Paradise looks very, very different after you’ve had a baby.
My last island holiday went something like this: Days packed tightly with back-to-back activity and entertainment, dashing from bike riding to a luxurious massage, grabbing a quick bite to eat before diving into coral-filled waters for more snorkelling. Cocktails at sunset, overlooking the flickering lights of the town below. Dancing with my girlfriends in too-high heels, with dewy make-up thanks to the humid climate and the pace of our moves. Lazy late morning breakfasts, arriving barely a minute before the hotel transitioned into lunch service.
But my little boy, Rafi doesn’t holiday like that.
He’s five-months-old, wants to be constantly entertained, wakes up before dawn and requires more luggage than a Kardashian. So going away with him for the first time, where the purpose of travelling was relaxation, seemed rather ridiculous. After 20 long weeks of being a mum, I was finally getting the hang of things. I was also emotionally and physically exhausted. While the idea of a holiday with my husband was incredibly alluring, the prospect of taking baby with us was daunting at best and downright terrifying at worst.
Then the fine people at Hamilton Island stepped in and convinced me I could have both. That I could have aspects of the island holidays I’d enjoyed before (which felt so far removed from my current life, they could have been scenes from Game of Thrones) while also travelling with a baby.
I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t really believe them. The thought “Ha, you clearly don’t have children” crossed my mind several times when I was speaking to the organiser on the phone. She was making promises she couldn’t keep, or at least, promises that my little boy would break on her behalf, I decided. But you know what? I owe the lady who booked our trip a mea culpa, an apology and one massive bear hug… Because she delivered on every single promise.