The Journey or the Destination – Which is More Important?

I wrote this while sitting enjoying a refreshing sea breeze on a boat bound for three beautiful Croatian islands. We enjoyed swimming in clear turquoise waters, a lunch of freshly-grilled fish and salad and an unlimited bar.
The last year has been quite a challenge, to put mildly, and I was really looking forward to a week away from it all. For me, the whole process of choosing, booking and anticipating  adds to the experience of travelling. Choosing the destination is exciting. I had never been to Croatia before but from what I heard it was gorgeous (it is!) I’d done lots of research online and I chose a charming old hotel with views of the harbour.

I knew what our view would be like from the terrace and what  we might see from from our sunset walk around the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik. The prospect of this holiday has sustained me for the last few months, and added an extra shape to my days. Having a goal can certainly do this. I also try to savour each step in the lead-up to departure – shopping for holiday clothes, writing a list of everything I need. We got to the airport in plenty of time, so as to allow a leisurely breakfast and a mooch around the Duty Free. My travelling treat is a purchase of my favourite Chanel fragrance. It’s important to treat yourself and this little ritual adds fun to flying for me.

20525964_10155477008263376_2308002772248920820_nLuckily, the reality has been even better. It was my first holiday with my boyfriend and we have had  a wonderfully relaxing, fun time. But I’m glad I have taken time to enjoy the journey, not just focusing on the destination. And rest assured, I made sure to savour every precious moment of the trip, rather than dwelling on how soon we would be departing for normal life back in the UK.

Many parents I meet and work with get a bit bogged down with trying to plan for their future or manage the myriad tasks that being a parent  (especially a single parent) can involve. Occasionally they forget what it’s all for. They forget to enjoy the journey. So take a deep breath today. Slow down, look around and see which bits of life’s journey you could be eking more enjoyment from.

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Football Fever

The opening ceremony in Brazil last night kicked off the World Cup and England is gripped by Football Fever. I have a Spanish student staying for the next month and he is a football fanatic. I managed to find a lesson plan all about Brazil and Pele and for the last two days I have been teaching him English football terminology. Teaching a language is all about finding ways to engage your student, so that enthusiasm and the desire to communicate provide the means and motivation required for learning. After lessons he does activities and knowing how keen he is on sport I have lined up a cycle ride with my husband and eldest son, a tennis lesson, golf and today’s activity is badminton with me and my friends (my regular Friday fixture). I’ve got to throw in some culture too, so there’ll be some sightseeing too but I’m pretty confident that he’ll have a good time, as well as improving his fluency.

Organising his agenda takes me back to the days when my boys were little and all the sports and after- school activities I encouraged them to partake in – football, swimming, karate, athletics and drama to name a few…this took time, money and effort but as some of the single mums I interviewed for my book pointed out, the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. One spoke of how cheering your child on from the sidelines can actually lead to new friendships with the other parents there. Everyone agreed that it was important to encourage their interests and as one lady pointed out, you do it because your kids’ happiness is the most important thing.

“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available on Amazon and hits the shops on 1st July. If you’d like to meet me in person and get a signed copy of the book, do join me at my book launch on Friday 4th July, 7.30 pm at The Steyning Bookshop, High Street, Sreyning, West Sussex.