I have not taken a real vacation with my son in years. We’ve gone away for blogging conferences and I’ve added a day or two extra for exploring different cities, we’ve gone away for his AAU tournaments and had lots of fun with his friends, and we’ve gone to visit family but we haven’t done a true vacation that’s only about getting away. I can’t believe how much it’s helped us.
Health Benefits – In today’s world we are so stressed. I am a single mom running a business and raising a teenager so I definitely get stressed. My son gets awesome grades and plays several competitive sports so he has a lot to manage too. Getting away was perfect for us because we had to just let go of everything. We both let ourselves float in the water, first we focused on what we were grateful for (not hard when you’re in Aruba), then we just focused on our breathing and clearing our minds. We did this every single day and I felt a big difference. Before I went on vacation, my heart was racing and my left arm was going numb – I felt like I was having heart attacks all the time! While in Aruba, that didn’t happen once and it hasn’t happened since I got back. The impact of stress on our bodies can destroy our health so taking time away to relax is crucial.
Reconnects families – My son and I are pretty close considering he’s a teenager and wants to do everything but hang out with me most of the time. While we were in Aruba, I wasn’t the rule maker or the person forcing him to do homework, I was someone to have fun with. We spent time together just having fun. We went on a submarine ride, we went on a wild tour, we hung out on the beach and in the pool, and we ate every meal together. Not only did we have fun but we talked a lot. Before we left, I used to hug my son a lot and he’d reluctantly give me half-hearted hugs back. Since we got back, he gives me huge bear hugs back when I hug him. I know that’s not a major change but I think it shows that he feels closer to me and, as a mom, it’s absolutely priceless.
Imparts Values – Since I spent time with my son, we had many opportunities to talk about things that are important. There’s a lot of drinking and partying in Aruba and we discussed the difference between having a few drinks on vacation versus living a “partying” lifestyle. I had quite a few piña coladas in Aruba which Ty asked about because I really don’t drink at all. I talked to him about sipping on drinks versus getting drunk. I also had the opportunity to model good behavior while at our resorts party night. He saw me take drinks but put them down without finishing them. I danced and had so much fun with everyone there but never let myself get drunk or out of control which I pointed out to him after. I think at his age, it’s important for him to know that you can party and have fun without getting wasted.
Educates – We learned so much about the island of Aruba and other cultures. One thing I always make it a point to do is go on one tour while on vacation just to learn about the place we’re staying. Tours are a great way to get new knowledge into your kids while having fun. Just meeting new people is a great way to learn about different places. We met so many people from so many different cultures. One of my son’s favorite waiters on our resort was from Comumbia and he’s determined to be able to speak Spanish with him when we go back next year. Just not having to push him to do his Spanish homework for the next year was worth the expense of the vacation!
Creates Memories – What is your childhood other than the memories you carry with you? I want my son to have the best memories of his family and his childhood and this vacation accomplished that. We had so many beautiful experiences and brought home gorgeous pictures (you can see more of them here) and it’s something that none of us will ever forget.