Why is it the older I get the more like work going on holiday starts to become? I remember vividly the days of packing a medium sized suitcase stuffed full with bikinis, shorts and a nice dress or two and zipping off to my destination of choice with barely a backward glance. A few hours later would find me unpacked, showered, and by the pool with a drink in one hand and some awful chick lit book in the other – and that would pretty much be the assumed position for the duration of the trip except to occasionally rotate myself, spit-like, to ensure an even tan.
These days travelling is starting to morph into something more akin to a hard labour. For a few too many hundred dollars, I leave the comfort of my beautiful bed to stay in something resembling a banana hammock, leaving me crippled and unable to turn my head for days at a time. Armed with the knowledge that I am in physical agony, my child and husband then do their best to keep me awake the entire time, by snoring (the big one) and waking me up at 3am every day with jet lag (the little one) and then acting surprised when I am grouchy and emotionally spent. After nearly two weeks away it has also become extremely apparent that we don’t have a maid when we are on holiday. I have spent more time doing housework and chores than I would normally do in the average year. It’s only down to the fact that I haven’t seen anyone we know for the past few days that I have avoided the ironing, but it’s coming, I can feel it…
And the packing. And unpacking. And packing. And unpacking. And packing. And unpacking. Even writing it that many times feels arduous, but the reality is even worse. The contents of our enormous suitcases seem to morph, expand and multiply with each stop, to the point where I’m sure that sometime around our departure from our current destination we will be forced to purchase our annual extra bag to accommodate everything.
Dont get me wrong, I am loving being on holiday with my boys and away from Dubai. Nothing could make me happier than the experiences of the past few weeks or indeed the month we still have left to look forward to. I do just wish it wasn’t quite such an exhausting process. I am constantly running mental and actual checks on where our belongings have spread to as well as operating our social logistics from an excel spreadsheet in order to remember where we are going/ what we are doing/ who we are seeing.
My carefully coiffed and polished ‘Dubai style’ is being slowly deconstructed as my clothes become more casual (creased), my hair grows and curls up due to lack of blow drying and my manicure fades away. The final hopes of staying within the same dress size as I arrived disappear as my food and alcohol consumption creeps up and my chances of excercising go drastically down. Make-up becomes a thing of the past and is quickly replaced by a decent SPF. And just when I think I need a holiday from my holiday… I realise that it’s taken me nearly a week to write this post and I’m so relaxed I woke myself up snoring in the sun earlier this afternoon. I feel like I don’t even the know the person who wrote the first few paragraphs, in fact. The jet lag is over and the bed we have arrived at for the next few weeks is blissfully comfortable. I wake, eat, and sleep to the sound of the ocean waves breaking onto shore and I honestly couldn’t care less about anything beyond seeing the smiles on the faces of my family – except maybe having a drink in one hand, my book in the other, and getting an even tan. It’s beginning to sound a lot like a holiday.