Everyone needs a vacation.

No matter who you are, or what you do for a living, it’s always good for the mind, body and soul to get some R&R. Nothing feels better than shutting down for a few days or weeks to recharge and get away from the daily grind. After the topsy turvy year we had, we NEEDED to get away from it all.

We decided to take a vacation overseas which was a bit risky considering the long plane ride might not agree with our overactive son who can barely sit still for more than ten minutes. We just said “screw it”, we’ll deal with whatever it is we’re faced with. And with that, we booked our flights and didn’t look back.

Navigating the airport wasn’t easy. Max wanted to look at every conveyor belt hauling suitcases to wherever it is they go after they’ve been tagged. He wanted to ride every escalator and every elevator in sight. There wasn’t really a moment for my husband and I to unwind after the stressful process of going through airport security with an eager and hyper child.

Once on the plane, Max was very happy and excited. He enjoyed the experience of being on the airplane — until we took off. About an hour into our 11 hour flight, Max shouted “All done plane!”.  My husband looked at me with fear in his eyes, I likely had the same expression on my face, we had a ticking time bomb on our hands.  I miraculously managed to redirect our son with food and an iPad and he was happy once again.

Once we arrived at our destination, I won’t say everything was gumdrops on roses, we certainly faced a few challenges.  The seven hour time difference and the extreme heat didn’t help.  I suppose Max’s tantrums were to be expected. My husband was frustrated and worried that our vacation would be ruined because of Max’s behaviour, he was ready to book a flight back home after only two days – no joke.  

However, once we visited the beach, it was a total game-changer.  Max’s mood changed.  He was calm and happy.  He craved touching the sand and feeling the warm sea water on his body. When my husband and I felt we had enough beach time, it took a lot of negotiating to get Max to agree to leave.  It was exactly what he needed.  This photo (inset) is of Max sitting on the sand, watching the waves as the sun was setting.


This is one of my favourite photos taken on our trip.

In addition to the long and strenuous year my husband and I faced, Max had his share of stress, too.  He was starting to loathe school. Every morning felt like groundhog day.  We would have to hold him down just to get his shoes on.  He would run away from me. He would scream and cry and refuse to leave the house.  This went on for months.  In addition to this daily stress, Max was also starting to dread seeing his therapists, one in particular.  He was never happy to see her and when he did, he would always tell her to go away.  It broke my heart and I knew then that he was in desperate need of a break.  He needed a vacation.

Max works hard everyday.  There are a lot of expectations put on him, and he knows it.  He has to ‘perform’ and he’s not always up to the task.  It isn’t just adults who need vacations, our kids do too. 

We’ve been back for a few days now and Max is calmer, less defiant.  He’s laughing a lot more than he did prior to our vacation and he is much more relaxed.

Our trip had its ups and downs, I won’t say it was perfect.  But in the grand scheme of things, considering many of our daily challenges, I’ll say it was pretty damn great.  I cherish every moment we had together as a family, it was wonderful.

We all face enormous challenges everyday.  Taking a vacation together, as a family, can be one of the bigger challenges.  But if you’ve been longing for a family vacation, just do it.  Plan ahead, do your research and be prepared.  It will be so worthwhile.