In a Land Far Far Away

Do you feel sometimes as a parent in a moment of whimsy that you may have bitten more than you can chew? When an opportunity to speak at a conference popped up (and get a free trip back to the U.S.), I jumped at it, perhaps without thinking it through.

I was thinking: free airfare! Get to see family and friends!

I was not at that moment considering: a 16 hr plane flight (plus layover and another 3 hr one) with a 3 month old and a 2 year old, ALONE.

Tasmin multitaskingMy partner couldn’t take the time off, but our American family really wanted to see my daughter and the new baby, and the daycare costs for my daughter (if those weeks were even available – hah!) would cost more than her plane ticket. Oh well, I decided, it’s just one day in my life.

I won’t go into details, but it just wasn’t that bad. The toddler was captivated by unlimited IPad and “TV” time plus the in-flight food in those little trays. The baby did what he always did and was happy to sleep and feed every three hours. I couldn’t sleep at all because their schedules alternated, but again, it’s just one day.

What I will say is that if you are thinking about a trip, but have written it off as too hard, just go! Ours was absolutely worth the relatively small hassles.

My daughter got to plant potatoes in the garden with her cousins and Grandpa. They taught her how to throw stones into the pond. They dug in the dirt together and held baby puppies. Brushed each others hair and pretended to be princesses. My son smiled and laughed at his cousins and Aunts. Got more cheek kisses than he could handle.

In a  Land Far, Far Away (4 of 1)-2

Those experiences I will remember long past when my children do, but I enjoy experiencing the same old things (and familiar people) anew too. That makes it all worth it.

Cooing to CousinsOf course several things made my trip less of a hassle: Wonderful parents and in-laws who helped me at each location, travel cots (The nest and traveller) so the kiddos felt comfortable and slept well, The lobster high chair seat so my daughter could sit still and focus on eating making family mealtimes less distracting, and booking “Meet and Assist” with my airline (any international carrier will do it for free – they will help you with anything from carrying your carry on, to unloading all of your checked bags, wheeling you through customs and all the way out to the taxi rank when you arrive back in Sydney to find your partner has broken his collarbone and shoulder on a mountain biking mates trip while you were away…).

So yes, what are you waiting for! Just go out there and experience life with your kids, it’s so fun to be able to adapt, survive, and thrive.

About the author:

I'm Tasmin, a photographer and the mother of a boisterous 2 yr old daughter Waverley and new baby boy Charleston. After doing (too much) research when I was first pregnant I became a Phil & Teds convert and love using all their toys to make my life as a mum easier. My partner and I love to travel and Waverley has 5 countries on her passport already! I have also co-founded Portrait Equality which loans instant cameras to travelling photographers so they can give out family portraits along their journey. Enjoy following us on our journeys as we share them with you and our families..