I love entering competitions,I love to travel and I love to blog, so when this travel-themed blog comp hosted by moneysupermarket.com came up, I just couldn’t resist having a go!
What’s my dream grand adventure right now? I want to take my family backpacking in Southeast Asia! I’m Scottish and my German husband and I met while backpacking in Australia, where we now live. We have both travelled pretty extensively in Southeast Asia, individually and last time as a couple on our extended 7 month honeymoon in 2009, which included Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. We both LOVE travelling and we’re not about to let the fact that we now have two little daughters stop us! We know it won’t be quite the same as before – doubtless we shall face many new and exciting challenges as parents – but we also know for sure that it’s still possible, and we can’t wait to share the world with our girls. What better education can there be? And how much fun we are going to have!!
They are still very small and at the time we plan to go they will be just under 2 years and 4 years. We’ve never travelled overseas with little people before, so we want to keep it quite simple for this first trip. We’ll travel from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur or vice versa. That will be our epic activity – the whole distance overland with two littlies, by as cheap a means as possible in order to stretch the cash as far as possible. We’ve always travelled budget and with the locals, and we know how to keep the costs down. There’ll be buses and overnight trains, which will be a great adventure for the girls. We’ll visit some islands for the scuba diving (special expenditure!) and snorkeling, and fit in heaps of beach time and temples. Best of all, the food!! I can’t wait to introduce my girls to the fabulous Thai and Malay street hawker tastes, sights and sounds – and of course that’s cheap food, which will help us to keep the budget in check. We’ll take in Melaka, Pengang, the Perhentian Islands (Besar is my favourite place in the world, can only hope it hasn’t changed too much!), Koh Phi Phi, Koh Pha-Ngam, crazy Bangkok…now I’m also thinking of Pai and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand but that might have to wait until the next trip!
Just writing about it gets me so excited. Time for a little daydream with my old battered Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and a cuppa before the baby wakes up. I am so ready for our Grand Family Adventure. Bring it on!
What word did you select to be your travelling companion in 2012? What gifts did this word bring?
The concept of choosing a word for the coming year is a new one for me, so I didn’t actively select one last year. However, had I chosen, it would without a doubt have been Mindful. I’ve done my best in 2012 to learn to be more mindful in every aspect of my life and I’ve learned so much along the way. I know that I’ve weathered a few storms a lot better than I would have done had I not embarked upon my quest to live a more mindful existance. It’s a lifelong journey and I look forward to honing my mindfulness skills in 2013. Certainly I now have a great many resources from which to draw inspiration and knowledge moving into the new year. Blogroll coming!
What word will you choose to guide you through 2013? What do you hope it will bring into your life?
Calm. Being a stay at home mum is a joy in so many, many ways, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s also bloody tough work – emotionally, mentally and right now 5 weeks post-caesar with a toddler to care for as well demand breastfeeding, physically. It’s 24/7. There is no let up. I have to stay calm in the face of it all, for the sake of me, my girls and my husband. I must remain smiling (albeit doubtless a bit maniacally at times) in the midst of the madness and remember that it will get easier. That way I’ll be sure to enjoy the precious moments, of which I know there will be many.
We are a long, long way from Europe and family. Come April it will have been four years since we left and while we are not especially close to our families, we still love and miss them, would adore it if we were able to see them more often, or indeed at all – and at times like this, well, we need them. But we can’t have them. In all honesty I realise now that we didn’t really properly think through the whole concept of having children so far away from our home countries (Germany and UK). Our current issues have really brought it home to me that by emigrating to the other side of the world, we have in reality sacrificed a great deal on behalf of our children before either of them were even conceived – the opportunity and security of getting to know their own extended family. That said, we know that this is the right place for us to be. We don’t regret our decisions. However, the difficulties of recent weeks have left me facing the reality that our little immigrant family is very vulnerable under certain circumstances, and it has been quite frightening and very stressful at times.
I have as a result of this realisation, and having been let down by someone I trusted, been forced to ask for practical help amongst my mummy circle. It wasn’t easy to do it. I explained the situation, told them I need them, that my little family badly needs help right now. Those I asked directly came through for me, straight away, and offering more than that for which I had asked. Others also proactively offered assistance to me and my husband and my girls. Immediately a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I slept well that night for the first time in almost two weeks.
The word grateful doesn’t cut it, how I feel on discovering that all I had to do was tell the truth and ask. This week I am so very, very grateful for the true friendships I have discovered here in a small town in Regional Australia. I can now breathe easy, knowing that our little family is not as vulnerable as I thought it was. And best of all I am now able to look forward to the birth of our second little girl without anxiety and with joy again. We found out yesterday that she will be born (via c-section) exactly three weeks today, almost to the hour!