As BattleKid and I travel around the southern half of Ireland on our road trip, in what I hope will be one of our best holidays, I have the pleasure of having another guest blogger on the blog. This time in my Best and Worst Holidays Series I have a little something different. Julie from Pondering Parenthood is sharing with us her best and worst holidays as a couple. Over to you Julie.
Best and Worst Holidays as a Couple
The best and worst holidays I’ve ever been can be covered by one trip! It has to be my last holiday abroad; my honeymoon. We spent three nights in Dubai, followed by nine nights in Mauritius. We’d never visited either place before. My husband and I love to travel and experience new places, and while we were only planning to visit Mauritius for our honeymoon, when we realised it would actually be cheaper to visit Dubai on the way for a stopover, our decision to visit both places was quickly made!
Dubai is the strangest place. As it’s such a new city, it lacks any kind of history really. We did visit the old city and souks as part of a day trip, but to be honest it didn’t appeal to us. I think because it was too fast-paced and far too hot to be able to walk around and explore properly. Our hotel suite was beautiful, but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to return. We felt too trapped by having to stay indoors with the air conditioning!
The other thing that put a dampener on our stay in Dubai was that the food in the buffet-style restaurant wasn’t labelled very well, so I inadvertently ate a salad that I thought was labelled gluten free, but actually contained gluten. This was a bit of a disaster for my poor digestive system for several days, even after we’d arrived in Mauritius, so perhaps that’s another reason why I don’t think of Dubai particularly fondly!
On to Mauritius though, and what I would say is the best holiday I’ve ever had. We stayed in at a beautiful spa resort, with private villas in gardens that were right next to the beach. I don’t like the weather to be too hot, so Mauritius was a welcome change from Dubai, as we visited in August, when the temperature was a fairly steady 23ºC.
We’d received excellent advice on where to stay from our travel agent at Kuoni as, when we hired a car to explore the island, we discovered that different parts of Mauritius actually have their own micro-climate. So it could be throwing it down with rain on one part of the island, but beautifully dry and sunny in another part, just a 45 minute drive away. Fortunately, our resort was in the sunny part, and we never saw a drop of rain there!
Mauritius was everything that we wanted our honeymoon to be. We stumbled upon a tour guide and arranged a private tour with him – he rode around on his moped and we followed in our hire car. I don’t remember how much it cost but for the amazing amount we learned and saw that day, it was well worth it! He took us to a beautiful Hindu temple, where we received blessings from a priest; to a model-making workshop where they make the most intricately detailed model boats; to an amazing café where all the Mauritian taxi drivers go for ‘proper’ Mauritian food; and to a range of beautiful natural landmarks that we’d never have been able to find without his local knowledge. It really was a magical day!
The resort itself was beautiful too, with a lovely spa. I enjoyed a reiki session and we also had a couples’ massage. The rest of the spa facilities were free to use whenever you liked, and surprisingly whenever we visited we had the place to ourselves, which was great.
The story couldn’t have been more different to Dubai regarding my dietary requirements, either. I think the resort chef took it as his own personal challenge to spoil me and had a butler deliver handmade gluten free treats to my room daily! Little touches like this just made the whole stay so special. We’d definitely go back to Mauritius again in the future!
Thanks so much to Julie for sharing her story with us. Wow, it’s not often you read about the one holiday being both the best and worst someone has had. I’m glad Mauritius was the best part as I’d love to visit one day.
Julie is a primary teacher, and parenting and lifestyle blogger at Pondering Parenthood. and is based in Norwich. She lives with her husband and daughter, M (with another on the way!) and writes about their lives together as well as play and learning activities for toddlers, honest product reviews and days out. She can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.