Although I love travelling, I’m not the most confident person and so have never gone away my own, and definitely lean on my husband Ben when we go abroad. He’ll normally sort all the practical stuff – loading luggage, sorting out the hire car or campervan, booking day trips, even the food shopping. So taking the kids all the way to New Zealand without my wingman was definitely a huge step out of my comfort zone.
Not only were there the flights to manage (to be fair we flew out with my parents so I wasn’t completely alone on the outward journey), but I also wanted a hire car so we could travel round easily while we were there (luckily they drive on the left too in New Zealand or I’d have had to overcome a HUGE fear of driving on the other side of the road) and then there was just the general need to face up to managing our trip and being responsible for two four-year-olds, 11,772 from home.
It felt like a rite of passage, going solo. Obviously I was never really alone as I had the twins with me, but as the sole adult in our little team I was the boss for the trip. I had hoped that it would leave me feeling empowered, and luckily I was right, it did. Of course we spent a lot of time with family members out there, and we missed Ben like crazy, but I actually found that I revelled in going it alone, actively seeking to carve out time when we could branch off from the rest of the family so it would be just the three of us. It wasn’t all sunshine and smiles, it was challenging at times and there were moments when the twins did my head in, but on the whole I loved it. I wish we could have stayed longer.
Mainly I just feel incredibly lucky to have had this amazing opportunity not only to travel to the other side of the world, but to have spent this time with my children. We’re counting down the months until they start school, and I am really aware how precious the time we have together is. I loved sharing this experience with them, and the memories we made on it will stay with me (and hopefully them too) forever.
To read more about what we got up to while we were away, click here.