The Hawaiian Islands always strike me as somewhere beautiful, laid back, with a warm climate and steeped in culture. I have always wanted to visit, and this part of the world is on my travel bucket list! Maui is famous for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and stunning waterfalls, doesn’t it sound amazing? Now our British summer is over and our holiday is a distant memory, there’s something about surfing the travel websites for future holiday inspiration that makes me want to book a flight and check out the Maui rentals to find a vacation home on the beach!
We’ve had some amazing family holidays in recent years. One that stands out in particular was our trip to Mexico where we had such a chilled out break that I managed to read 10 books, but we also got to swim with dolphins and get close to the sea lions and manatees. It was the sort of thing we will remember and talk about for years, and this is exactly what I love about our vacations. Doing things out of the norm and having these new experiences with our children.
We went swimming with Tachi and John today- these beautiful boy dolphins. They are so clever and very sweet- we got 203 photos in all at this morning’s fun! #swimmingwithdolphins #dolphindiscovery #photooftheday #swim #swimming #water #tropical #saltwater #freshwater #beautiful #ocean #littlestoriesofmylife #familyvacation #familyvacay #igersmexico #dolphins #dolphinswimming
Many years ago before we started our family, I was on a work treadmill, trying to build a career in a highly pressured industry and life really was ‘all work and no play’. We couldn’t afford to take fancy holidays and for many years in our mid twenties, we worked to pay to live and that was it. This kind of life is the reality for many people but it really does take its toll on your health. I probably didn’t help things, I didn’t exercise, didn’t eat particularly healthily and because I was so exhausted from the day job, my evenings and weekends were spent recovering my energy so I could go out on Monday morning and do the whole week again – I had no social life either. Getting into this kind of negative spiral was unintentional and now I am out of it I can see the warning signs I should have paid attention to, but my weight creeped up, my mood became low and I couldn’t figure out how to be happy.
From that place to where I am now is a million miles away. Now I have my happy and positive life, and it started with gratitude. I believe that in order to have an abundance of blessings you have to first appreciate the ones you have to start with, then the universe sends you more. When you are at rock bottom it can be hard to see the blessings, but mine were the roof over my head each day. It may have cost me everything I had to keep the roof over my head but it was there – for some people, it is not. If it is a sunny day, that is a blessing that the world send you for free. Some people notice things like this – I do. Many people do not. They move through life not noticing the green grass and the flowers, the late autumn sunshine and how it casts a golden glow on everything it touches – making landscape photos look more beautiful as the lighting is so great! There is a famous quote by artist Henri Matisse: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them” It is so true.
People dream about paradise, getting away, escaping and the travel industry often uses these words to sell you a holiday, but it is possible to find paradise without spending a penny – when it comes from within. Paradise is an attitude that you can cultivate with daily mindful practise. It isn’t easy but it is possible. I do love to travel and have fantastic holidays and I’d love to venture out to the Hawaiian islands one day in the future, but until then, I will continue to nurture my paradise here at home.