So here I am. My very first blog post! I figured the best place to start would be with an introduction to me and my reasons for starting this blog. And here goes…
I am Emma, closer-to-40-than-30, mum to 2 mostly adorable but quite quite crazy and often also a bit irritating young kids, married to a long suffering lucky travel mad husband. We’re currently expats in the Middle East on our second assignment out of the UK together but my love of travelling was instilled at an early age. If you’ve been over to the About Me part of my page then you will know I have been an on and off nomad for many years of my life. I took my first flight at the ripe old age of 3 months when my parents moved the family to Boston, USA. The years that followed had some that were busy with travel and others that weren’t so busy but they all contributed to a serious case of travel bug-itis which led me on my first solo adventure when I was just 18 and hasn’t dissipated much since – the travelling has morphed into expat assignments and holidays.
Although I have felt drawn to blogging for some time, I never really felt I could offer much in the way of unique content for a blog. I was always conscious that there are a hundred of any sort of blogger and only a few who I would ever want to try to be like (think the likes of Sarah of The Unmumsy Mum fame and Kirsty’s 4 Kids, 20 Suitcases and a Beagle) but of course they had already covered the areas of the blogging world that I would consider and were doing it in a much better way than I could ever hope to. I just couldn’t think what I would have to add. Until now…
Before having kids, my husband (we will call him S) and I were fortunate enough to have some Super Mega Awesome holidays. Starting with Miami, we proceeded to travel a myriad of places including the Red Sea in Egypt, various places across the US and Europe, several destinations in South East Asia, and a number of popular ski and snow resorts amongst others… Sometimes we had a plan but more often than not we didn’t, or it changed on a whim. Many times we would show up in a new city and start looking for somewhere to stay rather than pre-booking anything. We loved getting a deal and wandering about with backpacks on our backs was just how we rolled.
Since having kids, I like to think we have been pretty adventurous (Houston to Malta via London was our first trip with a 9 week old baby) but I will confess that we have had some holiday fails mixed in with the wins. I’ll be blogging more about those trips along with my tips for dos and don’ts in later weeks and months. We still have one of the backpacks from pre-kid travelling and it still comes with us to every big holiday but our days of rocking up without a plan (let alone anywhere to stay) are well and truly behind us. Maybe they will come back when Thing 1 and Thing 2 (currently 4 and 2) are bigger and maybe they won’t. I can make my peace with that. I know there are some people out there who love trotting round the globe with a backpack on their back and a kid or 5 in tow. That’s not me and I’m cool with that too. What I haven’t been able to make my peace with is that, despite the highs and lows of our kid friendly adventures, I’ve never felt that we had found the right balance between finding a holiday that stayed true to what we always loved doing while keeping the kids entertained, engaged and being fair to their needs.
Our most recent holiday to Bali was a win of EPIC proportions and was what prompted me to start this blog. I’ll save the details of what made it SO awesome (as that’s material for a good 2 or 3 more posts!) but I will say that it totally got us that balance that we have been searching for.
Which brings me to talk about what I want this blog to be and what I don’t want it to be. As I say, I’m in awe of those people who backpack with their kids but that is not something that will work for us right now. I know people who love their package holidays and others who will happily hang out for 2 weeks in a 5* resort whether it’s all inclusive or not. That’s not for us right now either. The great thing about holidays is that they are all “each to his own” and what works for one won’t work for another.
For me, I miss the feeling of community from when we travelled before. I miss talking to people who couldn’t wait to share the awesome dive site they just went to or the mountain they just climbed and couldn’t wait to hear about our latest activities too to inspire they themselves to go to new places they perhaps hadn’t considered before. I’ll be offering some itineraries for the places we have been and are going, a few dos and don’ts and some planning tips. I want to help other people get the balance between their old life and their new one so that a holiday with the kids is just that – a holiday from which you come home feeling refreshed and relaxed instead of frazzled, mildly disappointed and in need of another holiday to get over it. I’d like to think we stay in a variety of places – both from a geographical and from a style perspective so hopefully there will be something for everyone along the way. And above all I’d like to create the feeling of community that we have missed since starting travelling with kids.
Stay tuned to hear more about our crazy adventures!