I never expected to experience so many new things on a package holiday to Lanzarote. I envisaged more exotic, far-flung destinations for my travels. But this little spanish island was a good start. It confirmed to me even more that I want to spend the rest of my life experiencing and finding adventure.
It has been 7 years since we went on a family holiday, so expectation and excitement was high as we packed our suitcases and headed to the airport. I have passed through Gatwick Airport train station numerous times during our various day trips to London. Looking at all the people passing through green with envy. But this time it was my turn to get off at the station, pulling my suitcase and clutching my passport. I hope someone looked at us and wondered which country we would wake up in tomorrow. The buzz of the airport only added to the excitement, although having only flown once before both me and my daughter were a little nervous. The parent in me kicked in, and as I have tried to do all her life I displayed a calm exterior to soothe her nerves about getting into a huge, metal object and going up to heights of 54,000 feet. I am looking forward to flying becoming as much of a habit as getting into a car during my adventures.
Hot, is an understatement to describe the weather in Lanzarote. I don’t think we have ever felt temperatures like it. This presented me with a slight confidence battle. I have never managed to emulate the celebrity culture and snap back into shape after giving birth. In fact, I am heavier now then I was at 9 months pregnant. My weight and appearance has been a constant issue affecting my confidence in the last 15 years and the thought of swimwear terrified me before we had even got to the beach. I decided to not let it affect my holiday and I am always conscious of displaying a positive body image to my very impressionable daughter. So, I flaunted my bare arms and sun bathed in my bikini. Surprisingly, I felt quite good about myself and it was liberating. Maybe in my 30’s I have final called a truce with my body. After all, my body did grow, carry and give birth to human.
I have never had a happy relationship with water, in fact I hated swimming, wouldnt step foot in the sea, despite living 30 seconds from it. But for some reason, I decided to jump in feet first (actually I waded in slowly from the shallow end) and cure my fear of water. It was great fun, experiencing something with my daughter that we have never done before. I even braved the sea and tried desperately to eradicate the Jaws theme tune from my head.
We planned two excursions, both which include water and swimming. Our first up was a boat trip to an uninhabited island. After about 10 minutes convinced I was going to embarrass myself by heaving over the side, I found my sea legs. I even sat on the nets at the front of the boat and could see the clear blue water rushing past underneath me. I hadn’t realised that we would have to leave the comfort of our relatively big boat and climb into a rowing boat to reach the beach. All I could think about was the Titanic (women and children only). Uncomfortable, nervous and worried, were all the emotions I felt as 15 people clambered into this small boat, we made it and it was so worth it. We had reached paradise. I have never seen sand so white or a sea so clear and blue, dwarfed by a huge yellow mountain. The view wetted my appetite for the views and sights to come in the future. Husband and daughter decided to try snorkeling, having been brave just to get here, I thought I was content with a paddle and a sunbathe. Nope, that’s not going to be me, so I put on the goggles and under I went. It was an amazing sight and feeling, swimming amongst the fish. To top it off, I was the only I who could get the breathing right, I was pretending to be the Little Mermaid, whilst they tried to learn to breathe in and out through their mouths.
For our second trip, we went to a water park. Again this wouldn’t be a place of comfort for me, but off I went anyway. Again, I surprised myself, flying down slides, throwing myself round bends and forgetting to hold my nose when I made a splash landing.
This holiday has made me push through my insecurities and fears and it felt amazing. Who knows what I will overcome, encounter and experience in the future. I’m excited to find out.