The difference between a trip and a holiday, especially when you have kids.

A friend asked me over the weekend: “So can you describe for me in ten words or less how you coped with driving around Australia for ten months in a camper trailer with a fishing mad husband and two kids under four years of age?”

Yes, yes I can.

And I can describe it in three words, not ten.

“Lots. Of. Alcohol.”


 One of the many dustbowls (this at Douglas Springs, NT) we camped in.
If you look closely you can see my glass of wine.
This concise summation could be a side effect from drinking solidly for ten months but I’m going to go with the fact that I’m highly intellectual and have an incredibly efficient vocabulary.
Most people go on holidays for two weeks at a time, usually to fit in with school holidays but on a more realistic note, because that’s the sum amount of time ‘holiday’ parenting can be relied upon before your children become complete ferals and order needs to be restored.

We’ve all done it: gone on holidays and allowed just about every errant behaviour to go by unattended to, seen how many chemicals and preservatives we can get into one meal from the snack bar and deep fried food buffet and allowed our children’s sleep patterns to go from “It’s night time: sleep!” to “Whoops it’s 11pm and you’re still up watching the Wiggles.” And that’s what holidays are for- a wild break in routine. But only for a week or two.

 That #Asshole Parent moment when we took the kids to Kakadu NP (an iconic Australian destination) and Sussie had chucked the sads because she was “sick of looking at drawings!!”.
And this happened to us. In a HUGE horrible way. But we weren’t in some wonderful Bali resort waiting for the winds to change and the ash cloud to clear. Nope, we were stuck in Outback Queensland, one month into a ten month trip, in a camper trailer with two little maniacal ferals- the closest thing to cocktail hour was a Jacob’s Creek Sauv Blanc in the dust with the flies and some Grey Nomads.

 We often felt like feeding our kids to some horrific pre-historic creature.
We travelled around Australia (34,000 kms) in a camper trailer with two kids for ten months. It was an unbelievably enriching adventure: but it was also bloody hard work. Maintaining some discipline whilst travelling constantly is like plucking your nose hairs one by one- really painful and just when you think you’ve got it sorted, a few days later there’s another one.
Which is why I’m about ready to implode with the excitement of the much more indulgent holiday we’ve just booked for ourselves in Fiji. Six nights and seven days of buffet breakfasts, lunch and beers by the pool, cocktail hours involving actual cocktails and the daily abuse of the kids’ club.
To be fair, there seems to be a bit of alcohol involved in this scenario too. At least there’ll be less flies and more nannies. I absolutely LOVED our Australian camping adventure, but I think I’ll be loving this week of Fiji-liciousness just as much!

Fiji Outrigger Resort. I’ll be on the chair on the right.


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