It’s almost that time of year when millions of British families are relieved of the burden of school term time and decide to head off to warm places around the world (some people decide to stay in Britain and go to these awful holiday camps, where they make new friends and watch the tackiest of live entertainments every night, whilst finding things to do out of the rain every day. But we’ll not talk about that). Most normal people try to escape cold, miserable, recession-hit Britain for a week or two, and head to recession-hit Spain or Greece instead. And others, determined to experience something more exotic, but tied to the enforced six-week school break, venture off to Florida or the Caribbean. Things will only get worse after our clever Government enforces the ban on ALL family holidays during term time from September 2013. So the people who can’t get time off work during holidays will miss out altogether, and those who normally intelligently choose to visit far flung places at sensible times of year will all be forced to go in July and August instead. Well thought out, Mr. Cameron. I guess many tourist destinations will be massively overcrowded for those 6 weeks, then fairly dead for the rest of the year. So when my 5 year old comes in from school and tells us that she’s been mainly colouring in and watching cartoons, I won’t mind at all that we could have been whale watching in the Atlantic, or windsurfing in the Med. Nevermind taking in 4 countries in one day, our kids must get an education in the classroom.
This will cause a headache for me too. I’m already finding it hard to plan a family holiday amongst the back-to-back projects that I’ve got on at the moment. I squeezed in an exciting piece of work immediately after my recent Miami holiday. I’m still here in Orlando, even though I had originally planned to go home days ago so that I could do a couple of days work for IPWL in Yorkshire, then make an important meeting down in London about an upcoming project. Those have been juggled around so that I can stay here until next week. Then I’ll be at home for a few days to catch up on my washing and those juggled appointments. I’m heading back to Korea next Friday, and I haven’t decided whether to come home afterwards to see the family, or go directly to Abu Dhabi. I’ll be there for almost a month, then it’s back home for the remaining 2 weeks of the kids’ school holidays. Where does the time go? Not nearly enough time for visiting family and friends, and I’ll be missing a couple of birthdays too. It’s a good job I love my work.
So we’ve been trying to decide how best to make use of those paltry 2 weeks. Last year we did a tour of Europe (well, a bit of it) in 3 weeks in our big green van. We visited towns, cities, lakes, mountains and beaches. We swam, ate exotic foods (the 9 year old was eating raw steak and drinking cider in France – but don’t tell anyone!), went to museums, the circus, and theme parks (I can’t get enough of them!) and spent some quality time together, experiencing a variety of cultures and languages. There isn’t much time for that this year, so we might fly out to somewhere we’ve never been before. Where it isn’t hurricane season. Hmmm. Any suggestions for something new, family friendly and warm greatly appreciated ...