I just had the pleasure of a holiday in Gran Canaria with my family. We were given the opportunity to stay in a five-star hotel by an incredibly generous friend and it was wonderful. (Thank you, dear friend). Of course, there were the usual family holiday calamities, one son with a 24hr fever and sickness, another son with a sprained ankle and my husband giving himself a whiplash injury and misaligned vertebrae after being dared to ride the “Take-off” waterslide at the waterpark on our last day. Needless to say, he took off. Then he landed. He was in a lot of pain for over a week, bless him. Amazingly, for once, I was the one that stayed well and injury-free. It might have something to do with the fact that I barely left my sun lounger but hey, I was practising relaxing! Now that I am back home, I am practising hanging on to that lovely holiday feeling and it is challenging!
So we had a lovely time (mostly) and had begun to sink into a more relaxed way of being after 10 days. It can take a while to slow down from the crazy pace of modern life but we were enjoying that process. Lots of sunbathing, swimming and a few glasses of Rosé definitely helped! Also, the little health setbacks meant that we couldn’t do many day trips and so were forced to just spend more time around the pool, and reading on the balcony which was no hardship!
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” John Lubboc
Here is how to know your holiday is over!
1) Mess up by only downloading 1 boarding card onto your phone the night before leaving.
2) Have the lady at the check-in desk (of a well-known budget Irish airline) insist on you removing 3 kg from your case despite the flight being less than half full. (How I love to open my case full of laundry and medicines for all the queue to see at 5.30am.)
3) Have the lady at the check-in desk put one case through but not the other as only one boarding pass on your phone.
4) Make sure your phone starts to get buggy and malfunction, and the airport wifi is chronically intermittent.
6) Start to panic as time is marching on.
7) Watch helplessly as three guys with surfboards to check-in are next in line.
8) Watch more time tick past as you frustratingly try to download the airline app the lady is insisting on you having.
9) Start feeling like crying as your children watch you getting more stressed and panicky.
10) Finally get to the front of the queue again to be told the gate is closing despite the fact you have been stood there for an hour trying to sort it out.
11) Scoot over to the main desk with teary wide-eyed children to plead with the irritated flight manager. Cue angry phone conversation in Spanish.
12) Run back to the check-in desk to finally receive boarding cards and sprint to the gate, as best you can with injured family members and stiff joints.
13) Breathlessly explain to the non-plussed, chilled and smiley gate attendant your 60-second version of events, to be told that the gate is still open and not to worry!! Grr!
14) Spend the first 60 mins of your flight deep breathing to normalise your adrenaline levels and calm the hell down.
15) Land back home with the sketchiest bumpiest touchdown ever!
16) Travel on 4 separate trains to get back home with kids, footballs and multiple bags in tow.
17) Send your husband off to the chiropractor and sit down with a cup of tea to open your mail.
18) Open the first letter to find out that you have been given 2 months notice to move out of your house …
Was it worth it?
(After all, it wasn’t quite as stressful as the time we went to Portugal and our eldest son developed concussion two hours before we were due to leave for our return flight. Cue an ambulance ride, lots of explanations in bad Spanish from us, a crazy rushed drive to the airport, followed by us hurriedly cleaning vomit from the hire car at the last minute! But hey that’s a whole other story!)
How to keep that holiday feeling!
So, I have decided to do the following to keep my holiday feeling going (despite everything!):
- Get outside in the sun as often as possible, but also whatever the weather.
- Be in nature, forests and by the sea often.
- Eat outside when possible and make new exotic recipes.
- Go swimming as often as possible. (We have a new Lido that has opened up near us that we can go and check out.)
- Make Mocktails so that you are having fun drinks, but without the excess alcohol.
- Stay away from too much telly and devices.
- Keep reading more as it is very relaxing, enjoyable and creatively stimulating.
- Go on some day trips to new places.
- Get some of your best holiday photos printed and in frames so that you can enjoy the memories.
- Do things each day that make you happy!