Musings from a meandering mind on life, travels and new ventures
December 1st..the start of summer here in New Zealand 🙂 We have travelled far and wide in this beautiful country the past 8 months, with few other travels in Thailand, Singapore, Australia, England and Italy thrown in the mix for 2015. I still can’t believe it’s been 8 months since we left our home in the UK! I remember this time around last year, waiting impatiently for our visas, restless at being in limbo. The joke had become how many ‘farewell’ parties we were going to have. We had not made any winter holiday plans as any day, we were headed to New Zealand.
Not that we hadn’t done enough travelling in 2014 – 11 countries, 4 continents and 23 cities – it was definitely our big year for world travel.
Little did we know then we would be stuck for another 3 months before we finally we set off 5th March 2015. We made the best of it, living from suitcases, extending work, doing weekend travels around Wales and London. The signs were everywhere we travelled, telling us to be patient, we will be starting the journey soon 🙂
We made all kind of alternate life/travel plans if our visas were denied. At one point we decided to just f… it and bought one way ticket to Thailand thinking if visas came through, we can head to New Zealand from there. If not, we would travel around Asia for 4 months and then head back to UK. We got quite excited planning travels around Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Bangladesh.
Thankfully our visas came through – once we had already bought Thailand tickets – so we spent 3 weeks there and then headed to Auckland. 8 months on, and what a memorable 8 months it has been! I look back at all the travelling we did around North and South Island, some places several times over, New Zealand truly is such a beautiful country.
Out of everything we have done, enjoyed and seen here, I must say our personal favourite has been our little apartment by the beach at St Heliers, Auckland. Especially now that summer is here, I am thriving in the 22-25 degree weather and sunshine, relishing the blue sea. We live right opposite the beach and 8 months on, these views continue to inspire me, feel me with gratitude and happiness. It has always been on our bucketlist to live by the sea.
This year has been a very significant one for many reasons. We just got the all clearance for Shama after both her surgeries which was a huge relief. I just finished my PhD after 4 years and have returned from a hectic but fun trip through Italy and England where I went to give my PhD viva (and passed!)
The blog has been doing good, we have worked with several partners in New Zealand and have had some amazing travel experiences. I just ran a half marathon this past weekend, my first in New Zealand and we all went to the Climate Change March Auckland and joined thousands of others in making our voices heard before the climate summit in Paris. It’s been a good weekend, after a long time, we actually spent a weekend at ‘home’, just the four of us and I must say I am enjoying this downtime before we start travelling again – in 3 weeks on another campervan trip around south island.
But I have a confession to make – one I was not expecting it at all! I have lost the zest for blogging. It seemed to have coincided with the end of my PhD and while I joke sometimes that it was always just a procrastination tool, to not write my thesis, the reality is I honestly LOVED travel blogging. I loved watching the blog grow, virtually meeting others like minded travellers, learning about travel blogging and all the shenanigans that go with it, and even more so – inspiring others to travel with kids by sharing our stories.
I have a feeling that I have lost the ‘interest’ because I am hesitant to take the next step to what I want to do the blog. I want to combine my passion for conservation and sustainability with my travel blogging. I want to use my extensive research skills and write posts on ethical travel, promote places, experiences and activities that benefit the local people and that benefits nature and conservation. I want to write about why it is cruel to go to dolphin shows, ride elephants, go to zoos with whale sharks in pools. I know many people will just not care, I might lose several of my readers, but I do know others who do care, but are just not aware and maybe me spreading the awareness can help that little bit to promote ethical tourism. But am finding it difficult to get started.
I want to do more than just promote amazing places for tourists to visit be it around the world or at your backyard. Maybe my zest for blogging will come back again when we are headed to Bangladesh or when we are actively travelling during our 2 month campervan trip around Australia. I cannot wait to highlight all the beautiful off the beaten places one can visit in Bangladesh! But the passion for blogging might not come back, I might get more involved in the conservation work I plan to do there, which is one of the reasons we are moving there in the first place. It’s sad to think the blog might die off with our departure from New Zealand, but I really hope it doesn’t. Maybe it will just take a different turn, one which I will enjoy writing about again. End of the day, we will continue to enjoy our travels, it was there before the blog, and it will be there for years to come. The journey of the blog…only time will tell.
On that note, THANK YOU if you have stuck it out to the end of my ramblings 😀 BIG THANK YOU to all our readers, all the lovely comments and feedback we get, and all the positivity. I have a feeling this is my last post for this year, but I do have several exciting stories from other travel bloggers to share, so it’s not the end yet.
Wishing you all a lovely Christmas and New Years and a beautiful start to 2016 filled with love and laughter.