First World Problems

The awesome company that Mark works for are shouting us a trip. A recovery trip, anywhere we want to go – they will pay for it. When Mark took time off after the babies were born, and Archie died, he didn’t have much sick leave accrued, as he had only been with the company for a few months. So they just paid him. His full salary, with no leave debt. They just paid him.

I am pretty well staggered by how awesome they have been already, and this trip is just what this little family needs, to get away from everything for a short break, white sandy beaches and daiquiris have a lot of appeal right now.

There is just one problem. Where to go?

Here are the parameters;

We’d like the option of a kids club. Inigo is three now, and might actually enjoy being off having adventures. Or he might scream the place down and it would be a waste of time, but it would be a good thing to at least try.

We’d like white sandy beaches, daiquiris, and poolboys. Ok, I am prepared to compromise on the poolboys.

Somewhere the Australian dollar is strong – although the company is paying, I don’t expect they will chip in spending money.

I need internets. No, not planning on being attached to the computer 24/7 while on holiday, but I may need to access the university website to do some uni work.

Not too far in travel time – I used to have a theory that the number of hours in flight time should equal the number of weeks spent in a given country. This time we will only have a week or so, so less travel time is better than more.

Price. Obviously, we’re not paying, but I don’t want to push the friendship. Nor do I want to stay in my usual backpackers hovels. I want running water, I want electricity, and goddammit, I want air conditioning. And poolboys.

And this last one might be a bit of a stretch, but I’d like somewhere that has decent vegetarian food. Not that I am particularly vegetarian these days, but I still see myself as a vegetarian, and won’t eat anything but veggie food in front of the kid. One day my moral compass will point north again, but for now I have bigger fish to fry.

Last parameter. I’d really like to holiday somewhere that isn’t going to have a revolution, an earthquake, a tsunami or a hurricane.

Is that too much to ask?

Any ideas?


I have a nasty virus. If you’ve seen me lately, watch out for a sore throat and cough, severe stomach cramps, and gastro like symptoms. Apparently it’s going around, and my doctor recommends keeping your fluids up and resting. I recommend gin and panadeine forte.

17 thoughts on “First World Problems”

  1. Zomfsm! What a great company. What about somewhere in the Whitsundays? Not too far, AUD, and the local economy there needs more tourists to help them recover from cyclones and stuff. I’m not sure about the pool boys though.


    1. Apparently most of the Whitsundays is closed 😦 And frankly, I prefer my poolboys a little bit more exotic than Queenslanders. Is that racist?


  2. I have heard great things about Fiji, apparently very family friendly and there are some lovely resorts that won’t cripple the bank but still allow you to get out and see a bit of the local culture. I haven’t travelled round this part of the world at all so can’t offer any real advice but we were looking at Thailand for a family holiday with my parents, club med style. I still don’t know how I feel about resort holidays now but its such a good option for families. I think I had that virus last week actually, was holed up in bed with desperate tummy cramps and general misery for two days, ugh.


    1. The company is called Servian – they don’t have a product, they make money from hiring out Nerds. Sort of like a high tech pimp, except Mark gets paid even if he isn’t being hired out all the time.


  3. I saw Anna Bligh on telly the other night spruiking Port Douglas, Cairns, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast as open and waiting for business. Plenty of places with a swim up bar and a kids’ club I’m sure. And don’t forget that a lot of Qld resorts have o/s workers, so you might get an exotic pool boy!

    I’ve also heard good reports about Fiji, though I’m not sure how long it takes to fly there.

    Brilliant work by Servian. I hope you enjoy the holiday.


  4. Everyone raves about Fiji as a Family Friendly holiday destination although we don’t have first hand experience (unfortunately). Two different sets of friends stayed at the Outrigger in Fiji last year. Both families had 2 kids (5 and 3 or 5 and 2) and the kids loved kids club. We were waiting until Abi was 3 so she can go there too. And if Inigo doesn’t like kids club, or is a bit overwhelmed, the nanny service is super cheap too I hear. One family had a nanny for their 2 year old and she was wonderful mostly taking him to join in on toddler kids club but he had his own personal nanny there to be just with him.

    Hope you have a wonderful time wherever you go.
    p.s. great seeing you all last weekend. xx


  5. Great to hear Lara.That’s really such a lovely thing for the company to do and to such a deserving family. Enjoy! We look forward to an update.


  6. My cousin, whose mum is Filipino, wrote:
    What an awful situation, but a wonderful gesture by her husband’s employer. I read her blog, I think Boracay is a great option & the dollar is really stong at the moment. There are endless activities for the kids, 7kms of perfect white sand… & it’s protected from most of nature’s calamities. Boracay Regency, Mandarin & Sands are all big family friendly resorts located right on the beach. I highly recommend Boracay Beach Club though, a small, family owned boutique resort, with some of the best service you’ll ever get. We’ve travelled there with Luka at 11 months old, and again at 3 1/2 years old & had no trouble. Food is everywhere, vegetarian food is available & most resorts have pools. I would travel to Cebu via Singapore, have a night or two in Cebu (tell her to look up Mactan Island Resorts such as Plantation Bay or Shangri-La, which are located near the airport) & then take a direct flight to Boracay. Get the Boracay hotel to organise all transfers as getting to the island can be tricky. Much easier to get someone to meet you at the airport. On an end note, cocktails cost around $2.50 and no visit would be complete without a couples massage ritual at Tirta (voted best day spa in Asia).


  7. Have you ever considered a cruise (it seems people are either the cruising kind, or not). Very cheap compared to almost any other option, all inclusive, excellent kids’ services, and lots of white sandy beach locations. The Isle of Pines has a stunning white sand beach.

    And there are poolboys.

    We’re cruising in July and plan to send the kids off to the play centre as often as humanly possible (it’s open about 12 hours a day!).

    FWIW I was not a fan of Fiji when I went there, but it was a long time ago.


  8. Firstly, I want to say I think Mark’s employer is very generous – thank them from me!

    According to my brother and SIL, who have recently returned from their fifth trip there, Vietnam is cheap and the food is great. Not sure about the kid’s club though.


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