It seems like we’re due a bit of a ‘life lately’ kinda post and I guess the start of the year is as good a time as any!
2016 was a great year and a learning curve. There’s been a huge shift in the way I now work, in terms of travelling and blogging. I was on maternity leave from day job for the first nine months of the year, so Jay, Nova and I travelled to five different countries; The Netherlands, Jersey, Greece, Canada and Mallorca, and we had some fun adventures in the UK; 1066 Country, the Cotswolds, Oxford and loads more. Since going back to work we’ve carried on travelling too, finishing the year in Paris at Disneyland (there will be a blog and vlog soon, I promise!).
It was AMAZING and I could have totally got used to that pace of travelling on a longer-term basis, but unfortunately the reality of work (for both me and Jay) put a stop to that notion. I know, I know we could be nomads living a life on the road, but that’s not for us.
Travelling with a baby is lovely; completely rewarding, entertaining and not at all like the scary picture that most painted for me. More of that please.
I’ve turned down a fair few trips because there’s now someone else to think about other than myself. Sometimes a parent escape suits, but mostly it’s family travel that ticks my boxes. I guess I’m just learning to only say yes to things that I really want to. I don’t know why it’s taken me so many years to be more confident in saying no.
That’s not the only reason I’ve started saying no though. I’m now mainly focusing on paid trips, which means having to say no to some incredible itineraries. Oh the dilemma! It means fewer trips, but I want the work trips to be more beneficial to both me and my blog. There’s a lot that goes into campaigns and projects, so if I’m going to give up my time for someone else I want it to be more than me just having a nice time for a week.
So what’s new for 2017?
I went back to my day job last August on a full-time basis, with two days as work from home. Sounds great, right? Nope. On my two days at home Nova wasn’t in childcare so it was seriously hard work. I felt like I was being a rubbish worker and a rubbish mama and no one should feel like that. I gave it a good shot, but after five months I made the decision to go part-time.
So, that’s what’s new for 2017. I’m now part-time. Yay! I go to my day job three days a week and the other two are spent looking after Nova (and when he’s napping, doing fun blog stuff!). It feels like such a better solution, though perhaps my bank account wouldn’t agree.
I’m not going to lie, the financial side was the scariest aspect to consider, but the universe has a funny little way of figuring everything out (or so I believe). I confirmed the changes with my employer after Jay and I had made a miserable new budget plan. The budget was still short so we just said we’d have to hope for the best and then a few days later it was because Jay got a massive promotion! Thank you, universe!
Mini-Explorer Milestone Cards
So besides being part-time, the other thing new thing for this year is the launch of my Mini-Explorer Milestone Cards. They’re basically similar to regular milestones that celebrate a baby’s first months and steps etc, but they’re ten times better (in my humble opinion!) because they’re all about travel; first dip in the sea, first flight and more. You can recap and see what I mean in this post about the baby milestone cards.
I’ve been absolutely blown away with the feedback on them and have received so many lovely, lovely comments that have completely made my day, week and year, so thank you. Just like blogging (especially in those first few months), it’s really daunting putting something so personal out there, but it’s so rewarding too. Let’s hope 2017 is full of lots of orders, eh?!
A Big Op
Travel has slowed down a little for us and it’s been painful for me, but it’s nothing compared to the pain that Jay is in. To cut a long story short, he has a burst disc in his neck. Yeah, not very nice to say the least. It means he can’t lift or even manage to sleep a full night because the pain is so unbearable despite the medication. He’s booked in for a major operation, which I won’t go into because frankly, it’s scary and would probably turn your stomach.
We were supposed to be going to Sicily in February, but we’ve had to cancel it as it clashes with the op. *Sob* We have travel insurance but they said that the excess applies to each person, so by the time we accounted for that it left us with about £30 for flights that cost us £190. Pfft. Luckily we’d booked the hotels through Booking.com so we could just utilise the free cancellation policy.
I’m currently planning a few weekender breaks, both here in the UK and abroad, and we’re planning a biggie for the summer as Nova’s nursery is closed for two weeks so we figure we may as well use the time to travel. I’m contemplating a week in Texas, followed by a week in Cuba, or perhaps Vancouver. Oh the possibilities. If you have any suggestions feel free to ping them over.
We also have a trip to Scotland booked in for later in the year. It’s such an exciting trip so I’ll leave the details for its own blog post. Then there’s a skiing trip towards the end of the year and a few more adventures during the rest of the year.
I also have a few other exciting bits of news to share with you, but I’ll need to leave you hanging for now. Sorry!
How has your 2017 been and what do you have planned? X