It had been 13 years since I told my hubby that I wanted to go to Thailand. We were living in London at the time and were contemplating a move to Australia. We were writing our list of pros and cons to help us make a decision. There were many pros such as beaches, weather, lifestyle and cons such as the cost, moving away from our families (well to be honest, there were some family members we were happy to get away from but that is another story). The one thing that swayed me was when my hubby said, “Just think of holidays in Thailand. It will be so easy to go from Australia.” Well that was it. Although I didn’t say it at the time, I had made up my mind at that moment. The mere thought of being able to go to Thailand was enough for me to uproot myself, our toddler and baby and move to Brisbane, Queensland.
Unsurprisingly, Thailand got left behind in the reality of moving our lives across continents and settling into a new country. It didn’t help that we had two more babies in quick succession soon after arriving. So with four children under the age of six, we were exhausted. Our holidays were spent relaxing on the beaches of Queensland. Not that I was complaining, well not too much, that is. Even I had to admit that there are far worse ways to spend your days.
As the kids got a bit older, we began travelling a bit more and visiting countries such as Bali, Singapore, Malaysia. But Thailand still seemed to elude me. It was one of those things I would periodically bring up, usually in the heat of an argument, how I had been deprived of seeing Thailand. My hubby of course had been to Thailand 20 years ago so and I would use that as justification of how he wasn’t interested in Thailand because he had already been. Finally, I think he had enough of my complaints and announced that this year, we were going to Thailand, rain or shine. Well, really only if we could find some cheap flights during school holidays. Unfortunately, it gets harder to pull your kids out from school when they get to high school.
Finding flights was simply one hurdle. Everything was still set against me going. My parents were adamant that I was to come home to Canada and wanted to give me their frequent flyer points. It’s not everyday, you get offered six free flights to Canada. Tempting as it was, I said no, I was going to Thailand. Well they weren’t happy and kept trying to get me to change my mind. They garnered support from my kids who told me they wanted to go to Canada, not Thailand. But my husband had sown the seed, I was now determined to get to Thailand.
I spent hours searching the internet for cheap flights during the July school holidays. Impossible to get on regular airlines. They never miss a trick to hike up their prices during school holidays. When Air Asia announced a birthday sale for the school holiday period, I was ecstatic. The sale was beginning at 8:00 pm Malaysian time, which made it 10:00 pm in Sydney. For most normal people, 10:00 is not late, but for me, I am either passed out from exhaustion in front of the t.v. or tucked in bed. But I was willing to forego sleep for my dream. After finally registering and doing all the preliminaries, I booked six flights, entered six passport details, extra luggage, meals, seats next to each other and pretty much all of our personal details. It was now well past midnight but I was done. I had my credit card ready, pressed pay and nothing happened. The site would not accept my payment. I could not believe it. Here I was prepared to shell out thousands of dollars and they wouldn’t accept it. The site had crashed and there was nothing I could do. I went to bed, devastated and by morning, the sale was over. I told the kids how we almost went to Thailand. Their response was “we told you that we should have gone to Canada." Thanks for the support kids. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. Not only was I utterly exhausted but I was no closer to fulfilling my dream.
I do believe good things happen to those who wait. A month later, another sale on Air Asia was available. I might be crazy for having another go but I was determined. Miraculously everything worked perfectly. The seats weren’t quite as cheap as the first time but were still a pretty good deal. That was it. I couldn't believe it. I was going to Thailand.
Was Thailand everything I had dreamed of? Yes and more. Sometimes the dream is better than the reality but not in this case. I loved the food, the beaches, the islands, the culture, the accommodation. We had a fabulous family holiday and I can’t wait to go back. This time, I am not going to wait another 13 years. By the way, India is next on the agenda. I wonder how long it will take me to get there. Sandyx