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Why it's healthy to go on a holiday without the kids every once in a while

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Right before you leave, a trip without children always feels unnecessary. What if something bad happens to one of the kids, or to me? Or what if nothing bad happens, and I’ll enjoy myself?

I recently caught my eldest son talking to his grandma – my mom- about happiness. She said, as you grow older, you become happier and happier. My son said that, regardless of a few little things, he was already quite happy. And he said that if the happiness would only grow from now – he’s eleven years old – that he would spend his last days jumping on a trampoline in his backyard.

Me-time

Every once in a while I go on a trip without my kids. Usually I go with my boyfriend, sometimes with a friend. This time, I went on my own. A trip like that always seems like a silly idea in the hours before I leave. Since I have kids, they are the main reason for living. Usually, I have about two hours of ‘me-time’ a week, that’s it. But now, I will have a whole week for me time and surfing and yoga and massages and good food without having to cook and basically everything anyone could wish for – and that’s a delightful and horrible idea at the same time. What if something bad happens to one of the kids, or to me? Or what if nothing bad happens and I’ll enjoy myself? In both cases, the consequences for normal life are hard to unpredictable.

The holiday will take place in Imsouane, a small village on the Moroccan coast, about two hours from Agadir. I’m cheering inside and simultaneously feeling guilty even before I’ve left. 

The sound of the sea is what I need

When we arrive it’s dark, the thunder of the ocean is sounding in the background. With the city still in my head, it sounds like a highway. The next morning, the sea sounds like something you need around you all the time, like the opposite of a highway. Both in yoga and longboarding, you are forced to get out of your head and into the moment. When the sun is shining, the people are friendly, the food is nice and the sea is like magic – the Imsouane bay is called ‘the magic bay’ – being pushed into the moment turns out to be fine.

Under a sparkling starry sky

The evening yoga class starts a bit later than scheduled – just like everything around here. The air has cooled off. We practice yoga outside, on the roof, everyone is wearing sweaters, some of them even a coat. It’s a lesson in restoration focused on letting our muscles relax, it doesn’t warm us. Then I notice. I look at the ceiling, and I see thousands of stars.

We stretch and stretch under a sparkling starry sky and all of a sudden, all the exercises are fantastic and I want them to last longer. I want this whole class to last for the entire night. Apart from the sound of the ocean, all is quiet. Inside, too. There are times when I feel like I’m already jumping on that trampoline of happiness.  

Text: Pauline Bijster - Photo: Filipp Nekhaev