Published: May 13th 2011March 11th 2009
Wish I could get that comfortable on a plane seat!
Last year, before my daughter would have to start school, we decided to go travelling around the world. Although hard at times, travelling alone with a three year old, it was an absolutely amazing experience! We set off for India where my daughter's godfather was getting married. It was a huge Hindu wedding and my daughter got to ride with the groom on a beautiful grey arab, just like a little princess. After the wedding and all the attention she had been given, travelling, just the two of us was a bit of a shock for her and we had a few wobbly days. This soon settled as we went up to the north of India to discover where my grandfather was born.
After India, we set off for the jungles of Borneo, so beautiful. I was very excited to see the Orang Utangs, magnificent, intelligent creatures, my daughter was left with a love for turtles. Also an incredible animal, we sat in the dark on a beach on the aptly named turtle island watching a mother turtle lay her eggs. It was an almost spiritual experience. My three year old was probably the best behaved person there
Or where? You tell me!
(and she was the only child!)
We loved the small boats that took us in the inner waters of the jungle and everyone loved having an enthusiastic child on the boat.
After a quick stopover in Singapore, we were in Australia. We stayed with some friends but we also went on a camping exped along the Great Ocean Road which is truly beautiful. And we climbed a mountain in the Grampians (admittedly Luna, my daughter, made me carry her and it was tough going especially with the temperature being 43oC ! The view made up for it.)
camping under eucalyptus trees full of Koalas, and the second night surrounded by kangaroos, made it a truly memorable experience!) Although Luna wasn't so sure about the helicopter trip.
And it was soon down to New Zealand were we started on some very, very wet walks to see glaciers and another helicopter ride over said glaciers, now Luna was loving the helicopters calling them all Harold - like the helicopter in Thomas the Tank Engine stories.
When we arrived in Queenstown, home of the bungee jump, I said jokingly that we might have to
Luna found a swing within an hour of arriving in New Dehli!
return here when she's a bit older as she'd love all the adventure activities. Naively, little did I know that a bit older was going to be only a few hours later when I had my just turned three and a half year old begging me to go paragliding!!! Now, not wanting to curb this enthusiasm, I went up to the hut where they were advertising the jumps, thinking that they would say she would be too young! Not a bit of it, next thing I know we've jumped on a ski-lift (a feat in itself), climbed a very steep hill and were on top of a cliff. Now, I'm petrified of heights but apart from, not wanting to be shown up by my three year old, someone needed to be at the bottom to collect her. And this is the funny bit, I try and follow all the instructions on how to land but muck it up, nonetheless and what do I hear but a cackle on the other side of the field and a three year old - whose now an expert!!!- telling me how I mucked up my landing.
She was pleased to mention
my failed landing and her succesful one to many people after that! It was a good ice breaker for her, it has to be said. And I was very proud of this enthusiasm. We found a ski-plane that would take us around Mount Cook and felt we couldn't miss out on such a great opportunity, Luna was now in her element in the sky! And we got to make snow angels in the most pristeen snow you could possibly imagine.
And after a few more adventures we set off for Samoa where we ended up sleeping in Fales (indigenous beach huts) and it was wonderful to wake up every morning with the view of the Pacific through the untouched mangroves, sleeping on our coconut matting. (great for posture) In Samoa she was adopted as a local child and we finished our stay there in some very hospitable people's house running around with the pigs, which are very important in Samoa.
And so it was with great sadness, we left Samoa and had to head back home via LA and Disney Land, of course!!! A year later, Luna has started school and she still thinks
back to last year with great fondness and great memories.
What a wonderful and fun adventure we had.
There are more photos below