For those of you who have been living under a rock, I just went on holidays with my family. Well, I suppose you can call it that?! With children it isn’t really a holiday. It’s just doing what you normally do at home, but instead you do it in a hotel or campervan. The difference to day-to-day life is that you do not have to pack lunch boxes or exchange pleasantries with kindy mums, whose names you do not remember. Anyway, the point is, you still have to feed, dress and talk to your children. So, it isn’t a real holiday, it’s just a pseudo holiday.
I am not complaining though because I love going on holidays. I love not being in my own home. I am not one of those people who says at the end of the holiday how great it is to be home. I hate coming home. I do believe I would much rather travel constantly, stopping every now and then to wash clothes and hang out for days on end in my hotel room in pajamas, before moving on to another destination.
I also love the togetherness of family holidays, how we let everyone just be on holidays. Treats are allowed all day and ice blocks are considered a perfectly adequate meal for the children, as beer is considered an entree, wine a main course and gin a dessert for the adults. I love how showers are optional. Make-up a no-no and bras are only worn if you are going out in public.
Our latest holiday was to Darwin, even my Mum came for a few days before her first overseas adventure to Bali, which was very cool. Aside from The Baby deciding to become an insomniac, the flight over was incident free. We arrived at 2.30am and was instantly welcomed by humidity. I simply love Darwin. It is the perfect holiday destination. The perfect place to relax.
For me, Darwin is no shoes. It’s dresses and pony tails. It’s fresh banana and mango smoothies, it’s amazing sunsets, markets and back packers. It’s trips to the playground, the wave pool, night time ice cream adventures. It is endless swimming and unbroken sleep. It is truly wonderful.
There were a few low points of the trip – the main being Miss 4 who spent the second day of our holiday in the Darwin Hospital having another asthma attack. It is not a nice place and I wouldn’t be putting it on my tourist must-see list. The other crap part, and one I am still paying for, are the insect bites which covered my legs. I got them in the first couple of days and was scratching for the entire holiday. I still have red blotches all over my legs, but luckily it is winter and the long hairs on my legs cover them just fine.
The other crap part was what we now refer to as Darwin 2. It was the awful apartment we found ourselves in after vacating our gorgeous holiday home (Darwin 1). The room was so shit. It overlooked the car park and was right next to a construction site. From 7am, the whole room shook with drilling sounds. There was a fan hanging from its electrical cords in the kids’ room and no screens over the windows to stop children falling out. It was bullshit. We complained and were moved into a much improved apartment which we then referred to as Darwin 3, but still it stirred resentment in us and we decided to shorten our hotel stay and instead book a campervan for the five of us. Yep, you heard right. We piled all of us into a MASSIVE campervan, now known as Darwin 4, and took off for Kakadu. Aside from the Mojito I ordered at dinner one night, it was best decision of the whole trip.
If you haven’t been to the Northern Territory (this was my third time) you’ve really got to go. It epitomises Australia. It is red dirt. It is crocodiles, termite nests, waterholes, blue skies, hot sun. It is amazing. And if you haven’t gone travelling in a campervan you’re really missing out. It is so easy with kids. They play, you sit on deck chairs reading, drinking long necks, eating fatty foods. And at night you pop them in front of the tv and you continue to sit outside chatting and looking up at the stars. Easy, chilled and so wonderful to hang out with each other as a family with no distractions of work, paying bills and school pick-ups.
Our last night was spent at the Darwin Airport Resort, aka Darwin 5. It had a beautiful, yet freezing, pool for the kids to splash in and some much needed fancy-pants gin. We washed away the days of campervan dirt off our skin. And at 1am we picked up our sleeping children and all our luggage and made our way to the airport and flew home. Even as I was getting on the plane I was cursing that ash cloud that didn’t do what is was supposed to do. It didn’t stop our flight from leaving. I didn’t want to go home, none of us did. In fact, I think if we had a chance we would all get back on a plane now and return to Darwin. I hate the end of holidays and we are already planning our next holiday. I’m thinking Byron Bay.
Have you ever wanted a holiday to keep going? Where do you think we should travel to next?