Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Talking Thai- Day 1: Off we go!

It was early in the morning on Monday 28th October 2013 and I had slept well, considering.  We were leaving the house at 6am to get to Tullamarine Airport in good time to have breakfast and check in for our 10.35am flight to Thailand.  After months of planning and preparation for a holiday that was well overdue for myself and my husband, I felt much better in the morning than I had done the night.  Let me tell you why.
I knew that I should really go back to bed for a bit more sleep but I was too excited.  David and I had put a lot of planning into this overseas trip, as you do.  After the usual rigmarole of getting our passports renewed after letting them expire (won't be doing that again), we feverishly set about getting ready for our holiday.  We hadn't had a 'real' holiday since our honeymoon which was a long, long time ago, and 3 kids and 10 years later, decided that we would go away, just the two of us and leave the kids with my mum.  I am so very grateful for all of the help that my mum gives me with the children, for without her, this wouldn't be possible.

After already making 2 trips to mum's place over the last few days to drop off lots of food shopping and their clothes, I had another full car load of bits and pieces that the kids wanted to take with them yesterday morning.  They were up at the usual, early time yesterday and after breakfast, they kept asking me every 10 minutes if it was time to go to Nanna's yet.  They were very excited.  Interestingly enough, it was my middle child Marc, the 7 year old, who showed the most separation anxiety and constantly reminded me how much he was going to miss me.  It is usually our eldest child, Adam, who is the sensitive one, but I guess because he was going to his Nanna's, he was comfortable.  I think he also had a greater understanding than his younger brother and sister about how important this holiday was to his mum and dad.
So I dropped them off to mum's in the morning, had my coffee and then said my good byes.  I felt a little bit emotional when I hugged and kissed my mum.......but it was OK, I didn't lose it.  The kids were more than settled and I left knowing full well that they would get the utmost care from my mum and I didn't have to worry about a thing.  As I drove my car back home to David, I couldn't wait to see him and get ready on our last full day at home before we left.  He greeted me at the door and the smile on my face was a mile wide.  Throughout the day, the feeling of elation and liberty that I felt was huge, as I could finally just be with my partner and 'let go' of my usual responsibilities of being a mother (for a little while, anyway).
We had a good day, but it got to about 7pm that night.......and then the guilt started to kick in.  I knew that in order for me to have a 'real' holiday, I needed to leave my children behind so that I could just 'be me' and take my 'mother hat' off for a little while........but at that stage of the night, I wasn't so sure.  After so much elation during the day, I became sad, yes actually sad.  I was surprised at my feelings because I had been so happy and excited throughout the day, and now I was really sad.  I felt guilt and sadness that I had chosen to leave my children behind, as ridiculous as it may sound.  I wasn't sure if I had made the right decision and resisted the temptation, with all my might, to call them and my mum.

I didn't call them and I continued to get ready.  I went to bed that night feeling so confused because for the first time since becoming a mother, I would be away from them for 10 days.......and a very long way away from them.  I thought I should just sleep, and I did.  I woke up and my guilt had gone, must have been processed in my unconscious state, as most of my 'dilemmas' usually are.  This is the problem with us mothers, we have trouble with the separation from our children and even when we know what we need, we beat ourselves up about it and second guess our decisions!  It is like we deny ourselves any freedom and independence from our children because our overwhelming desire to nurture and protect always takes over.
In the morning, I was glad that I had made the choice to have a holiday just with my husband.  We needed it so badly.  I was brave and totally comfortable with the fact that I could go and feel young again.  I could go to a new place, with new sights, sounds and smells and take it all in.  I knew I didn't have to worry about my children because I had my mum there for us all.  It felt wonderful to know that I could have some quality time with my husband as we don't often get the chance to escape from the usual work that we do each day.  We could be happy and 'free' and enjoy the whole thing.  Yes, the excitement came flooding back and I watched the clock with eager anticipation to get in the car and go to the airport and fly, fly away.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave.  David was rushing around all morning madly trying to get out the door.  We headed for Melbourne airport and checked in.  It took a while to get through Customs but I didn't care for we were on our way.  We boarded the plane that would take us on the first leg of our journey to Kuala Lumpur and it was torturous as the plane was delayed one and a half hours.  Eventually the plane took off and there was no turning back now.  David loves anything to do with aviation so he was very excited to have his window seat and gaze out of it for many hours.  It was a special feeling flying above the clouds and looking down as we flew over Australia.
I have decided that I don't really like flying.  Being cooped up in a tin can for hours and hours on end, not being able to move much or go outside, getting a sore back side from sitting in the same position for hours on end, really bothers me.  But I just put up with it as best as I could.  Once we reached KL, we would have to get a connecting flight to Phuket, Thailand and I started to get anxious about this.  As this first flight was delayed, I was not sure if we were going to be there in time to get the next one.  I also became very anxious again about leaving my kids behind with mum and was worried that this was all going to be too hard for her, and me.  I was a bundle of nerves at this point but I knew that once we landed in Phuket and reached our hotel that I would start to relax again.
Somehow, with a lot of luck, we managed to push our way through at KLIA and ran with all our might to catch the connecting flight.......and we made it!  Unfortunately, our checked in baggage wasn't so lucky and was stuck somewhere in KL when we arrived in Phuket.  I wasn't too concerned as I knew that it would arrive eventually, and sure enough, the next morning, our luggage was waiting for us at hotel reception. 
When we arrived in Phuket, the tropical climate hit me like a tonne of bricks.  The new scenery and the different people and language was immediately fascinating.  The funny way people drove their cars was so very different to Australia, it seemed that there were no rules however everyone knew exactly where they were going, how to get there and the traffic flowed perfectly well.  Phuket struck me as a island full of diversity, very different in so many ways.........but I immediately fell in love with the place.  We checked in to our hotel and had our first meal there down stairs and then just collapsed into bed, completely exhausted.  Yes, one thing was for sure, this was going to be a fantastic holiday and was very exciting and daunting at the same time.  But that was OK, we had finally made it to our destination :) xxx