Released On 11th Jul 2022
Anushka's blog: My Holiday Alone – The Best Thing for My Family and I!
The inspiration for my solo holiday was admittedly revenge for my husband’s 12 days away on a desert marathon and 1.5 years of training for said event. What both my family and I gained from my trip away was invaluable.
The work and family calendars rendered a single feasible week to go away so I bit the bullet and booked a worryingly cheap Lastminute.com term-time deal to Crete in May.
I made a rookie error by mistakenly booking a return flight from a different airport in Crete. This resulted in a €140 cab fare geography lesson that Crete is a BIG Island! Half board at the hotel was also ill-advised as a candlelit dinner for 1 amongst couples and Gap Yahs was not something I savoured; rather it caused me to bolt down my dinner at break-neck speed each night!
On all other counts, however, I cannot recommend a solo break highly enough. It is so easy to be subsumed by work and family duties to the extent that you forget who you are and what you enjoy doing with your time. Removing yourself from work, family or other agendas and spending each day just going with the flow achieved this well-needed reminder. I started the day with a delicious Mediterranean buffet breakfast basking in the morning sun with mythic, snow-capped mountains in the background and floral-lined coastlines ahead. As for the rest of the day, if I wanted to read, hike, watch TV, run, go to a cafe, write … I did just that.
Taking yourself away from everything helps you re-focus on what is important to you back home. As a wider point, I learnt self-sufficiency and to talk to strangers. I wanted to hike in the hills but was worried about getting lost so I made friends with Reception at my hotel so they knew I was out hiking but also used the Wikiloc app so I could be tracked, navigate other people’s trails and record my own trails for others.
From my family’s point of view, I’m glad my children saw me taking time for myself and not martyring myself to Motherhood; an expectation that can unwittingly be foisted upon women. It’s also healthy for each parent to have some time in sole charge to appreciate what their partner does and experience the segments of parenting they may never get involved in, even if it’s as simple as ordering grocery deliveries or doing a particular school run. I also really looked forward to my evening Facetime when I could catch up with the family on their day and had more meaningful chat instead of nagging them to do homework or brush teeth!
The holiday itself still serves as a point of reference whenever I’m overwhelmed with work or family issues as to what constitutes pure happiness and relaxation for me: an Orwellian ‘Sugarcandy Mountain’ I renavigate myself towards.
My advice if you’re tempted. Just. Do. It!
Anushka works full time for a professional services firm, is married with two kids aged 9 and 10 and no nanny!