As part of my continuing interview series for #RealMomsWhoTravel I am so excited to introduce you all to Shelley, a fellow expat mom blogger who travels a lot with her husband and her daughter Mackenzie. They live in York, which is just up the road from me, and like us they are expats to this lovely part of the world. Originally from Australia, Shelley’s blog, Wander & Luxe is literally all about luxury travelling! I’m just going to say this now, I am jealous because I have never flown first class, but you know, everyone has to have a goal. Maybe one day when the kids have gone off to university, which will be in about 14 years time. Not that I’m counting!
Oh, and we once attended an event but because I suck at socialising and introducing myself to new people, we didn’t get to chat. We literally sat with Shelley directly behind me during a talk, and we didn’t talk! I suck! Anyway, we hope to meet IRL soon and I will update this post with an actual photo when we do!
Over to Shelley …
Please tell us a bit about you, your family and your travel blog, Wander & luxe?
My name is Shelley and I am the face behind the blog, Wander & Luxe, a blog which touches on all things travel, motherhood and a little luxe. I am Australian born and married to a fellow Australian. We moved to York, UK almost 2 ½ years ago when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our first child. We welcomed our daughter to the world in July 2017 and have been enjoying the experience of expat life with a young family ever since. Whilst my background is management roles in the mining and construction sector, I am taking some time out to focus on my family, travel and blogging.
It would also be remiss of me not to mention our two beloved Beagles, Bailey and Nellie, whom also flew from Australia to England to be with us. Our household is generally pretty crazy with two dogs and a toddler, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What was your best family holiday to date. Where, when, what?
We have done a significant amount of traveling since our daughter was born. At last calculation, she has been on 45 flights and to 14 different countries. Choosing our best family holiday to date is a tough one! But I would have to say our visit to St Maarten in the Caribbean earlier this year was a holiday that we will never forget. A week in the sunshine, relaxing and swimming and watching the planes approach the airport at Maho Beach. My husband is an aviation lover and he had dreamed of visiting this island to watch the planes for years. It was a really special vacation for the 3 of us and we hope to return again sometime soon.
Give us your top 3 bucket list destinations for future family travel.
There are so many places that I want to travel to, and the list seems to be forever growing. Some of these are for my own desires e.g. the Champagne region in France, but there is an abundance of places that I want to show my daughter too.
The top 3 destinations would have to be:
- Orlando, Florida – The theme park capital of the world! At 2 years old our daughter is arguably a bit young to appreciate this place, but we are eager to take her sooner rather than later. All three of us are a little but Disney obsessed, so no doubt we will need an extra suitcase to bring home all the merchandise.
- Singapore – My husband and I were married in Singapore so it is a very special place for us. Whilst we have been many times, we have not yet had the opportunity to take our daughter. Sentosa Island is the perfect place for families and children with Universal Studios, S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and many other attractions. We are scheduled to visit Singapore on our next trip home to Australia and I cannot wait.
- Portugal – This country has been on my bucket list for such a long time. I have heard wonderful things about the food, people and beaches. We are lucky enough to be visiting Porto and Madeira for the first time in September. I look forward to seeing what it has in store for us.
What is your number one piece of advice for travelling with kids based on your experience.
Travel light! You can almost always buy the things that you need when you arrive at your destination, and there is nothing worse than too much stuff being strewn all over your hotel room. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to stay calm and just roll with the situation. As soon as you become stressed, it is guaranteed that your little one will feed off of your energy. It’s definitely easier said than done when everyone is tired and jet lagged, but
as long as your family is safe then try not to worry about things out of your control.
Thanks so much for being a part of this series Shelley. I am such a nosy person and have loads of questions for when we do get to meet up. I will save them for then. Shelley also interviewed me for a recent piece she wrote on her blog about how to feel sexy after motherhood. Please do go and check it out.