After several weeks of travel, we’re looking forward to going home. My kids and I have been away, visiting friends and family in the SW, since early August.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a great time chilling, doing various activities, seeing friends & family, reading, playing games, cooking and eating. But we’ve reached the point where it would be nice to return to a bit of normality and the prospect of going home seems more than a little attractive right now.

 

Sleep

Sleep can be difficult when staying in different locations. There is the comfort factor – the type and location of the bed, who you’re sharing a bed or a room with, the temperature of the room and the bedding and what control (if any) you have over any of this. Sometimes there could also be noise and light issues which may keep you awake or wake you up.

There could also be timing concerns, leading to later bed times and rises.

For all these reasons and more, the delicate balance of sleep can be disturbed.

I’m probably sleeping more than I’ve slept in ages – which ironically can make me feel tired, as well as being a whole lot less productive. My kids are probably not sleeping as much as they should.

We’re all looking forward to sleeping in our own beds and I’m looking forward to instigating more normal bedtimes for all of us.

 

Food

When you’re away, and particularly when you’re traveling between locations, eating isn’t always as easy as when you’re at home. This is compounded further when others are involved. Complexities include what you like to eat, whether you can obtain it, whether you have the opportunity to prepareit if (if required) and whether anyone else is vaguely interested in it too.

Timings can also be tricky. Eating earlier or later than normal, especially aligning with other people’s agendas, can be problematic. My husband and I had a number of blood sugar lows between us, last week alone and the kids have been ‘hangry’ on a number of occasions.

I’ve also drank a lot less water than I normally would. This is partly due to being out and about and in transit. It’s not always easy to estimate the amount you’ll need or carry it with you. Public toilets are not always available when required, nor in the state you’d like to find them.

I’m looking forward to meal planning and checking out the contents of my cupboards and freezer on my return.

 

Clothes

We brought a load of clothes with us – OK, not that many, but more than enough. For much of the time, however, our clothes have been in bags and cases. I’m now used to (and tolerant of) the creased look, although just for now.

However, we’ve all ended up wearing the same things over and over again (don’t worry, we have had access to showers and washing machines throughout the trip).

I can’t say I’m necessarily looking forward to doing the washing on our return, but I am looking forward to wearing some different clothes.

 

Time

Sometimes our time is our own time, but often it is not. I was naively hoping to get loads of things done during this time away, including reading, working on my website etc. Alas, this has not been the case.

Some of it may have been self-sabotage (we have done a fair amount of cooking while away – see Family Cooking Fun). But there has also been ‘stuff’ to do driving between the different locations, humping and dumping luggage in and out of the car and generally having to be being sociable with our hosts and friends.

I’m looking forward to being a little more in control of my time from the moment we return and I know my kids are too.

 

Agenda

On a similar vein, we’ve not always been in charge of the agenda. Sometimes we have been – while also trying to keep things as flexible as possible due to other options, changeable weather etc. At other times, we’ve been more at the whim of other people. This is great when everyone’s hopes and expectations align. Less so, when they don’t.

I’m looking forward to planning out the rest of the school holidays and September to ensure a smooth transition.

 

Exercise

Exercise is pretty important to me and has been a challenge at times. Having reached peak fitness for my triathlon in early July, I feel I’ve been on a downwards spiral ever since.

Overall, we’ve probably been more active than normal, but this has been somewhat sporadic. We’ve had days where we’ve walked, scooted, run, cycled and swam. And others where we’ve braved a walk to the shop in the rain. I’ve tried to get in some kind of activity (mainly running, but also one bike ride and one swim) every few of days at least. My hire bike was hilarious and certainly added to my workout!!!

I’m planning a half-marathon in October, so I’m looking forward to getting into more structured training on my return.

 

Routines

I wrote last week about being out of routine. This has certainly continued into this week too.

I look forward to getting back into a routine of some sort (albeit still a summer holiday one) for the next couple of weeks. This will ultimately evolve into the school time routine in due course, although with changes for me and the kids.

 

Individual preferences

We’ve had a great time away over the last few weeks, but we’re all looking forward to getting back for difference reasons.

One of the reasons I’m looking forward to getting home, is it will ironically be a little more relaxing with my kids. My husband and I are fairly laissez-faire in parenting style, but for much of the last few weeks it’s been my sole role to be the parent: the nurturer, the cajoler, the decision-maker, the judge, the adjudicator, the discipliner etc. And as most parents know, this can be tiring. I also find there has been judgement (or maybe it’s my fear of judgement) from others in terms of the kids’ behaviour and ultimately my parenting skills!

The kids are looking forward to going home to see their friends, be reacquainted with their home-based PC and consoles, and to be able to connect better online than when we’re on the move. Clearly first-world problems!

 

Wrap-up

We’ve had a great time travelling around over the past few weeks, but now we’re ready to be going home.

Ultimately, we’re all looking forward to doing a bit more of what we want to do, with whom and when we want to do it (within reasonable limits).

 

Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out  more.