I recently took 2 weeks off and headed south to the beautiful land where orcs, hobbits and dragons reside (if only in movies). It was a good time spent with my husband Alex, daughter Krysta and my 2 elderly aunts, Yan (from Melbourne) and Choo (from Malacca). Our main purpose in traveling to Australia was my aunt Yan’s 70th birthday celebration in Melbourne. But before that, we had a little road trip of our own.
I had a marvellous time driving past scenic mountains, quaint villages and lots and lots of sheep. It was a good time reconnecting with family members and just making time for each other. I spent hours playing with Krysta, moving stickers from the sheet to the floor, to my face… lots of time walking and having long conversations about life and family, jumping on the trampoline with a friend’s 6 year old in Auckland, and playing charades in a picnic with all my relatives in Melbourne (age group ranging from 16 months to 70+). What a blast!
It reminded me that we need to take time off to smell the roses and connect with people around us in the midst of our busy schedules. I read this article recently about 50 reasons why you may be unhappy in life, and one of the many listed were neglecting personal relationships. I believe that with all my heart. There’s this desire in every one of us to connect on a deeper level with other people around us, and if that connection is broken, our lives feel a little empty. Perhaps it is from a hurt or unforgiveness from the past. Maybe it is time to let go, and find out way back again, and reconnect.
On another note, I often get comments on how easy Krysta is as a little traveler. Here are some of my thoughts on how to make life easier while traveling with a baby.
1. Pack light, wash clothes and only bring what is absolutely necessary! (Leave that flask behind… including all sorts of ‘nice to haves’ at home. You can probably make do without some of your usual comforts. We only packed these items for Krysta – some clothes, 2 milk bottles, milk powder, diapers, pacifiers, 2 pairs of shoes, a pack of stickers, a small amount of dishwashing liquid to clean the bottles, stroller, Baby Bjorn, no toys)
2. Find creative ways to keep the child entertained – This includes letting her play with everyday items like clothes pegs found at the apartment where we stayed at.
3. Train the child to sleep anywhere – Ok I guess not every family is like ours, but Krysta has been traveling since she was 2 months old, so she is used to sleeping anywhere and everywhere, including on top of a table at a street hawker stall in Bangkok while she was 2 months old! (I might get some bad rep here for doing things like these by other parents!)
4. Be flexible – Well, don’t be too stressed about planning every little detail for your trip. If it doesn’t work out, or baby is cranky, just take it in stride and be flexible enough to change plans at the last minute.
Hope that helps! Here’s a little smattering of photos from my trip.
The beautiful and most photographed church in Lake Tekapo – The Church of the Good Shepherd.
Our little Jucy car rental mascot, dressed in matching outfit (unintentionally).
I love the drive to Milford Sound, and our overnight cruise. It was absolutely scenic with the glaciers in the background.
And finally, a family photo taken on a trip around the wineries of Yarra Valley, Melbourne.