Vacations – the word itself brings a smile on the faces of one and all – big or small. Yet this year when our plan for Gangtok and Darjeeling got finalised, I was overwhelmed. Unable to decide whether I was really happy or was I tensed. Reason – I was to travel with two kids who had sort of opposite requirements – a six year old who wanted to explore and experience new places and an eighteen month old toddler who is a bit averse towards new environment.
Well the plan was finalised and I didn’t wanted to be a spoil sport by letting my fears outweigh my desire to spend some quality time with my family so I set upon the preparations for packing.
Three most important lessons I learnt during these vacations:
Lesson no. 1 : Healthy food is important for kids but don’t stress too much on it during vacations.
My younger one fell sick a week before our trip had to start and as it happens with any illness, it changed his taste and preferences towards food. With that all my planning on front of food was given a big kick at once and I was left stranded.
As a mother I am sure many of you would agree on how much we take efforts for packing nothing less than almost home cooked sort of meals for our small ones and how it feels when everything of that is rejected by him. At this point my Mother’s advice and a friend’s words bailed me out. My mother said ‘I brought you up on Parle G and you are doing absolutely fine. Don’t worry go ahead with age old Parle G and Cerelac; and I remember a good friend told me ‘don’t stress, he will manage himself’. I literally loosened up and thought – it’s a vacation, doesn’t he need a break and afterall I do feed him all nutritious home made stuff back home. So I bought these two items along with other stuff and was just relaxed.
Believe me as my trip progressed, I realised there was in real no need to stress so much. The hotel provided healthy breakfast and dinner options for my toddler and ofcourse lunch and mid day snacking and certain crankiness was handled by the age old remedies advised by my Mom.
Lesson no. 2 – Be prepared – not only physically but mentally too.
Our destination was hills and travel time required to reach our final destination was almost 12 hours with change in various mode of transportation. So as it had to be first day of our vacation it was tough. And at once, these thoughts started occupying my mind’s space – ‘Am I really on a vacation? Wasn’t I better off in my cosy and comfortable house? Did I made a mistake by venturing out with two kids? Have we chosen an inappropriate destination?’….. Once I reached my destination and relaxed in one of the most amazing rooms of my luxurious hotel (which my hubby had ensured to book to ensure all comforts for us), I realised that while I was physically prepared for the day long journey with everything handy which my kids may need in course of travel, mentally I wasn’t. I failed to foresee that a day long travelling solely taking care of two kids will take a toll on me. I realised this and made few changes during return trip, which believe me went too smooth, way beyond my expectations.
- We frequently interchanged the responsibility of handling our younger one and our luggage.
- Before starting the journey not only I gave required motion sickness medicine to kids but took the required pill myself too.
- We upgraded our seats to business class. Believe me this really enhanced our trip experience and gave us the much needed relief to end our trip.
Lesson no. 3 – Enjoy the present.
This was my most important lesson of this trip. Before kids whenever we used to travel, I made sure to see each and every nook of the place we visited. ‘No point of attraction should be missed’ was my mantra. But this time around when I was travelling with two kids, I realised I wanted to soak in the beauty of what was present in front of me. I felt I have grown up and have matured enough to realise that how much so ever I tried I shall never be able to reach everywhere. So why not just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature present in front of me. With two kids I had enough adventure back home and here during my vacation, I simply wanted to relax and make memories, which I took back and cherish throughout my life. So I simply decided to relax in literal sense. We mutually decided that while the father- daughter duo should go ahead and explore the breathtaking view of Tsogmo lake and snow clad mountains, we mother-son shall relax at the beautiful property of Mayfair, Gangtok.
While we two souls relaxed at the awesome property, my daughter got a great opportunity to travel solo with her Father and experience the snow for the very first time. When they came back, all 4 were refreshed with their respective experiences of the day and had stories to share and spend some quality family time winding up.
I can wind up this long write up by saying that we had a memorable trip, ofcourse with all sorts of ups and downs but we came back rejuvinated and with lovely memories and beautiful photographs, which we shared with family and friends.
So next time when u decide to pack your bags with your young ones, take a deep breath and tell yourself ‘Relax.. you are going on a vacation, which means you are taking a break from routine.’ So just chill, sit back and enjoy the journey and remember everything will go well.
HAPPY VACATIONS TO ALL..
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A Chartered Accountant by profession and a hands on Mother to two wonderful kids. Before taking up the responsibility of motherhood she had worked for more than 12 years in Financial Industry. She has a passion for reading and is proud to have inculcated the novel habit in her kids early on. She believes in raising kids who are well read and aware of their surroundings and grow up as a responsible citizen who can bring desired changes in the Society.