We are back from Lombok. What a great place, and what an awesome holiday. (I particularly love South Lombok, but more on that later.)
After six years of travelling with a baby and toddler, and in the last couple of years, toddler and child - this was a real holiday. Not just 'travel and experience' as I like to call going away with kids. Or, 'same shit, different place, and hard work. But hey, it was worth it, I got to explore somewhere else'.
There was nothing hard about this trip, except for the overnight flight home with a packet of Gastro-Stop handy.
My lessons learned why every couple should have a holiday without their lovely treasures? Read on.
1. You actually have time to get bored while waiting for your flight to leave. Especially if one of the crew on your departing flight can't get through customs due to her passport not being accepted. You now have an extra hour to wait for a call-in crew member to arrive.
Hint: if you can't log on to Adelaide Airport wi-fi in the Departure Lounge, stand by the Business Hub, and then log in. Ta da!
2. Happy Hours are actually happy hours - not whinging, 'quick, let's grab some food and go back to the room' hours. Enjoy watching the sunset with a mojito (or Bintang) or two, then meander off to any restaurant that takes your fancy (rather than checking each menu for child friendly options first). You can savour the food and experience too, rather than gulping it down as quick as you can - there are no children to throw embarrassing tantrums in the middle of the restaurant to worry about. Well, not yours anyway.
3. Throw some caution to the wind and hire a scooter for touring. You don't have to think about how to anchor child seats, or if the car will have seat belts. Be free and feel the wind on your face. Southern Lombok is perfect for getting around on a bike - minimal traffic (motorised and the animal kind) and have decent roads at times. Go like the expats and locals do.
4. Get hubby up and start the day with an hour and half of yoga, overlooking the beach. Bliss. Even for people that have never tried yoga. Hubby has never done it, and raved about it. The lap (or thunder, in our case) of waves, the sea air breezing over your body, a well trained teacher… Peace - parents, do you remember what that is?
5. Get a local child to take a pic of you together. Don't worry about focus, getting your heads in the frame is the only idea to strive for. You get the experience and the fuzzy visual memory. And the kids love it.
We had little pups trying to nibble at our feet in this pic of us at Mawun Beach (absolutely stunning with only half a dozen people scattered on the white arc of sand).
6. We are in the era of technology - so if either party misses each other, Skype is the answer. We Skyped our kids daily, and video Skyped them once too. But when we heard our daughter hid under the bed for ten minutes after seeing us, we decided video was finished.
Not sure if this Skype thing benefited us, or them, as we were the only ones eager to talk. :)
I'd like to make sure we go away once a year, for some time to do what we want. It felt like we were young again, with no pressures or responsibilites. We could do what we want, when we want - or nothing at all. Some days we lazed the day away reading and browsing the iPads on our beach front patio. Other days we explored near deserted beaches, one after the other. And one special day, I went to the Spa for four hours. Namaste.
What are your thoughts and experiences?