Awe-inspiring Africa images I’ve taken whilst here in Kenya. A world away from the corporate world. A real breath of fresh air delivering life-changing awareness of how disparate our lives are.
Wow wow and double wow. Despite Turkish Airlines trying to scupper the perfect safari plans, we did it!
Following months of travel plans and trepidation, me and my wonderful friend landed in Mombasa a few days ago and have experienced an explosion to our senses. From spotting a lioness on the prowl, bouncing 5 hours along dust roads, to tasting local chocolate delicacies, and passing the shanty towns sprawling out from all corners of the country, Kenya gives you so much more than you could ever imagine.
The vast size of Kenya is mind-boggling and it feels like I’ve travelled the length and breadth! From Tsavo East National Park, to Amboseli, Kilimanjaro and Tsavo West. We head to Shimba Hills tomorrow to visit an orphanage which will be heart wrenching but we’ve brought suitcases full of toys, pens and shoes…. We nearly didn’t get them through customs though, they were going to charge tax on every toy and gift!
Despite the intense awareness that the country still has huge steps to take to compete on the world stage economically, culturally it is leaps ahead. They are proud of their African heritage and we have seen the close communities working together on such a microlevel it shames us. We live such independent lives often without daily contact with our family and neighbours, we forget the importance of network, support and sharing. The majority here live in mud huts but have a village network feeding and supporting them, we have solid brick walls but rarely come together as a community.
I shall definitely return with my kids – a real eye opener to vast spectrum of poverty and diversity.
We have lots to learn.
It was a beautiful cloudless sky overlooking the sea and standing out on the cliffs was another of those moments when you realise how lucky you are.
I ran off the beaten track and found a secluded beach. Very very tempted to dive straight in but only had one kiddifree hour so continued along the dusty coastal path.
Got a bit carried away with the beauty of the views, turned around and the sheer climb back to the road was huge! The shingle was a nightmare too so it was a very slow jog back up in the midday sun. Huge climbs nearly always have a gift of an awesome view, and today was no exception.
Didn’t see another soul, the views and vista were incredible. I love the feeling when looking out to sea of being a tiny insignificant speck in the huge world we live in. We all get consumed in the minutiae of our own lives-running by the sea puts everything into clear perspective. Whatever worries are not worth it- the world keeps spinning and the waves keep rolling.
Single mum in Spain Synopsis
Holidaying solo in Spain with the kids has been fantastic. A huge sense of achievement rolls over me every night when they’re fast asleep in bed and I sit back and smile over all the fun and games we’ve had that day.
Not having another adult to rely on is actually easier because you don’t depend on anyone but yourself, so when we head out its up to me to remember everything from the lotion, the lilos, the water to the crisps and the goggles! Then if I leave something there’s no blame and we ‘roll with it’. Watching couples and kids out here it’s easy to see how we can cruise into quite a negative dynamic with parents stressing over the kids and the kids causing stress on the adults. Take one adult out of the dynamic and there’s no one to nag or stress with-all calm (apart from dive bombs in the pool!). I’ve learnt a lot being single and having to do it alone will make me more aware when back in a relationship.
My mum came out for a couple of days and it completely changed the whole dynamic. Somehow
I started our adventure with apprehension; knowing that I would manage but wondering how much fun it would be. We’ve had a ball. A few moans to be expected, but very short-lived and the kids have been amazing. We’ve had pool parties, had Hawaiian birthday bashes, mexican meals and made lots of friends. It’s been a real awakening into how perfect life can be with the right mindset-you can make it what you want.
Why’s daddy not here on holiday?
The witch in me would love to answer honestly, but I know that would be an evil and irresponsible response!
Whilst I’m playing beach ball, sharks in the pool and grandmas footsteps with my brilliant brood, he’s living up to his Peter Pan persona in Dubai with his latest squeeze.
Not what the kids want or need to know.
But when do I tell them the truth and how much? They are simply too young to understand and ‘divorce’ doesn’t even register in their world or vocabulary.
We separated three years ago when my youngest was just 8 months old and the eldest was 4 years. They have grown up with parted parents as their normality. They see him during the week at bedtime and his house every other weekend. But the time has come when my eldest is asking why I can’t go with them and dad to Italy and why he’s not here in Spain.
The main impetus to start sowing the divorce seed is that the latest squeeze is being introduced to the kids after the hols. Major change in dynamics – as the kids haven’t acknowledged that mum and dad don’t love each other and aren’t living together. Strange but true.
I have no venom, just want them to understand and be happy. But also in the back of my head I want them to know at some stage that what he did was very wrong – I would be devastated if my boys followed in their father’s philandering footsteps. I know it’s his job to tell them the truth-but will he really? My assumption is he’ll don his rose-tinted Ray bans 😉
A time to reflect
I suppose summer hols should be used as a chance to stop, standstill and reflect into the windows of our world.
I’m a manic, single, career mum who rides on the adrenalin of keeping all the balls in the air. Stopping and just chilling feels alien and hence rather a lot of blogs all of a sudden!
My thoughts of today are hovering over all that is our family’s divided life. A product of a single parent I have a lot of experience to draw upon, but when I got married it was a ‘forever’ vow for me. I have always had a determination not to bring my kids up with split parents. I now do feel naive and a ‘numpty’ really! As Britain has highest divorce rates in EU at nearly 50%. But despite a lot of awkward and desperate days the husband’s philandering got too much.
With wonderful hindsight, I can guarantee I’m happier, but there will always be the regular hurt and disappointment of not being able to give my kids the cohesive 2.4 I always longed for as a kid.
With external objectivity everyone who meets us comments on how happy we all are, so must be doing something right-may be I over compensate though. I regularly burn myself out juggling being MD, mum, mate and MILF haha! ensuring I do school pick up, cook all meals as well as after school club chaos in between directing all business activity, going out with the girls and running Marathons. Knackered just writing it down!
Dating seems to be last on my priority list. The ex seems to have easily shifted his gear up a knotch (not surprising) and after this holiday I will have the heart wrenching debacle that is him introducing the kids to his new partner.
Lots of reflection and more to follow…