As bloggers, one thing we’re always accused of (and sometimes, I admit, rightfully so) is painting a glossy picture of idealised lives. Living life through a social media lens encourages disreputable behaviour when it comes to colouring in certain (less than perfect) experiences in order to make them appear flawless to the outside observer, while our grimmest of moments are swiftly swept under the carpet while we pray that nobody noticed.
I’m as guilty as the next
blogger human at doing this. OK, I might have been a little more honest recently about some of the truths about being a mum and offloaded how I feel about having not slept for ten months straight, but what about the other things? The rest of my blog is plastered with shiny images of luxurious five star hotels, exotic travel destinations and fine dining, and while that’s all very pleasant, I sometimes think that what lies behind some of these images would be far more entertaining to my average reader.
Queue a little behind the scenes snoop into what really goes on on our family travels, or some outtakes if you like…enjoy it while you can because tomorrow business will return to normal!
Behind the shiny shots
It probably comes as no surprise that while traveling (or eating at restaurants, or joining friends at social gatherings…or whenever there is a photograph-able moment come to think of it) I am a bit of a nightmare. People are made to stand still for far too long in less than favourable weather conditions, food gets cold, my baby goes into hysterics. But it’s all worth it in the name of a good photo…isn’t it?!
At least 20 minutes and one ruined marriage later….
Behind the beautiful bouncing baby moments
Everybody knows that with a baby in tow nothing ever goes to plan but like most parents I had to learn this the hard way!
Take Sophia’s first ever holiday to Anantara at The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, where we were super excited for her first swim in the idyllic lagoon-like pools. I imagined us cradling her in our arms as we floated in the water, while she giggled and splashed about. However, she had other ideas and as Rich lifted her into the water for the first time, she promptly fell asleep…as she did the next time we went back…and the next!
What can I say, those pools are just too relaxing!
She actually falls asleep at inopportune moments quite a lot on our travels, spoiling some excellent photo opportunities. I was desperate for a family photograph at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque on our recent trip to Abu Dhabi, but once again this happened:
Funnily enough, when we really do want her to sleep while we’re travelling she never actually does. This was me at our ‘romantic’ dinner in Il Teatro at our recent staycation at the Four Seasons Doha. Sophia was supposed to be sleeping soundly in her pram while mummy sipped on wine and daddy whispered sweet nothings in her ear over perfect plates of pasta…but why would she do that when she’d miss out on all the fun?!
We don’t mind her not sleeping much on our travels one bit though because even in the middle of the night, Sophia is always a happy, bubbly and inquisitive baby.
That is, until you put her on a camel…
Whoops! That one won’t be making it into my forthcoming blog post about our stay at the Emirates Palace.
And I probably won’t ever mention that while we have heaps of fun traveling as a family once we’ve actually arrived at our destination, most of the way there and way back is spent like this, while I am crushed back against my seat, praying for the damn flight to be over!
Behind the luxury
On our honeymoon we stayed in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels (remember this one?). However, we also had one experience I would really rather forget. The hotel was in a great location on the Amalfi Coast, with stunning views over Positano from the little balcony in our room.
However, that’s where all features of merit ended. The A/C was broken on Italy’s hottest day of the year. There was no hot water. The wifi didn’t work. On top of this, the staff were rude and continually lied to us about all of the above and when it would be fixed. We couldn’t wait to leave the hotel at the end of the stay and I had to inform the Manager that I definitely would not be writing a blog post about his hotel.
I was mortified as we left. Hopefully this is an experience that we will never have to repeat!
Behind the comfortable expat life
Probably the biggest fallacy of my blog is that our expat life in Doha is ‘perfect’. No, we don’t eat out at fancy restaurants every day of the week. No, we’re not always nipping across the Arabian Gulf for a quick jaunt to the UAE. Actually, a lot of the time we’re working hard at being working parents on no sleep and it’s actually really, bloody hard!
The most difficult part of all is living away from our wonderful family and friends. We spend so much time glued to our phones FaceTiming them that I’m sure Sophia thinks that they’re an extension of our hands!
But right now I’m OK about all this because I’m writing this post from the airport, about to hop on a flight home to see these people and I could not be more excited!
I’m interested to find out how many more travel outtakes that we will accrue on this trip that you guys will never get to see!