The Daily Telegraph
‘We’ve missed the chance to have one last big family holiday’
Two years ago, on a bucket-list trip with my family in South America, I remember pausing often to savour the many special moments in the knowledge that our holidays as a tight-knit family unit had a shelf life. Complacently, I took comfort in the knowledge that we still had a couple of years to squeeze in some more exciting travel before our eldest fled the nest for adventures of his own. I scroll through those holiday photos now with a measure of disbelief that we even did that. A weirdly parallel universe in a time of travel freedom.
This year, as last, the criteria for a family holiday has been “anywhere that is not our house and where we’re not going to constantly bump into people from school or work”. We haven’t dared to book anything for this summer.
It’s a summer where, in another landscape, we would be pushing the boat out, eagerly dipping our toes in other cultures and exploring together. This could have been the summer of our last big holiday with all the children, and we’d have been making the most of the time before they are adults and only want to come on holiday with us because we’re paying.
We had hoped that this summer would be a celebratory one, a reward for the kids for their forbearance and an opportunity for us as parents to attend events to ceremoniously mark their passage into the next chapter of their lives. Instead, everything will be cancelled or on a very much reduced scale. Over time, we’ve found ourselves inured to things being taken away.
Another “freedom day” postponed. A year of lost opportunity. That’s the saddest thing of all.