There’s nothing I love more in life than travelling. I love experiencing other cultures. At least, the old me did. The pre-motherhood me. The girl with the fresh face and spontaneous nature. Since having children, my travels have come to an abrupt halt and being spontaneous is just plain stressful...
For us, travelling with young children always seems to involve epic meltdowns at airports, raging cases of croup etc – which is why for the next year or two, Asia is as far as we will go as a family. I’ve done England with a six-month-old and needed a holiday to recover from our holiday. I can’t wait until our girls are a little older and I can show them the world and take them to far-flung destinations such as South America, but for now, it’s either seeing Australia or venturing to Asia (and even that requires a lot of preparation and planning).
Since the girls arrived, we’ve been to Bali twice. It’s one of my favourite places to visit as a family. We recently visited Club Med’s all inclusive family resort in Nusa Dua and couldn’t have had more relaxing week. For once I arrived home feeling refreshed (ok, maybe not after the six-hour flight back to Sydney that took off at midnight. Possibly the WORST flight in the world).
The girls spent the week doing nature walks and painting at kids club, while we actually got a holiday and time alone as a couple by the adults-only pool (hello, I’m Georgie, your wife and mother of your offspring, remember me?). It was great to remember I am a wife as well as a mother.
In the afternoon, we’d pick our girls up from kids club and all head to the main pool where we spent quality time together as a family. There was no washing to do, no sticky floors to mop, no dinner to prepare, no high chair to wipe down – just us hanging out at the pool as a family (there’s even a shallow part of the pool where the girls could stand up in). We’d then head to the bar by the beach and all have a drink while the sun went down. On our first day, we checked the girls into kids club then headed to the adults-only pool. A few hours later, I felt guilty we weren’t with them (yes, you never get a holiday from mother’s guilt) so we headed over to the beach to find them making sandcastles on the beach with the other children having a great time. They didn’t want to leave. The next day, I didn’t feel so bad. And the day after that, we just enjoyed the time to ourselves by the pool. The whole place is geared towards children having fun and adults chilling out. The staff (known as G.O.s – short for “Gentil Organisateur”) come from around the world and are very friendly and energetic. Basically, if you’ve run out of steam and need a break from entertaining your kids, they’re available to help. There are 80+ Club Med villages around the world, varying from beach resorts to ski resorts. The Club Med Bali village is in the tourist enclave of Nusa Dua and has recently undergone a huge makeover. You can tell – the grounds are immaculate and both pools are spectacular. Now onto the food. I don’t think I’ve been on a buffet holiday since I was a kid and as it turned out, it’s just as much fun as an adult. It’s even more appealing when you’re a mother with two hungry toddlers. You can get the food to your children quickly before the meltdowns start (or is that just my kids?). There’s plenty of fresh, healthy options and the menu changed each night. A la carte dining is available at the Deck restaurant which is the ‘fancy’ option at the resort. There are nannies available to babysit if you want to go out to dinner without the kids. We did this on the first night then spent the rest of the time dining at the buffet with the girls. There’s also a spa where we had a heavenly couple’s massage and lots of extra activities such as tennis, golf, waterskiing, snorkeling, canoeing, flying trapeze as well as lots of sightseeing around Bali. I have to admit: we didn’t do any activities. I’ve been to Bali many times and for once, just wanted to do absolutely nothing. Being all-inclusive (other than the Baby and Petit Club Med for small children, which isn’t included) it’s nice not having to sign a bill every time you have a drink (or your fifth Campari by the pool – it’s totally acceptable to start drinking at midday on holidays, right?). This is a fantastic family holiday if you want some time out as a couple but also time to reconnect as a family. It was the perfect balance – half the day at the ‘Zen Pool’ and half the day (ok, maybe less) as a family. As much as I adore my girls, we all need a little break from time to time. I felt like I had a big break on this holiday and everyone benefited from it. This was the first time I’d ever been to a Club Med and I’m officially hooked. Next stop: skiing in France? Give me a year or two and we’re there. For more information, go to www.clubmed.com.au