Belle is 5, Ashton is 3. They have been to Bali twice, Thailand once, to various places around Australia and now the time has come… for them to stay home. And we are off to Lombok. Shh.
Belle has just started school, which makes it harder to leave. I'm so thankful she is loving it. It would be hard going if she didn't. And Ashton, well, I'm not sure he quite understands what's happening soon.
How do I feel about going without them? I have a strange lump in my chest as I write. It's a lump of both excitement, and a lump of anxiety. So many questions rattle around in my head. 'Will they be ok, what if something happens, will I be ok, what if it damages them emotionally? What will I do if they cry on the phone to me, wanting me home?' Eek. So many horrid voices.
I should just relax and let it the other voices trump. 'It will be good for them. It's going to be awesome. You will love it. Think of the freedom, relaxation, swimming, surfing, reading, un-rushed dinners, nights out.. Time with Ben to talk without interupptions, and actually enjoy eachothers company.' Wow. That feels better.
It's weird packing and organising for just two. We've booked our flights, hotels, and been to the travel doctor. Poor bud Ashton was the only one needing a jab for Hep B - and he's not even going anywhere!
Here's our altered 'parent only holiday' checklist, it's in some ways harder than organising a family holiday. I'm sure the benefits will be worthwhile.
1. Organise people to look after kids, pick them up from school/day care, and keep them alive.
2. Leave Mums a list of how to's/what to's/schedules etc.
3. Organise Skype or other form of contact to home
4. Get reading material together for those lazy arvos poolside or beachfront
5. Research things to do - because you can without child limits!
6. Get an International Drivers Licence - mopeds have just come back on the scene for freedom exploring.
7. Pack some nice clothes because we may actually get to go out somewhere nice, and stay for longer than 30 minutes. You know, enjoy dinner, rather than gulping it down before the kids start getting crazy.
8. Get ready to have one hand free… just one suitcase!
9. Get to the airport in time to enjoy a quiet drink before departure without having to hang out at the playground.
10. Practice hiding the pity faces when looking at parents travelling with their kids.
What have I forgotten my dear seasoned non-parent travellers? I seem to know how to pack for work trips or family trips… but think I'm missing something.