Why every trip is the trip of a lifetime – changing your perspective

I had a bit of a dilemma this week thinking about the monthly link-up that I try to participate in with Adventures of a London Kiwi, SilverSpoon London and Follow Your Sunshine (guest hosted this month by Tanja at The Red Phone Box Travels). The topic is “once in a lifetime experiences” and it really got me thinking.

What makes a trip the trip of a lifetime?

I thought about the amazing travels that I have done in my lifetime. Would the year in Australia count as 1 trip? How about my gap year in South America?

My friend and I aged 18 when we went backpacking in South America - trip of a lifetime
Young Travellers!

Maybe I needed to consider what is more traditionally a “trip”. Our honeymoon in South Africa and Mozambique? Our trip to Borneo where we got engaged? Or the time we saw the Taj Mahal in India?

Mr and Mrs Wanderlust abseiling off Table Mountain
Away we go!

What about trips with the Things?

Our trip to Bali was life-changing, but was it the trip of a lifetime?

The whole Wanderlust family floating along a lazy river at a water park in Bali -trip of a lifetime
Happy days in Bali

The Maldives is definitely a destination that has to be up there in trip of a lifetime categories. But we’ve been twice (I know, we are so spoilt) so not sure I can count that either.

Mr Wanderlust and Thing 1 in a kayak in the Maldives - trip of a lifetime
30 minutes in a kayak was about as active as we got in the Maldives

Our adventures in Italy last summer were absolutely incredible. I mean when do you get to go to Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como and Sicily all in one holiday? For some, that might be the trip of a lifetime and for us it was definitely one of our most memorable ever trips. Others go to Italy every year so it’s not a trip of a lifetime for them….

Wanderlust family in the Coliseum in Rome - trip of a lifetime
Happy holidays from Rome!

Time to change my approach

I decided to think about it from another perspective. How about the first time we flew with the Things?

Thing 1 after his first flight - he looks so little! - trip of a lifetime
So little!

The first holiday we all had together? The first time they had ice-cream?

Me eating gelato in Italy with Thing 1 (he has it ALL OVER HIS FACE!) - trip of a lifetime
Have I got ice-cream on my face?

What about the first time they went to my home town? How about the times Mr Wanderlust and I took each other home for that matter?

The Things walking up a Tor on Dartmoor with my uncle and aunts and Granny Wanderlust - trip of a lifetime
Fun in the sun in Devon

Or the time when Thing 2 learnt to walk on holiday?

Thing 2 on a Maldivian beach
Who else can say they learnt to walk in the Maldives?!

The first time we went on holiday with Granny Wanderlust? Or the time we took Thing 1 saw snow with the Mr Wanderlust’s family?

Thing 1 wrapped up warmly in Breckenridge, Colorado - trip of a lifetime
On the days I skied I had to meet people with Thing 1 to feed him!

Undeniably all of these were holidays of a lifetime too!

In the interests of balance, what about the time we took the Things to India and two thirds of the way through I asked Mr Wanderlust to find out how much it would cost us to just go home the next day. India of itself was pretty once in a lifetime. I hope, I HOPE, that the desire to bail out early (which has never happened before) was once in a lifetime. I’m so glad we stuck it out in the end.

The Wanderlust and Wet Wipes family in front of a waterfall in Kerala - around 24 hours before I asked Mr Wanderlust to get us home early - trip of a lifetime
Family photo in India – you’d never know how tired I was here!


I was stumped. With the hugely lucky life I lead, we have taken multiple holidays that for other people (for us, even, in another version of this life) would literally be holidays of a lifetime. And then it came to me…

EVERY trip is the holiday of a lifetime

I don’t care where we are going or what we are doing or even who we are doing it with. The trips we are taking now are trips that are all once in a lifetime experiences for us and for our Things. We are creating memories (not just their memories, ours too!), bonding over travel, experiencing new things together.

Mr Wanderlust and his friend building sandcastles with some of the Things - trip of a lifetime
DOesn’t matter what country you are in, sandcastle building is a MUST!

It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – our Things are as excited about going camping with us in the desert as they are about a swanky hotel. If I’m honest they’re probably more excited about that than about the swanky hotel. Because the thing is, the experiences we will share make each trip so unique and memorable. Every trip is an opportunity to learn something new – be it learning a new skill or getting to know a new culture or just learning something new about our Things.

Here’s what makes a trip a once in a lifetime experience

My attitude.

Once I changed my expectations, our holidays changed. Ok maybe not all of them. I think the disastrous experience in Muscat would have been pretty bad regardless of my attitude and expectations.

The Things and I (in a hijab) outside the Grand Mosque in Muscat - trip of a lifetime
A Moment of Calm in a Stressful Holiday

But I stopped expecting everything to be perfect. And I started looking at these trips through the Things eyes. They are so adaptable and they see the fun in everything.

Granny Wanderlust on the London Underground with the Things - trip of a lifetime
Everything is fun – even the tube! Especially the tube!!!

A day by the pool isn’t just downtime for us all, its genuinely what they want to do (I know this because I asked them last night).

The Things running round the pool in Los Angeles - trip of a lifetime
More fun than you ever thought possible

A holiday with our friends or family isn’t boring because we aren’t out and about doing things every day.

The Things with our friends' Things outside our villa in Sicily - trip of a lifetime
Hands up who loves holidays with friends?!

It is creating bonds and memories that will last…well, a lifetime.

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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  1. 6 February 2018 / 21:32

    It took me a moment to realise the kids are the things! Hahaha this made me laugh. I wholeheartedly agree, that kids are things and that almost every trip qualifies as once in a lifetime! It’s just some will be remembered more (fondly) than others!


    • 7 February 2018 / 12:46

      Haha my friend’s husband was horrified (he hadn’t read Dr Suess hahahahahah). Thanks for the comment. xx

    • 7 February 2018 / 12:46

      It is hard work but totally worth it!

  2. 8 February 2018 / 23:13

    This is so amazing….I am finding myself gravitating away from the “top things” to posts like yours because they resonate with me so much. Love your perspective, and love that you have named your lil ones “things”…I would too 🙂 #travellinkup

    • 19 February 2018 / 10:52

      Thanks so much – I’m a bit over the #blessed type posts myself tbh. They end up depressing me and its not why my readers come here so there’s no point in me writing them. x

    • 7 March 2018 / 09:37

      We have been so lucky!