7 key practices to survive a holiday with your family as an adult (and an introvert!)
How to go on holiday with your family as an adult and survive!
It wasn’t the reason I created Boundaried but it should come as no surprise that the course content has come in very handy over the last couple of weeks as I traveled through South Africa with my family for the first time in many years and certainly as the first time as an adult!
My sister, Dad, Step-mum and younger brother have been bunking in together for my younger sisters wedding in Franshoek near Cape Town South Africa. My sister and I are 44 and 42 my brother is only 22.
It’s been 35 years since my sister and I have lived together and even longer since I spent any length of time living with my parents. I did wonder how we would get on with all the differences in personality, energy and food requirements.
What I realised is that the practices in Boundaried have served as a great reminder to me on how to travel well, and avoid the kind of conflict that can happen when personalities, over tiredness and the odd dose of hangry mix.
And this doesn’t of course have to be reserved to travelling with family.
I’ve taken few of the modules out of Boundaried and unpacked them in a real life on the road kind of way.
My sister and I only had a couple of spats, which if you asked my sister she would say that they didn’t happen at all 🙂
So I think this could be helpful if you find yourself traveling in a pack, and need to know you won’t lose your mind. Especially if you’re an introverted or HSP human.
Take up space
Find a cafe, the back garden, the kitchen table with your headphone on. There will be a space somewhere where you can do your thing, have a breather and connect with your values and nourish your needs even if its for half an hour. eg I got up earlier than everyone else and had solo breakfast time or zipped out to a cafe.
Keep this in mind if you are hiring cars. It might seem prudent to minimise drivers based on a financial need but if you know you will go crazy not being able to zip down the road on your timeline then it’s worth the investment.
This applies also to rooms and privacy if you’re travelling with small children or you and your spouse are hoping for romantic interludes then you might want to splurge on separate accomodation based on your timelines.
I love noise cancelling headphones and her meditones are magic at helping you find your centre again.
Know your values and communicate them early on.
Your values might pertain to type of food, hours of sleep, time to exercise, the kinds of site seeing you enjoy. You don’t have to all be glued at the hip. If two want to see the aquarium then you can go you can go shopping and your sister might amble around an art gallery before meeting up for a fabulous dinner at a pre-arranged time and place.
Your dad probably isn’t going to go to that Vegan restaurant but he might be persuaded to try coconut ice-cream on a hot day. Pick your battles.
Heal your heart.
Bringing the argument of 2001 to the table in 2019 might not be the best plan. Especially if the person in front of you now isn’t the person you were arguing with back then. They have evolved (if they have) and so have you. Be here now give yourself the love care and respect that you need and move on and enjoy what is right in front of you.
Rituals + Routines.
Most of us are a bit lost when separated from our routines for too long, especially if we find ourselves being dragged around a foreign city with someone else routines as a focus.
What rituals and routines would you like to establish on your holiday?
What would help?
Simple things like an early morning shower, a coffee in the park, an afternoon siesta before the nights adventures.
If you’ve travelled before you might have some already established but now is the next best time to create some. I am a very big fan of the spacious morning cuppa. I love a walk in a park to clear my head and get the feel of a big city. This worked a treat last year in London
You are at the heroine of your own story.
Sit down with your journal and write down in past tense how the holiday went as if it’s a grand story with you in the lead role. Where did you go? What was most important? Is this a surprise to you?
What did you love the most and what creative and supporting roles did the rest of your family play on your trip? How did you co-create a fabulous experience? Let the pen roll, the answers might surprise you.
Discernment means to judge well. This might look like putting your foot down when you get that funny feeling about a particular taxi driver, location or bill.
Depending on how well travelled the rest of your group are this might actually be your job to hold space for.
I remember when I was travelling in South America in my early 20’s. We pulled up after an over night bus trip to Santiago very tired after climbing a volcano the previous day.
The taxi driver spotted our exhaustion from a mile away, had our stuff in the car before a second man jumped in the passenger seat. I had sensed something was off but I wasn’t yet familiar with that feeling. It was too late when they pulled a knife on us. All is well that ends well but never doubt that feeling.
Learning to Self Soothe.
Someone (or everyone ) is going to piss you off at some point. There is every chance that no-one else in the group will be interested in taking responsibility for their emotional over flow (or that’s how it can seem) The best way to enjoy your time and not re start the feud of 2001 is to learn what you need to self soothe.
Now I have to admit that I was REALLY nervous about this trip. I am a solo traveller from way back and with this trip I had literally done nothing in the planning. Flights, dates, times, accomodation all of it, had been pre-arranged.
Now while I am also very grateful for this experience, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a tad nervous.
So what is it that you need? For me as an introvert I need a little space and a little quiet. Doesn’t even need to be much but I need to know that I can go for a walk, sit in a coffee shop for an hour, read with my headphones in listening to music. Most of these things are readily available, especially as I’ve communicated this to my family.
I also made sure that I knew my needs for the trip. What did I really want to see/ explore /do /experience while I was away, so that if other plans went by the way side or a day got sidetracked I was able to focus in on the primary and essential experiences and not sweat it.
(I even got in a little writing time!)
Funny isn’t it that we need to be reminded as adults to play. Brining humour and creative play to any situation is going to open up more options, diffuse tension and remind you about why you’re on holiday in the first place!
All these practices and topics are explored at greater length across 21 days of audios and a tool box full of practices, meditations and handy PDF’s.
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