I ran a training session a few weeks ago. We discussed how everyone copes with stress differently and what things cause stress. We talked about coping strategies and how we can avoid our stressors. We talked about holidays and how everyone’s view differed on their favourite holiday destination. I posed the question ‘when does your holiday truly start!’ The responses I had all varied. For one person it was as soon as they booked the holiday and started their countdown. One person said it was when they ordered their travel money. For another it was when they arrived at the airport and were tucking into their Frankie and Benny’s breakfast. Another person said it was when the plane landed and the wall of heat smacks them in the face when they step off the plane – it’s a lush feeling isn’t it, you know you’ve arrived when your upper lip starts to sweat and you forehead is beading.
For me my holiday truly starts when the alarm goes off the morning of the holiday and not a minute sooner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m like a child at Christmas and love the build up to a holiday, but I can’t truly relax until that alarm sounds.
I always find the last day at work is extraordinarily busy. No matter how much I plan ahead I always end up leaving late. Not this year! We are going on holiday next week and I am trying my hardest to make sure I leave the office at a reasonable time on Friday.
My holiday will start at 2am Saturday morning. My case will be packed and waiting by the front door. My ‘plane clothes’ will be beside my bed ready to slip on as soon as I roll out of bed. We will get Gracie dressed and head for the airport. I imagine we will get a Burger King – as I write this I realise I told Mummy Hew there wasn’t a Burger King at the airport but I’ve remembered it’s before you go through security.
Once we land at Malaga airport we will pick up the hire car and head to our Villa. We will dump our bags and head to the Super Sol to stock up on supplies for the week. This year my main focus at the Super Sol is going to be the premixed bottles of Pino Colada in a pineapple shaped bottle. I don’t feel I had enough last year! I can taste the sickly sweetness of it now 🤤. I’ll unpack the suitcases because everyone knows you can’t get in the pool until the case is unpacked, Gracie struggled with this concept last year!
We are creatures of habit and I love a routine and that’s what makes part of the holiday. Don’t get me wrong, once that case is unpacked I’m free to go with the flow. But for some reason I struggle to truly relax until that case is unpacked. Can you relate to that? The feeling of achievement I get once the final bits are put in the bedside table, the tooth brushes in the bathroom and the clothes in the wardrobe. Mummy Hew is less concerned by this, but for me its one of my favourite bits of the holiday, it’s like I need to put everything in place before I can then have fun. I recognise I sound like a right boring git, but I truly enjoy the preparation. I don’t particularly like flying so for me having the routine and looking forward to unpacking the suitcase helps calm me on the flight.
We are going to Nerja, Spain, for a week – I’m gutted its only a week as we normally go for two. This will be our 6th holiday to Nerja. Although we are creatures of habit we try and do different things and eat in different restaurants each year. We have a few we favour but we try to go to new places. In the main we have a different experience every time we go. This year we plan to visit a quarry about an hours drive from the villa. We are told the water is bright turquoise and there are some really good places to eat nearby. Gracie wants to go to he beach, which isn’t our favourite thing to do but I’m sure we can make an exception. And most importantly Gracie and I will eat our weight in fish and ‘Crawns’ (Prawns – she still calls them Crawns from when she was a baby and I haven’t got the heart to correct her). We like to think we give her a balanced diet but we really lack fish in our day to day diets. When we are away we eat loads and absolutely love it! I cannot wait!
This will be Gracie’s third trip to Nerja. We have packed quite a few bits to keep her entertained. Holiday Baby will definitely be coming and her favourite Dolly Margret. We have packed a few games that she currently enjoys playing. We bought her a little paddling pool the first year we went and will take that again this year. We found the water in the pool can sometimes be a bit chilly as well as being quite deep. She enjoyed having the pool as it gave her a bit of independence so we will take that again this year. If you are holidaying in a Villa I would highly recommend taking a paddling pool to use alongside the swimming pool!
In previous years Gracie has found it really enjoyable just playing in the garden of the villa with her dolls. So we won’t be taking loads of toys with us. She really enjoyed having a week out of Nursery and spending it with us.
For us spending time as a family is invaluable. We get to give Gracie our undivided attention and to us that’s exactly what a holiday is all about – unless I’m am napping on the sun lounger, zero fucks will be given to attention. Gracie even said to me in the car this morning ‘Daddy you have sleep on the green bed and I will have my ice cream’ I can’t say fairer than that can I?
With mental health issues on the rise it is really important to be able to take some time away from the daily grind. Even if you’re not going away this year, it’s so important to take time away from work and recharge the batteries. Spend some time with your loved ones. Relax. Do nothing, do something, anything, just remember to take some time for you.
For me, the build up to a holiday can be quite stressful, making sure everything is packed within the weight limits, making sure the rabbits are fed, ensuring the house is looked after whilst we are away, closing everything down at work. But the small amount of stress is totally outweighed by the pleasure we will have. I can feel the sun beating down on me now and that’s what’s getting me though the next few days.
Are you getting away this year? When does your holiday truly start and when do you start to relax?