Our full time traveling family’s REAL travel traditions
Hello from Bali! Our full time traveling family has landed on this most beautiful island and we are blissing out. We are currently staying on the south coast, in the same apartment block as last November, except this time we are acting like proper humans as opposed to feral backpackers. We’re renting a two-bedroom flat (this is the first time in SIX MONTHS that we haven’t slept in the same room as our kids) and it has a fridge and freezer and two-ring hob, which to us now is the giddy heights of luxury, and it feels like it. We are loading up on fresh fruit from the local markets, enjoying smoothies, cooking pasta at home and eating at a dining table (welcome to civilisation!) and generally just being euphoric.
We had a day’s trip from Phuket in Thailand to get here; two flights including a stop at Kuala Lumpur, and it reminded me of a few travel traditions that we just love to keep, so I thought I’d share them with you.
#1. Someone has to puke.
Perhaps our most often upheld tradition, this one is so cherished that we roll it out on all kinds of travel days- boat, plane, bus or car, it doesn’t matter, someone *will* puke. In Bali the first time it was me on a boat; in Thailand then it was Esmae in a minivan. In Sri Lanka it was Esmae again on a boat, then Elfie in a car, then- spectacularly- Esmae, Elfie and I on a taxi ride that I am still trying to block from memory, where the driver felt the need to sharply test the brakes every 5-10 seconds for the three hour duration. This time, flying from Thailand to Bali, it was Eira, who decided that adding pickles to her sandwich was not acceptable to her stomach- after she’d eaten it. Sorry, Phuket airport.
#2. We must lose something.
It is testament to either the pure goodness of our hearts, or our rapidly deteriorating memories, that on every single trip we donate something to our general surroundings. We enjoy this tradition so much that we don’t even save it for big travel days- a half-day jaunt at the beach is enough for us to start strewing our property all over foreign lands. So far we’ve lost several swimsuits, a hat, countless toothbrushes, assorted clothing and towels. Mum just rectified the latter by purchasing six towels yesterday from the nearby department store- the Disney towels were the cheapest so now all of us, adults included, will be wrapping ourselves in Winnie the Pooh’s face, or Dora, or Elsa, or some other cartoonish character. Good times.
#3. We must be late.
Any of you who know Mum will know that this is not her tradition; Patrick and I came up with this all by ourselves. From flying to entirely the wrong airport to packing our luggage over the weight limits or- our typical go-to – simply being extremely optimistic about how much time we have to do something, we never fail to arrive at an airline gate slightly breathless and with the red lights of the FINAL CALL sign flashing before our eyes. Neither of us really drink so we like to keep that adrenaline flowing.
#4. We will argue.
We all like to get involved in this one. From where to stand at the baggage reclaim belt to who takes responsibility for forgetting to put a nappy on Elfie, or- our most recent achievement- arguing the toss over whether or not we have to fill out a customs declaration for Bali despite having no customs goods (Patrick said yes, I said no), we will manage to fray each others’ nerves by the time we arrive at our destination.
On a completely unrelated note, make sure you fill out a customs form for Bali even if you don’t have any customs goods with you. Ahem.
#5. We must get overexcited about aeroplane food.
Now I’m sorry, but actually I’m not sure that one can actually get overexcited about aeroplane food, because I think that unlimited glee is warranted when they bring out those trays of over-packaged wonder, but I have been told that my enthusiasm is a tad overboard. I denied this vehemently until our most recent flight, when I ate four- FOUR- aeroplane meals in one sitting. Mine, Elfie’s, Esmae’s and the extra one that the wonderful air hostess brought me when she saw the desolation of my food trays. Thank you, Malindo Air, for making vegetable biryani that is too spicy for kids. I for one appreciate it.
We love our travel traditions and wouldn’t have our travel days any other way. We’ve learned how to sprint while holding three kids, several backpacks and pushing a luggage trolley and how to catch an impromptu stream of vomit using a single subway-wrapper sandwich (they are surprisingly water resistant).
Do you have any travel traditions? Let us know in the comments!
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