Travelling has always been my passion, for ever such a long time now. It’s funny really, I’m someone who is actually quite anxious, who really feels content and safest when at home, who thrives on routine and structure, and who really doesn’t like flying. But for some reason I just adore travelling, even more so since we had our little family.
I hadn’t really been abroad much until I left home, I had been once or twice, but most of our family holidays were spent in places like beautiful Cornwall (which still is one of my favourite places to visit), then as I got older and my parents divorced we didn’t really go away all that much. While both my Mum and Dad love a holiday every now and again, they don’t really have the same travel bug that I do. I think I must get it from my Grandparents who have literally been everywhere, all over the world, and continue to travel now they are in their 80’s.
In my early 20’s I travelled as much as possible, from back packing round Thailand to sightseeing in New York and lots of places in-between. Then when I met Jon, we spent a lot of our early relationship going on lovely holidays, to places like Barbados and Cuba, or on weekend breaks to Barcelona. I started working as an online account manager for a huge travel company and I really enjoyed it, ending up working there for five years until I left nearly four years ago now after LL was born. When Mads was born Jon was made redundant and for a couple of years money was really tight and we really couldn’t afford to travel at all.
Slowly over time we have managed to travel more. I still have to pinch myself that I often get to travel as a result of this blog, it really is a dream come true and one that I couldn’t ever put into words how much it means to me. As a family we have already been on so many adventures, and I really hope that I have passed my love of travel on to them. I adore that the girls are already little adventurers and I feel so proud of the interest they take in the world around them. We had a little break during the later stages of my pregnancy last year and to be honest I thought that having a baby would mean our travels would stop for a bit- but if anything it’s got bigger and better. Our baby boy has already been on 6 flights at just five months old- I couldn’t honestly feel any luckier. A lot of people say that travelling with young children is a waste of time, or not worth the stress, but I couldn’t disagree more. Yes a lot of it is because we want to do it, but firstly happy parents equals happy children, it’s wonderful having that quality time together away, and also I hope that experiencing these things will help shape them, and that one day they will look back and remember all the adventures we had. I have such fond memories of holidays as a child, whether that was a weekend away in my Great Aunt’s caravan or a week in Majorca.
Which brings me to the purpose of my post. On Tuesday night I headed into London to attend the Family Traveller Awards. For those who aren’t aware, Family Traveller is a multi platform lifestyle brand, with both online and print magazines. If you know the travel industry then you will know of Family Traveller. The Family Traveller Awards celebrated 25 categories across the travel industry, ranging from awards like Best Family Friendly Airline to Best Family Ski Operator. I was there because I was incredibly a finalist in the Best Family Travel blogger Category. I was there alongside some amazing blogs, including Mini Travellers, Mums Do Travel, Parent Shaped, My Travel Monkey, All Baby Advice, Space In Your Case (which I am a part of too!) and Actually Mummy.
I met up with my Space In Your Case ladies (Alison, Helen and Penny) a few hours before hand and it was lovely to catch up with them, before it was time to head over to The White Company’s flagship store on Symons Street to attend the awards. It was great chatting to some of the ladies above, as well as Jen from Britmums and Jenography who was also there, and lots of new contacts from the travel world. I was utterly shocked that when it was time to announce the Best Family Travel Blogger category, the fantastic Dr Ranj announced my blog as the winner. Myself and our baby boy headed on up to collect the award, with me sweating and shaking like a leaf because I was so shocked.
I know it is inevitable to say how shocked you are when you win an award, no one is likely to sit there and say ‘yes I deserved it’, but I really couldn’t have been more surprised that I was the winner. I’ve said it so many times before but I am incredibly thankful for all that my blog has bought us as a family, not least for the adventures we have been on and for the fact that it has cemented travelling together firmly as one of our favourite passions. Nothing gives me greater pleasure in life than taking photos and making videos of the adventures we have- I couldn’t be happier doing that. I am still so surprised I won, not least because the other finalists were all amazing and such a supportive bunch, but I am so grateful that I did. It was also great to find out that Penny was runner up for her blog.
The voting was done partly by the public, but mainly from a panel of incredibly inspiring panelists, including editor of Family Traveller Jane Anderson, broadcaster and writer Mariella Frostrup, BBC’s travel documentary maker Simon Reeve, travel editor of The Times Jane Knight, and travel & lifestyle director of Elle, Sue Ward Davies. It feels like a huge honour to have been chosen by this panel and I still can’t quite believe it. My baby boy and I went home on the train later that night with a huge and gorgeous award wrapped up safely in my bag feeling so proud.
I couldn’t let the night slip by without mentioning the awards on my blog, after all it is such a huge achievement for me. Blogging is such a crazy journey, it has changed my life beyond comprehension the last five years and it has opened so many incredible doors for me and for us as a family. Travelling is just a small part of that, as after all we can’t travel too much due to Mads being at school. I am really excited to see what the future holds, but all I know is that whatever happens I will still be here taking photos and making videos of our ordinary moments, our travels, our adventures and everything else in-between.
Check out the full list of Family Traveller award winners.