*Sponsored post in association with American Express®
The above photo is probably one of my favourite travel photos I have ever taken. It instantly transports me back to how I felt when it was taken and even though it was only taken with my phone, I love the way my girls are stood staring out to see at Port D’Alcudia beach in Majorca. You only have to briefly glance at the homepage of my blog to figure out pretty quickly what one of my main passions is, and that is travel. Ever since I hit my late teens, travelling has been something which I absolutely love. Before we had our children, Jon and I travelled all over the place, from far flung places like Thailand and Cambodia, sightseeing trips to New York or Barcelona, beach holidays to Barbados and Mexico, or to places closer to home like The Cotswolds or Edinburgh.
When we had the girls, we honestly thought that our passion for travel might have to take a back seat for the time being. And it did for a while, while Mads was really young and we navigated the world of being first time parents. But soon we were itching to begin travelling again. Of course the first couple of times we were nervous at the prospect of travelling with young children, and sometimes I still get anxious about the idea of it, especially going long haul. But we will always continue to do so for as long as we can as we genuinely love to explore and see the world with our children.
I think it’s important to share your love of exploring the world with your children, and I’m not alone. Mads and LL are incredibly lucky that they have been to some amazing places; they’ve been to the beautiful and remote Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, they’ve been to Florida, and on city breaks to places like Amsterdam and Stockholm. Indeed, our baby boy has seem his fair share of the world at just seven months, by the end of 2016 he will have been to five countries. It just seems natural to us to pass on our passion for travel to them and nothing makes me happier than seeing them enjoy going to these places as much as we do.
American Express have a Family Travel Hub, which includes inspiration for parents to make travel more exciting and memorable. I absolutely love this idea and am really excited to be working with them over the next few months, or actually should I say Mads and LL are. On our next family holiday (can you guess where we’re going?!) the girls will be armed with GoPros and will be capturing our time away through their eyes. The holiday was booked before we started working with American Express, but they have challenged us to show it through the eyes of the kids, as well as our own.
Travelling with children doesn’t have to be stressful. Of course it’s vastly different to travelling as a couple, but it still can be amazing. I love to explore places with my children and see their faces when they experience new things. For example when we first watched the fireworks at Disneyworld, I will never ever forget the look on their faces as they looked up at the Cinderella castle with the fireworks lighting up the sky, it was enough to make me get tears in my eyes. Or when they sat chatting to two Swedish people on a boat ride across the water in Stockholm, I remember feeling so proud of how they were immersed in the local culture. All of these experiences shape them as people, even if they are too young to remember every single detail. And they shape us as a family too, while also providing us with the most incredible memories. In years to come we won’t remember the material things, like that jumper we bought or the bike they got for Christmas, but we will remember the moments, the experiences and the adventures. We will treasure that feeling of being together, being away from the humdrum of day to day life, and above all enjoying time together as a family.
I really hope that our children will love travel as much as we do, and even in the future pass their love of travel onto their own children. I therefore wasn’t surprised when I read new research* from American Express which highlighted that 68% of parents say their love of travel is the thing they most want to pass onto their children. For me, passing on my ‘travel-egacy’ is the one of the most special things I can do for my kids. I have visions of us sitting there in many years time, talking and laughing about the holidays we went on when they were young.
I think that photos of family holidays can become almost as special as the holiday itself. But I often wonder why are we adults always the ones behind the lens? We know that children see the world differently – their perspectives are funny, charming, beautiful and often very perceptive. My budding little photographer Mads couldn’t be more excited about this, she can’t wait to have a go at taking some photos and testing out the ‘Whipper Snapper’ Book which is an activity guide that encourages children to use photography to document their travel experience. I’m really hopeful that this will ignite their passion for travel! You can download a copy here.
So stay tuned for some lovely holiday snaps taken by my girls. I can’t wait to see how they get on. If they are anything like their Mummy they will soon become obsessed with the camera! For the purposes of this post I had a little look through our travel photos and I selected five photos that are really special to me and bring back such amazing memories. I’m looking forward to seeing the photos that Mads and LL come up with on our next break away….
This was our first foreign holiday with both our girls. We went to Rhodes and I can remember exactly how I felt when I took this photo. I was looking at our girls, sat throwing stones in their little matching nautical dresses, and I felt like the luckiest person alive.
This photo brings back so many memories. The beach at Turks and Caicos was one of the most beautiful we have visited, with the softest white sand and this photo was taken when we were having an early morning walk. It makes me smile looking at Mads’ hair as, for some reason, the sun and sea water affected it and it was so tangled! It’s funny how photos bring back the strangest of memories and details.
Disneyworld in Orlando was one of the places I wanted to visit so badly as a child but we never did manage it, so when we first took the girls in October 2015 I quite literally kept having to pinch myself that we were actually there, it was a dream come true for me. We took this photo a few minutes after we arrived at the park, and you can see the iconic Cinderella castle in the background. If you could see behind my sunglasses you would see I have tears in my eyes, I couldn’t believe that we were getting to experience such a special moment as a family.
I love this photo so much, hence why I have it as my icon for a lot of my social media profiles. It was our first family holiday abroad as a family of five, and our little boy was just eight weeks old. We had just finished dinner and the sun was setting, it was still so incredibly hot and as we sat on the wall at the front of our hotel, I just felt so happy and content.
Finally this photo of our recent holiday to Orlando makes me smile so much. A lot of people say that it is a waste of time travelling with young children, that it is a stress or that they won’t remember it. I think the opposite, yes it can be stressful occasionally but no more than at home. Through the wonders of photography and video we will be able to show them the adventures we had when they were small, and that is such a wonderful gift. I’ll never forget the way I felt when I was cuddling my little boy in his Mickey ears.
Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
*Research by American Express from 7th December to 9th December 2016 of a survey size of 1,000 adults and 1,000 children, aged between 6 -10 years old, who have been on holiday.