2015 done and dusted... a year of big plans... and even bigger ‘achievements’ 😉 but let’s start from the beginning...
As for the travel bug... It had been planted in my head many years ago... Ever since we (my sister and I) were small kids, my parents went out of their ways to take us for a holiday some place nice, to show us another tiny piece of the world. Back then world seemed much bigger than it feels now... anything outside of the Polish communist borders felt almost like a different planet – fancy cars, shops full of different products, even McDonalds seemed like a luxurious place to eat at, a face of the distant, Western world! People were spending money on day-to-day expenses, hardly ever being able to save anything or even to think of travelling... On top of that the choice of travel destinations wasn’t very wide as it wasn’t that easy to even get the passports back then... And yet at the age of 7 (my sister only 5 at the time), disguised as boys (or maybe short hairstyles and boyish jackets were in kids fashion back then?), we went on our first ‘international’
trip, all the way to... East Germany of course! Keeping it within the communist region... I can’t really remember much from that trip to be honest, very vague memories, nevertheless it was my first trip abroad... the trip that started our adventures outside of Poland. Thankfully a few years later communism fell down and suddenly the world opened up for the Poles to explore... or so it seemed as the ‘free’ travelling was still closely monitored on the Polish borders for the next few years. If you were planning 2 weeks holidays outside of Poland (by car of course as flying was totally out of reach – way too expensive), you’d have to take into account that most likely you would spend 2 full days crossing the borders (one day out of Poland and the other on the way back). Kilometre-long queues, car by car checked thoroughly by the customs officers, the officers interviewing the passengers and taking down the details of basically every item that was in the possession of the hopeful travellers – in our case the list wasn’t too long... it was usually the gigantic tent (which took a good ¾ of the boot), 4 equally gigantic
sleeping bags (two spread on the back seats and other two rolled under my sister’s and mine feet, what can I say you had to be creative with the limited car space – travelling like Gypsies in style 😉). Add to it some cooking equipment, clothes, 2 walkmans to keep the kids happy 😊 and lots and lots of snacks... I remember once when we were coming back from Czechoslovakia, all four of us fell asleep in the car, exhausted from waiting close to 24 hours at the border, only to wake up and see other cars sneakily passing us by, rolling down the road with the engines off, doing their best not to wake us up and jump the queue if only by one car! Fun times! 😉
Every year my parents would take us for a holiday to explore some new place somewhere. When I think about it now, I have to say that my sister and I were very lucky indeed to taste a bit of the outside world as not many of my friends were able to do any of that at the time... And even though we travelled around Europe only (few
trips to Germany, Netherlands, France, even managed to see some parts of Yugoslavia before it had been thrown into the civil war), my world had become that much bigger already and I was only getting eager to see more of it... When I was thinking about my future back then I knew that travelling would simply have to be a big part of it... So every year I tried to save up some money and go for a week or two someplace new, to explore another corner of this world until I finally got a chance to go away and spend a few blissful months in Asia... which of course only made me even more hungry to travel some more... Thankfully Grant was on the same page! But then as Grant and I both settled into our jobs in Australia in 2014 (or maybe more got sucked into them actually), travelling suddenly was put aside for a while... And as the days passed on, the Asian adventure seemed long gone... As soon as we realised that the main topic of our conversations suddenly became our jobs, we knew we had to start at least making some kind of plans for
travel to keep us sane... and to have something to look forward to of course. So we did make a plan for another longer journey through Asia again – hoping to start around September visiting our favourite country, Nepal first and then making our way through Asia through the countries we haven’t been to yet and maybe stopping by the ones we have visited already on our previous trip. The list was loooong, so it was going to be quite a long trip as well...
But travel wasn’t the only ‘idea’ we had been thinking of at that time... Even though our relationship hadn’t been exactly very long term just yet, everything about it just felt right from the very beginning and as the days and months were going by, we both started looking forward to expanding our little family. It turns out that falling pregnant isn’t as easy as it would seem... But then I guess I knew that for quite a few years already... It can certainly be quite challenging if not impossible for some people... As for me I always knew I wanted to have a family, in primary school I had this idea of having
a husband (preferably English speaking one haha – not sure where this idea came from but it was planted in my head very early on) and two kids by the time I’m 30 and maybe even another one after that? I did get married quite early on but I quickly realised that I wasn’t ready for becoming a mom just then. I would give myself a few years to enjoy the freedom first... a few nice trips here and there... some happy times but also little and bigger problems in between, a few disappointments... Suddenly I was getting closer and closer to 30 and no sign of any children just yet... no real perspectives for that happening any time soon either... in 2011 I had a bit of a tornado going through my life (or so it had seemed back then) when my marriage suddenly broke down and two weeks later I found out I’d be jobless as well as my company had announced some massive redundancies... having my friends popping children all around like popcorn wasn’t helping my mental state either... but then what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger right? It sure did... I had a
chance to look at my life, make a few adjustments and think of what it was actually that I wanted to do with my life... I had another year at work to go before I got redundant so during that time I started planning my big journey, planning on doing something only for myself for once... I was taking a big step out of my comfort zone and was wondering where it would take me...
Not in my wildest dreams I would have ever thought that this journey would bring me a true soulmate and send me all the way to the other side of the world. Everything was just better than I could ever have hoped for and I was truly happy at last. There was just this tiny little thing missing... So when my pregnancy test finally showed the two lines, I simply couldn’t be happier! From that point there was still a long way for me to become a mom and it sure did take quite a while to get used to the thought that a little person was really growing inside me but finally on the 26th
of October our daughter Amelia was
born. Our little pride and joy!
When I spoke with some of my friends, they all seemed to have the same opinion about one thing, we would surely not be going for any trip any time soon right? Well... They couldn’t be more wrong! We thought that especially now, seeing that Amelia (or Millie as we quickly starting calling her) didn’t need to go to school just yet or anything like that either, it would be the perfect time to plan another trip somewhere. Slight change of direction only... Rather than going to Asia, we would just go to Europe instead. First a quick visit to Grant’s family in New Zealand with a quick round tour of the Southern Island for mom (that would be me 😊) and then an extended sightseeing tour of Europe (concentrating mainly on Eastern Europe) for dad (that would be Grant of course 😊). Since I’m writing this blog from Poland, I can happily say that our beautiful daughter seems to have travelling in her blood! So far so good! But more about it in the blogs to come...
Happy travels everyone!
Anna, Grant & Amelia
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