Right now, my son is my antithesis. Here I am, struggling to juggle my many tasks and attempting to shorten my to-do list, while he is in stress-free holiday mode – a wide smile fixed to his face, a spring in his every step and boundless enthusiasm to take on the adventures of another day. Oh! The bliss of being a child! I can’t help but think of myself at that special time. And, so I have been digging into my treasure trove of childhood memories. Even with limited resources, it was the best time of my life!
As I look at the many paper jets my son has scattered all over the room (yes, paper jets are his recent obsession) I take a jet straight to my childhood. These are some of my favourite memories that didn’t cost a fortune, but gave me a fortune of happiness in return.
1. A trip to the beach – always free, always fun! Whoever coined the phrase VITAMIN SEA was brilliant! A visit to the beach, whether swimming or sinking my toes into the sand and writing my name, complete with hearts, lifted my mood instantly. The only time I would jump out was, was at the sight out of crabs or bluebottles.
2. Road trips – the most common being the then long haul from Durban to Johannesburg. With lots of family members in Johannesburg, it was the destination of choice. And then, there were family weddings too, that made the journey more magical. 4am wake up call and we would begin with packing padkos – our food for the road generally consisted of sandwiches, Indian savouries, junk food and a warm of flask of tea, which was empty in less than two hours. Then it was a matter of rounding up the troops – cousins and connections driving in convoy. At pit stops we would all change the vehicles we were sitting in to get a chance to chat to each other. There was lots of singing – often off-sync and out of tune – but we bonded, and that’s all that matters. And then there was my essential item – a plastic packet aka a barf bag. My motion sickness started when I was young, so most trips had me suffering at least one bout of nausea. It’s become worse over the years so I’m glad that I did those trips while I still could.
3. Board games – whether at home or on holiday, they provided endless enjoyment. We played in teams, we played against each other, we learnt some tricks and we learnt to identify the cheaters too! Again, it was the spirit of being together that was the ultimate winner.
4. Movies – these were an absolute treat! Going to the cinema was never taken for granted. It was a rarity. My sisters and I were always on our best behaviour, in anticipation that there would be another movie date soon. The first movie I watched in the cinema was Curly Sue – and I loved it!
5. Visiting flea markets – my favourite place to buy books. It was planned, either the first or last Sunday of the month. I would be brimming with excitement the entire week and by the time Sunday arrived, I could no longer contain myself. My father accompanied me as I spent hours searching for the best books and adding to my collection. Each book has a memory attached to it, and when I look at them on my bookshelf, still in pristine condition at my parent’s home, those memories warm my heart. My love for reading grew thanks to those visits to the flea markets and naturally I fell in love with the process of writing. I can’t imagine my life without reading and writing.
Ah! The memories! What a cathartic experience it was to walk back into my childhood. I already feel energised to take on the day. C’mon! Join me in this journey and #BeAKidAgain.
In celebration of Youth Month, Travelstart has launched this brilliant competition called the Paper Jet Challenge. All you have to do is get thinking about your favourite childhood memories, turn it into a video and enter the competition here!
Paper Jet Challenge
Remember to nominate friends and family members to enter too. Let your imagination run wild because the main prize is a trip for two to Zanzibar. Can I see you doing the happy dance already?
High up on my bucket list, Zanzibar is beautiful country off the coast of Tanzania, offering an idyllic getaway for honeymooners and families alike. And while the blue, picturesque waters may be the main attractions, there’s lots more. For the adrenaline junkies,there’s a range of diving activities and jet skis too. For the history enthusiasts like myself, the confluence of Arabic, Indian, African, Persian and European cultures brings old buildings and bazaars to life.
You can experience all this, without breaking your budget.
If you enter the Paper Jet challenge you could experience this for free! What are you waiting for? You have until the 7th of July 2018 to enter, so get your entry in as soon as possible!
This post was written in collaboration with Travelstart.