I know I’m a bit late to the party with my 2015 review, given we are already edging into 2016. However one of my goals this year was to give myself some more time off from blogging. For any bloggers out there, perhaps the words ‘labour of love’ will resonate with you too. It is hard to make a full-time living from blogging and travel writing, hence my corporate day job in recruitment. However, blogging about my travel obsession is my favourite creative outlet and I hope you have enjoyed some of the posts I’ve shared with you this year.
I thought I’d start by telling you the year’s most popular post. No surprises, it is my top 10 tips for beating jetlag. Sadly 2015 didn’t invent a magical jetlag cure but as my kids get older, it’s getting easier to handle. A more controversial topic was my post on how to get kids to sleep on the plane. I shared my experience of phenergan which will always be a topic with dividing opinions.
I’ve also learnt that despite my rules, tips & guidelines, I can still be useless at traveling. On a recent trip to Thailand I managed to forget my daughter’s favourite comforter and also the fancy dress costumes we had bought for our NYE party. Then whilst at the airport boarding for my return flight, I received a call from my mother in law to inform me I’d left my swimwear back at the villa… That said, I just had to share a photo of my makeshift, cobbled together costumes below – presenting Princess Fiona and a Pixie.
I didn’t manage to tick off anywhere on my 2015 bucket list. Whilst I’d love to spend my days gallivanting around the world, travel requires time and money! I often wish we had travelled more before my daughters started in full-time school.
I’m always asked what my favourite places are. The highlight of my travel year is always my US roadtrip. This year we went to Louisiana which far exceeded my expectations. As usual the food was deliciously fattening and the people were welcoming and fun.
Although the food in the US was big and bad (in a good way) my food award has to go to Tokyo. I spent 3 days there eating my way through the city. Dinner at Tapas Molecular Bar in the Mandarin Oriental was sensational but my sushi breakfast the next morning outside Tsukiji fish market was off the hook…
I also had some surprising discoveries. On my doorstep in Hong Kong are some incredible beaches (accessible by boat from Saikung) and a beautiful, off the beaten path monstery, Tsz Shan Monastery in Tai Po.
I also really enjoyed spending time touring Singapore, a destination I’d only ever really travelled to on business. Of course I couldn’t post this without asking Jetlag (age 6) and Mayhem (age 4) what their favourite travel destinations were of 2015. My 4 year old was a bit flummoxed by the questioning but when reminded, her favourite was the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu (aka a hotel with waterslides). For my 6 year old, it was hanging out with family in our Thai villa over Christmas (review to come).
I’ve realised that travel with a 4 and 6 year old is so much easier! For my 6yo, learning to read has opened up a whole new world for her. For my 4yo, she can actually sit still and concentrate. She doesn’t nap anymore so we aren’t dictated by a napping schedule. She’s even out of nappies so that’s half my suitcase freed up.
My favourite travel product of 2015 was the Fly-Tot, an inflatable foot stool that can transform an economy seat into a bed for little ones. It’s something I wish had been invented years ago as I fear my two are almost getting too long for it. In fact my friend recently referred to it as a ‘game changer’ on a longhaul flight with her 3 year old.
2016 has got some fun lined up. A February trip to Western Australia and a summer roadtrip to Chicago. There is also a sneaky adults only trip to Ibiza but I won’t be blogging about that one.
Thank you so much for reading Jetlag & Mayhem. I truly appreciate each and every one of my visitors. Here’s to a fabulous, travel-filled 2016!