Thanks for joining me!
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. — Ernest Hemingway
Welcome to Our Travelling Clan.
I love to travel and take photos and I have started this blog to share our adventures. We are a family of 4, my husband and 2 girls, 5 and nearly 8.
I have travelled with my family since I was a child. Usually, road trips to the north coast of NSW from Sydney, my hometown. When I was in year 5 we had a long trip around Victoria and the when I was in year 6 we had our first overseas trip, to New Zealand for 2 weeks in a campervan with no seatbelts in the back. My memories include visiting the Glacier, playing cards in the back of the van with my younger brother and having the cards and sometimes us, slide off and onto the floor. (hey, it was the 80’s). We also went over a very high pass with hardly any room for the camper, that had my mum looking tentatively out of the window to the valley below, only discovering later the sign that said, “do not drive campervans on this route”.
When I was 15 (year 10) we went overseas again, to California to see Disneyland, San Francisco, Yosemite national park, a very memorable trip across the border to Tijuana and lots of other places not quite so interesting to teenage children. (Carmel I am thinking of you) My dad drove around those massive highways on the wrong side of the road, often with 2 whiney teenagers. How he survived I don’t know, but I am very grateful to my parents for taking us to see the world and starting my love of travel. Particularly as I have a metabolic disorder called PKU, (for more information click here) which has required a very strict low protein diet and special supplement since birth. This diet can be quite a challenge to organise at home and even harder whilst on the road.
My next big trip was as a Rotary Exchange student to the UK in 1995, after I finished year 12, before I started university. I went to Birmingham, which I was often reminded, by those not from the area, was not the most desirable location. But where I was living in Solihull (the little village of Knowle) was lovely and exactly how I imagined England. I had studied modern history at school as well as a lot of English history (being from the colonies) and so loved all the history that is everywhere in the UK. “Look at that church it was built in 1200”, “oh that wall, that is from 790″,”oh look another castle” being from such a “young country”, well, in terms of the buildings, I loved it all.
A Rotary Exchange is a nice introduction to solo travel as you are staying with families and attending school (for me, a 6th form, co-ed college with no uniform, the complete opposite of my previous 6 years at a girl’s school with a pink uniform). I did have to make presentations to local rotary clubs and had many changes of family and obviously being 1995 I did have to write thousands of letters (remember those). No one had email or internet even at work. My mum and I wrote at least 1 letter to each other every week, I wrote to all my friends and reports each month to my sponsoring rotary club at home.
I managed to get on a European tour organised by Swedish rotary which to me was amazing to see all the wonderfully historic things that you only see on tv, the statue of David in Florence and I remember about 20 cameras lined up for us to get our group photo in front of Charles Bridge in Prague. (No digital photos and Facebook so everyone had to take their own) My parents also came to visit in the summer and we did a trip around England and Scotland together.
Obviously, on returning home to attend uni, the travel bug was still there and as part of my undergraduate degree, I was able to take a work experience trip to Thailand which was wonderful and obviously a huge culture shock after my previous travel experiences. Temples, Elephants and Squat toilets!
When I qualified in 2001, in the career I had dreamed of since I was 15, it was hard to find work in Sydney. I had heard work as a dietitian was much easier to come across in the UK, so I arranged a working holiday visa and arrived in the UK August 2001. After a trip through the South of France exploring the beaches, wine and of course Paris again.
I moved to Birmingham again, where I still knew people and was able to find work as a dietitian straight away. This was the best decision as the Midlands was a great base to explore the UK and Europe and far cheaper than London to live, but it was only 2hrs by train from London and had its own international airport.
Unfortunately, during one of my first weeks at work, the September 11 attacks happened and changed the world and travelling forever and made me feel a very very long way from home.
Travelling in the 00’s was a huge step up from last time I was there. There was Internet and internet cafes, and email instead of countless airmail letter and friends from Australia also living and working in England. I was planning to be home for Christmas, but the work was good, and the travel was better and so I stayed. I visited Morocco, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal and multiple trips around the UK and Ireland.
In 2002 I came home for a visit and to be a bridesmaid for my best friend, then came back to Birmingham and met my future husband at an Australian pub of all places.
We travelled together and then eventually in 2003 we returned to Australia for good, via Russia, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Greece and Singapore. When we married our vows included travelling the world together at every opportunity. Our honeymoon was 5 weeks travelling to New Zealand, Easter Island (4 days wasn’t enough for me, I could have looked at those Moai for weeks), Bolivia, Peru, to hike the Inca trail and home via Tahiti,a place I had dreamed of travelling to for years, and one of the few places that actually looked exactly like all the pictures.
Over the years we have travelled whenever our jobs had permitted and racked up lots of places together NYC, Thailand, Malaysia, and New Caledonia, where we were not as sure of our French as we thought and accidentally ordered the biggest plate of raw meat we had ever seen. We are always looking for opportunities to travel and see the world. When we aren’t travelling we are planning the next trip.
When we had kids, we didn’t want this to change and since our eldest daughter was born we have been to Hawaii, Fiji, 3 times, New Zealand twice, Canada, California and Las Vegas, and various trips around NSW and Queensland. There is no better way to learn about the world than to experience it.
We are currently planning our 5 and 1/2-week trip to the UK to show our girls where we met but I am dreaming of taking a year off to travel the world and spend longer getting to know places. I want to give us a chance to experience a complete change from the everyday. So many decisions.
We hope you enjoy following our adventures and maybe get some tips on how you can travel even if you have young kids and full-time jobs.