In a former life, long before kids, I worked as a training consultant in mediation and conflict resolution. The role saw me travel often all along the eastern seaboard of Australia & Tasmania. One incredibly scary aborted landing and subsequent turbulence while flying in near cyclone conditions took away my ease as a flyer. I have not been confident in the air since. I continued to fly for work and to visit interstate family with our children, but it was often an uncomfortable and even fearful experience for me.
Mark has made three international trips since we have been married, primarily with a work focus, but always involving personal time. Never have I wanted to join him. In part because I wanted to save money for our house deposit, then the mortgage, and in part due to my dislike of flying.
I have found traveling with kids a challenge. Primarily as I am the person responsible for young kids who need constant supervision or entertaining away from home. The extended family we visit aren’t switched on to the needs of kids and consequently I find it stressful staying in their homes.
All that taken into consideration I’m surprised we have travelled as often as we have to date. And even more surprised that I have agreed to a family trip to China! What the..!
Mark as been with EY for less than two years. It would be an understatement to say that I wasn’t proud of his professional achievements during that time. He was recently nominated as one of four people in Oceania, and one of ten in Asia-Pacific for the EY Chairman’s Values Awards! They will fly him and a guest to Shanghai for the award ceremony, plus cover a couple of nights accommodation.
My first thought was it’s a shame Mark’s Dad isn’t able to fly as it would be great for them take a trip together, then it’s a shame Dave (Mark’s brother) will be traveling to visit us at that time as it would be great if Mark could take Dave……honestly there was no thought in my mind that I would be going. I thought Mark might take Foxy, or even my sister, but never did I entertain going myself.
Mark wanted me to go. There is absolutely no way in hell I am traveling overseas with Mark and without my kids…..NO WAY IN HELL, just to be clear. After lots of consideration, weeks of thinking, I agreed to go…..
Oh but we are not just going to Shanghai…NO! I said if we are going to China, all that way with kids they have to go to the Great Wall, they have to see the Terracotta Warriors, etc. They have to have a sense of China beyond one of the world’s biggest cities. So from not going at all, to going with three kids, we are now going for ten days, to three cities traveling at night by sleeper train, and 2 x 11 hour international flights!. CRAZY, INSANE and at the same time brave and intrepid….(note the latter are in lower case as I feel more crazy and insane than brave and intrepid).
I keep having to take deep breaths: three kids a foreign country where we don’t speak the language, expensive travel not in the budget, three kids sleeper trains, three kids strange foods,….three kids and the experience of a life time.
Any travel tips greatly appreciated.