Four days into our trip, and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and write. The last three weeks have been an intense amount of work, anticipation and finally, relaxation. It is a lot for a little family to get through, and it wouldn’t have been possible if both Mark and I were still working. I’ve personally been through crushing anxiety about the amount of work to be done, physical and mental exhaustion of simply just getting through the list, and finally through to slowly relaxing into the fact that we were only a few days away from departure. […]
Austin, Texas (the city) First, let me get this out of the way. We did not name our son directly after the city of Austin in Texas. His father picked the name, and yes, it happens to be a name that easily retrofits into both of our homelands. I come from Austin County, the birthplace of Texas, where Stephen F. Austin formed his colony of 300 hardy Texans in what was still under Spanish controlled Mexico. Mark is from Australia, where they like to nickname everything. Everything. So if our little Austin ever wants to be called Aussie, it’s there […]
I went back to San Antonio with my sister-in-law, Carrie to see her cousin, Jamie Lin Wilson, host an intimate country music show at Sam’s Burger Joint with Jack Ingram, a Texas Music legend, who got his start playing the college circuit when I was a student at Texas A&M. If you’re not familiar with the Texas Music genre, then sit back, crack open a cold longneck (beer), and click through the links at the bottom. Texas musicians are epic storytellers first and foremost. They tell it like it is, and celebrate life lived to it’s fullest, and what makes […]
San Antonio is a 300 year old city in Texas, and its historical significance in the Texas war for independence is known around the world. “Remember the Alamo!” The architecture, cuisine, people and festivals keep our Spanish Heritage alive. It is home of the Alamo, The Riverwalk, the annual Fiesta festival in April, and Fiesta Texas (a Six Flags Theme Park). I’ve been countless times, and keep going back. It’s a beautiful city, with a diverse population that oozes colonial culture. I went to visit a friend there, who made some brilliant recommendations for things to do with the kids […]
Why do mothers drink? Because of places like water parks. My best friend since forever and ever and I took four kids to Splashway Water Park in Sheridan, Texas. Everyone had raved about this park, and it was ideally located halfway between Austin, TX where she lives, and Bellville, where my parents live. Absolute winner for a summer day in Texas with four hot rambunctious kiddos. We had her two, aged 6 and 5, Austin age 6 and my niece, Lanie, just a month shy of 7. For the record, four kids outnumber two moms by a factor of about […]
We left Texas only days before Hurricane Harvey strengthened and slammed into the Texas coast as a powerful and wet category 4 storm (on a scale of 1-5). The force of the storm destroyed the small coastal town of Rockport where my family has spent countless summer days and weeks (and fall, spring and winter too) since my grandfather was a little boy, and long before. The weather pattern that held the storm in place over Houston and the surrounding area created unprecedented levels of rainfall, and horrific flooding on a scale never seen before — in a city […]
They say you can never go home again. Having lived abroad for the last 8 years, I’ve been slapped in the face over and over again by that nasty old adage. People and places can change, and they can stay the same. But its not home that’s causes all the problems, it’s you.
A big goal for this trip is to really experience the cultures and the places we visit; to learn the local customs from locals themselves. We want to get a feel for what the place is really about, and meet the people by staying in B&Bs and guesthouses along the way. We’ve found you learn more about what makes a place special this way – what people are proud of, the hidden gems they direct you to off the tourist circuit, and the journey this community has been on through history. You can’t get that from a guidebook or Wikipedia entry. It turns a tourist visit into a life experience.
That was the honest question from our 6 yr old, as the nurse and mummy discussed travel vaccinations at our local GP! The vaccination schedule can take up to 5 months to complete, so you have to start early on the most unpleasant part of planning for a long term trip. To be fair we had not divulged a great deal about our adventure yet to him, as we didn’t want to distract him too much from school, and we hadn’t yet notified work, school, friends…most people. Travelling into remote places means that we’ll encounter some bad bugs and diseases. Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, […]
Our love of travel didn’t stop when we were joyfully surprised with the arrival of our son. We were expats living in London, and living far away from our families meant that our son’s first flights were long haul to Texas and to Australia. By his first birthday, he had visited his first four countries and just as many continents. Travel with a child is just a part of life for us. Sure its hard at times. Kids complain, get tired and stubborn, and they weirdly don’t seem to enjoy sitting on a terrace just to watch the sun go […]