Our First Family Holiday - Kalkan 2014

We all need a break sometimes. A place to retreat, where you can let your guard down and take time to rest and relax. Matt, Henry and I recently returned from our first family holiday where we created some special memories. The past two years have been incredibly difficult for us, so it came as a much needed break. A high risk twin pregnancy with the knowledge that one of our babies had no chance of life, the uncertainty that we may lose both, the endless emergency visits to the labour ward - a cancer scare, the death of our sons and the debilitating grief that followed, an incredibly anxious rainbow pregnancy, a long fight to get our newborn the help he needed to relieve his pain from reflux, and PND. We have made it through the trauma, the heartache, the devastation. But it was exhausting.

It was healing to spend time alone together as a family, in a fresh setting, far removed from sad memories and negativity. We chose to spend a fortnight at Villa Evin in Kalkan. With winding cobbled streets, rooftop restaurants, clear blue seas and spectacular sunsets, Kalkan is full of charm and serenity, the perfect place for respite.

Each morning, we'd take a boat across to the main town. Henry soon made friends with the captain, a charismatic gentleman who pulled faces to make Henry smile and allowed him to toot the horn. We'd step onto the boat, taking time to marvel at the glorious mountain views and the sparkle of the sunshine on the water, the breeze making our hair dance around our faces.

Henry attracted attention wherever we ventured. Locals stopped us to coo over his big blue eyes, kiss his little feet and tickle his chubby thighs. Men and women - young and old - rushed over with joy on their faces, delighted to interact with Henry. Smiles and compliments met us wherever we went. Mashallah. It made such a welcome change from England, where eyes don't meet and words are rarely spoken. 

Our villa was the ideal place to retreat. Located on the peaceful mountainside, it provided tranquility and privacy. With magnificent views of the serene sea, it was the ultimate way to unwind after a busy day. After Henry was tucked up in bed, Matt and I would sit together outside and take in the splendour of the scenery. There is peace to be found in the silent simplicity of the sunset. We watched the golden hues soften as the sun gently slipped away, and I felt William and Noah with us. All around us. In our hearts. This would have been their first holiday, too.

We returned home rejuvenated, but with a new desire to satiate our wanderlust. Plans are being made, hopes and dreams created, as we contemplate a new beginning, a new start, somewhere else from here.

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