Ahhhh after all the flying drama we made it. Months of freezing through winter, colds and snotty noses to then walk off the plane and be smacked in the face with warmth and humidity. It was at that moment I decided that I was taking two weeks off winter every year and swapping it for some place the temperature stayed above 25 degrees. I say that now but let's see that turn into reality.
Our driver packed our bags in his car and pointed Franklin's car seat looking a bit puzzled. I put it in the car a little self conscious and strapped everyone in. Jack and Eva squealed with delight as they sat in the car chanting 'no more booster seat'. I quickly burst that bubble explaining this was temporary. As we left the airport and joined the chaos of cars and motorbikes on the road, I immediately understood his confusion towards the car seat when out of my window past a family on a motorcycle with a mother holding a newborn and no one wearing helmets. That was the last time we used the car seat for Franklin. We were definitely not in Sydney anymore and knew from that moment this was going to be a fun experience for our family. It was little experiences like this, and this was one of many that our family gained a little perspective in life. Not that we aren't grateful for what we have. I have always been proud of how generous and friendly our kids are, but here they experienced and learned things that they still mention in conversation today. Our holiday was going to be a mix of seeing and experiencing, relaxing and enjoying.
It's hard enough sometimes getting your kids to eat what you make them at home so we had to make a big deal about all the amazing food we would be trying. Mind you the resort at the end and as most hotels do, accommodated their buffet to meet every country's needs. This was both interesting and terrible for eating my weight in food. The first week was spent exploring restaurants, and being huge lovers of noodles, satay and BBQ meat, we had literally found food Heaven. Cam was more excited by the price of everything compared to what we would pay in Sydney so was more than happy to make every meal a three course one for us all. Again, awesome at the time but with later consequence to the hips.
Being in another Country is amazing to experience a different culture and the adventure of seeing everything a place is made up of. For a mum, while I loved those things and even more doing it with the kids, I really really really enjoyed not washing a single dish or making any beds. There was no alarm in the morning, school run, sport lessons and no to do list for the day. It was a day made up of whatevers. Whatever time, whatever place, it was all music to my ears. The kids going to bed at 9pm meant we were waking up around that time (also thanks to dark curtains that we don't have, which I will be purchasing soon). Having a swimming pool was as good as any bath for my kids and living in swimmers with the occasional going out outfit meant almost zero washing. The kids made friends with everyone they met and although they did a ton of walking, it was nothing a bribe of icecream or milkshake couldn't fix. Pretty soon our family were ordering Bali's own dishes and the kids collected Cam's left over money to put in their own wallets and purses to use for shopping at the markets. Eva doubled her summer wardrobe with maxi dresses and accessories to match and Jack spotted a tub of fish you put your feet into and there was no stopping him. Totally grossed me out but he loved it and it's all experience right? They took their own photos of places and monuments they thought were interesting and gave stationary items they had bought back in Sydney to an orphanage we visited. Our family had created an adventure that we would never be able to do at home and would remember forever.
So how do you let your children be open to experiences like this when you show them the world around them? Before we left, I showed the kids a map of Bali and then looked up pictures of places we would like to visit when we were there, what the Balinese people looked like and how they dressed, and the food we would be eating. Because they were prepared to see this, when we arrived, nothing was too daunting. Our only rule was to try and have a go.
My next blog and the final part to holidaying with kids will delve into the sitting by the pool and hotel living type holiday. It comes with a load of stories that are funny, some stressful moments and the envy of watching all the child free couples!
© The Realistic Mum
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