (and failing) to learn to dive. The magical astonishment when my mum stood up, ran and dived into the pool. From the woman who didn’t get her hair wet when swimming this was a definite “Did you see what mum just did” moment from me and my brother.
Sticking with the South of France, my brother and I used to joke
We’ve done France to death
Every summer we would load up the car and drive down. Filling the car with all the bits kids need for the way down. Driving back with our feet on cases of wine from the local vineyards. Listening to story tapes in the time before iPads. Each Both of us having our own travel bag with our chosen toys in, not dissimilar to the toddlers top seven travel toys proving that time and again that old classics are classic for a reason.
Exploring local sites of interest and history, giving both me and my brother a thirst for knowledge and history that has stayed with us both into adult life. Sightseeing at Carcassonne where we mistakenly ordered tripe for lunch. We went hungry that day.
Staying in America for 3 months and my grandparents coming to stay. Taking a trip over to Niagara Falls and sailing on the Maid of the Mist sparking a life long love of waterfalls. So much so that the husband even proposed while we were at Iguazu Falls.
Holidays closer to home where we won the Father-Daughter piggy back race.
Memories that last a lifetime and instilled in me what I want holidays to be about as a family now I have children of my own. Relaxing. Adventurous. Knowlegable. Historical. New. Exciting.
Passing on a love of travel as well as building a bank of memories for the boys to pass onto their children. Of stories that are told time and time again round the dinner table and at family parties.
That’s what my childhood holidays did for me. And for that I am ever thankful.