Getting to the point is taking longer than I thought.
I didn’t want to turn this into a chronological holiday list so I will now summarise the next twenty years or so.
Through a great deal of hard work I managed to build up my career until I was earning a decent wage and able to comfortably afford the occasional luxury. The twins had arrived and a chance conversation with our mortgage advisor led us to extend our mortgage to cover the cost of our first trip to Disney, again while the twins flew for free.
So, my point is financial situations change unexpectedly, and what seems impossible now doesn’t mean it won’t be possible sometime in the future. So you shouldn’t rule something out entirely just because you can’t ever seeing yourself affording it.
After this holiday we did a variety of UK holidays, mostly from the Sun newspapers £9/person/week promotions. It was a very cheap and easy way to travel around the UK and experience some other places.
But other factors came to bear. I suddenly found myself travelling abroad,and experiencing places and cultures that were frankly fascinating and exciting. And I wanted to share this with my family. For the next few years we spent a lot of time driving to France, travelling around the world and even touring parts of America that most people wouldn’t get to see, with some great friends I had come to know through work.
So, through no conscious choice, sometimes your horizons are broadened for you. It is important to always keep an open mind to new experiences, and make sure your children benefit as much as they can.
And I feel that to some degree this has rubbed off on at least some of my children. Where we were fearful of climbing on the plane to Majorca, my children have done all of this from an early age and have no qualms – well almost none. So maybe your previous experience really does play a part to moulding your own desires. Or maybe it just elevates your launch pad so that you miss out some of the mundane stuff that your parents did when they started out.
As the children became independent and self sufficient, me and my better half found that we wanted to see more, travel further; we cruised, we had exotic holidays in exotic places, I took her back to some of those places I had discovered through work, to see the wonders that I had experienced alone. After all, we HAD just spent the first twenty years of our life ploughing everything into “family life”. Now, selfishly it seemed, it was our time. While the kids did their own thing. Our first holiday on our own, which I think was our 25th wedding anniversary, was a strange experience, especially for my wife who felt lost without the girls by our side.
The twins developed a taste for Ibiza, which we personally dreaded (you hear so many horror stories) but we had to let them do it. They weren’t children anymore.
And likewise, my eldest who had not long since got married, developed her own style of holiday. It fits their bill, and that’s all that mattered. As long as you realise that ‘the bill’ is going to inevitably change, and sooner than you might think. My granddaughter said two things shortly before we left for Norfolk…
“Oh grandad, I am so happy you and Nana are coming to Norfolk, I can take you to Wroxham Barns, we are going to have so much fun together”
“Nana, I love Norfolk but could you ask mummy if we could go somewhere else one time?”
We asked her were she would like to go. And, in a moment of pure cuteness, “Oh, somewhere really nice, like you and Grandad go to – Like… Scarborough”.
Maslow’s highest peak in his triangle is self actualisation, where everything else is achieved and there is a slow final progression towards what one feels is the ideal status quo. And yet his theory also illustrates that while you may well have found your ideal situation now, in a few years time factors come to play which change your aspirations and push the peak up further.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all respect the choices we have made?
Where is all this leading I hear you say?
Obviously, the third part of my ‘tryptych’. Mortality… (To be continued)