A Life Well Travelled 1

by Kylie.

One of the beauties of living in England is the proximity of Europe, and everywhere else. The British just love to travel, and I certainly have the bug. My husband and I make it a priority to see as much as we can. We live modestly so we can afford to travel when time permits.

My son is 3 in May. His first holiday was booked when he was still pre-term, lying in an incubator. He was 3 weeks old, so still 10 weeks pre term, and I asked the consultant “when can I take him to Australia”, he said, perhaps jokingly, after Christmas. So I booked for the January.

Here is the list!

Dubai – Jan 10

Australia – Melbourne and Tasmania – Jan 10

Germany – October 10

France – October 10

Malaysia – Feb 11

Australia – Melbourne and Tasmania Feb 11

Rhodes – September 11

Holland – December 11

Germany – December 11

Luxembourg – March 12

We have also done numerous trips within the UK. Joseph has already been inside the House of Commons, Westminster Abbey and other amazing places. He is a wonderful traveller.

We have flown, driven and gone on ferries. Flying is wonderful as its quick, but it can be fraught. I think the keys to surviving a flight are to be prepared. Don’t pack too much, but you will need stuff. For babies you need twice as many nappies as you think is reasonable, and a change of clothes for yourself, as well as the baby. Even on a short flight.

For toddlers, entertainment and boredom prevention is key. I prefer not to use electronic methods, but many people swear by tablet computers. For me, my secret weapons are new toy cars, pipe cleaners, fuzzy pom-pom balls, pens (must be Crayola super washable) stickers and emergency chocolate. Joseph’s chocolate of choice for travelling is Bounty. He never has them unless he’s flying!

I found the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam was amazing. We travelled overnight, taking our own picnic meals. There was a large play area, and Joseph made lots of friends.

One of the things I love about kids, is that they don’t care about language barriers. They find a way around it through play, and we can learn a lot from them. In Rhodes the vast majority of children were from Eastern Europe, which did not faze Joseph in the slightest.

Interestingly, I have found time changes that are large, like Australia, don’t faze him either, but small ones, like the one hour to Europe, chuck him out a bit. I find keeping your normal pattern of life, being busy but not too busy, helps no end.

The one thing that makes me giggle is his passport, which is valid for five years. We always get a bit of a giggle from the passport guys!

If you have the chance to travel with young children, grasp it. It is so much fun to see the world through their eyes!

A Life Well Travelled 2

by Jane

One year after what was my 3rd Open heart surgery I had the privilege of travelling into Asia with my parents.  They were still smokers then, and so we sat in different sections of the plane. Lacking their company and given my natural inclinations I befriended the people around me.

We stayed in Penang 5 days at the E & O Hotel. As we toured here and there, explored and shopped I continued to talk to people I encountered along the way. Mostly women, young mothers, tired workers, the elderly the frail. With little language in common I found ways to communicate.

My mother had taught me that Hello, in their language, and a smile would go a long way in any communications. She was right. She also taught me to barter, but that’s another story, for another day.

We flew to Singapore and stayed at the Shangri-la Hotel. I began to learn things about my family. And my parents began to learn about me. The real me. I was surprised how little they knew me. They were surprised at my love of people. The time I took with them, the way they would respond. I often heard my father asking

“Does she know her/him/them?”  Always my mother would reply no.

Yes, we stayed in very luxurious hotels, yes we dinned in excellent restaurants, yes there was endless shopping etc But for me it was the maid here, or the waitress there; the shop girl, the woman sweeping the street, these were the women I wanted to talk with. These were the women whose stories, whose lives I wanted to know.

I sat by young mother on a bus. I was also a young mother, we had a lot in common but very little actual language that was familiar to both of us. I came to know she laboured 6 days a week in a job she did not like but that paid reasonably well. Her husband did the same. Her mother cared for her infant son. She missed her baby terribly: he was asleep when she left home in the morning and asleep again when she returned after dark. Her one day off a week was filled with shopping, cooking and cleaning their small apartment. She had dreams, as big as this, she waved her arms in a high arc and stretched them broadly. We laughed. We believed.

All women have dreams. No matter their situation or circumstances. We laugh. We cry. We struggle on. We believe. We hope. 

What are your dreams?

Taking Care of Business.

  • A Family Village Mothers Day $PayPal Giveaway coming up (Open Internationally) Details SOON
  • The A-Z in 26 days challenge for 2012 – J and K have been posted
  • Update @8 – check out the Burger message.  and what I did.
  • I am working on finalising my e-book. The 1st in The Life Series.
  • This weekend I am getting my hair trimmed before it annoys me to the point where I pick up me scissors. We’ve all been there, right? And oh the sorrow afterwards.
  • I will be attending a somewhat bitter-sweet funeral tomorrow.

Thinking of you ♥ Jane