Another picture from that wonderful Escher exhibition. This time we're the stars. It's been interesting being with my son on his growing up journey. Whilst teenagers often get a bad press I have to say that, in my personal experience, it's not been terrible at all. Louis is still my favourite travelling companion.
Last year in Granada I wrote a post with tips for travelling as a lone mum. Some of those remain relevant. I still prefer to have our own space rather than a hotel room in places that we both feel safe. Intrepid trips to war torn African countries are not my bag. And our pace is chilled. If I were alone I'd be up and out by about nine but teenagers like a lie in. Maybe with all that growing they do there are valid arguments about them needed extra sleep too.
Here's some of my other tips:
Desist from moaning when they want to buy tat from souvenir shops or the unhealthiest food on earth. I was the same at that age. Somewhere along the line I learned the value of things.
On the other hand don't be afraid to put the kibosh on spending beyond what you can afford. 'That's too expensive' can be a bit of a mantra but means that we can take our regular trips away.
Let them lead the way when it comes to Google Maps. It's all good practice for a time that they're going to be independent themselves. I have a hunch that it'll come round more quickly than I realise. After all birth to nearly fifteen seems to have gone in a flash.
Don't be a complete burning martyr when it comes to choosing things that you want to do but are not quite up a teen's street. Go! Put something on the agenda that they'd really like but where you'd prefer to have sharp objects inserted into your eyes as a trade off.
Re: those lie ins. Bring something along to do in the mornings so that you don't feel resentful. I've been reading, putting in extra meditation, working on the business and yes, carving polystyrene, all things that I have little time for in an normal working week. Or use the time to go out for a walk on your own.
Give in occasionally when instead of wanting to try a local artisan food shop they'd prefer to go to a worldwide chain instead. Maccy D and Starbucks have both featured on this trip when I really wanted to go to that little family run joint around the corner.
Use the relaxed time to talk but don't push it. Don't expect that they spend every waking hour in your company. Teens are solitary beasties who need their time alone.