Thursday 27 July 2017

Beating the post-holiday blues

We’re back in Australia after five weeks in the Netherlands. Five weeks so glorious that if I could jump on a plane back to have just one more day, to hug everyone one more time, to go on one more bicycle ride to the beach and to have one more family dinner together I would... But alas, I am a responsible adult (or so I tell myself) and our life is here, so back to normal it is. And in any case, saying goodbye once is quite enough.

After 17 years abroad, you’d think I would have got used to leaving. Fact is, I haven’t and I am not sure I ever will. That’s not to say I don’t love my life here, because I do, pretty much every single minute of it. But it’s never nice to leave people behind when you go on journeys as long as that 24 hour flight downunder.

How I deal with it? It’s probably a mixture of denial – trying to block the goodbyes from my mind and focusing on the positives, of which there are a lot, thankfully – and a lot of gratitude for what we do have, a happy, healthy and loving family and an amazing amount of beautiful memories.

Here are some highlights from our most recent trip back home to the Dutch island of Terschelling. Call me biased - I will be the first to admit I am - but to me this is the most beautiful place on earth, and seen as it's set in a Unesco World Heritage area, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone...



While it’s been tough to leave, those post holiday blues never last long. Something to do with that glorious Sydney sunshine and all the fun we have downunder. Here’s what we came back to...

Thursday 29 December 2016

Always look on the bright side

Expat life can be pretty tough. Much though I love our life here under the Australian sun, with all the opportunities this country provides, the amazing friendships we’ve built and the breathtaking scenery we get to enjoy each and every day, we’re always two long haul flights away from home.

Two long haul flights, a car journey and a ferry in my case. That’s 40 hours door to door. 40 hours away from parents, from grandparents, from siblings, from friends raising their children, from weddings and births and just simple hugs that will never really be simple because every moment you spend together is extra special.

There’s extreme happiness, linked so closely to extreme sadness. You have, and then you have not. That can be pretty tough.

But against that there is a lot of beauty. This country really is amazing, and we are so privileged to be able to call this place home. On top of that, we are lucky to have flexible careers, to be able to work from anywhere in the world, to be able to take our children on long holidays and – if you add it up – spend a lot more quality time with our families than we would if we lived in the same country and saw eachother on weekends, rather than in holidays.

Last month was one of those holidays, spent at Seal Rocks and in Port Stephens. The weather was glorious, and we got to enjoy long days at the beach, followed by gorgeous sunsets, barbeques and campfires. Spending every minute of every day together for such a long period of time has been simply wonderful.

Here are some of these memories that will last a lifetime...

Port Stephens was just as magical...

And now the countdown has begun to our next Europe trip! Only 5 and a half months to go...



Thursday 1 September 2016

Bula Fiji

Fiji. It’s one of those places that conjures up images of remote islands, with white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees. Sipping cocktails in a beach front hammock while your kids are at kids club (okay, so not that remote, Fiji caters to everyone) and permanent sunshine.

Reality can be a little different, at least where the weather is concerned. The first time we booked a trip to this bucket list hotspot, our holiday was cancelled at the last minute as a result of a devastating cyclone. The second time, earlier this year, we were considerably luckier. While the week before had seen solid rain, we were blessed with ten days of blue skies and sunshine. The day we left, the rain returned.

On every other level, however, Fiji very much lives up to its promises. I’ve seen many beautiful beaches in my lifetime, but Fijian beaches have got to be in my top ten. The people are warm and friendly, and magnificent with kids. The flight is relatively short (4 hours from Sydney), the island transfers straightforward and the time difference with Sydney is only two hours meaning you don’t have to worry about jetlagged kids. In fact the only downside to our travel story was the impossibly early departure time, which was entirely our own fault. If you can avoid it, don’t take the 6am flight, it’s just not worth it!

Here are some highlights from our holiday.

*We travelled in August to Malolo Lailai in the Mamanuca island group where we spent 10 days in a garden bure at plantation island resort. This resort is “child friendly” and offers all traditional resort style features. However, we found it was easy to escape the masses and enjoy the Fijian island beauty by exploring other corners of the island.