Life before Bea…

I had Beatrice when I was 23 and I feel like in 23 years I managed to get a lot of things ticked off my bucket list. I did a lot of travelling which is mainly what this blog post is going to be about. A lot of people think that 23 is young to have children but I had done everything that I wanted to do in life before having kids and I always knew that I wanted children young.

In 2013 I did Camp America, I spent 7 weeks working on a girl scout camp in Buffalo, New York then I travelled from New York to Los Angeles for 3 weeks. Working on an American summer camp was so fun, it was really hard at times as on camp we had no computers or phones so I couldn’t speak to my family much. We got one evening off a week and then we had the weekends off as the camp I worked at was only a week camp. We stayed with the American workers during our weekends off which was really fun because we got to get a feel of their lifestyles. Buffalo is very close to Niagara Falls so we went there one weekend, we also headed to Canada one weekend as the drinking age in Canada is 19 unlike America’s 21. All the English girls on camp were all 19 or 20 so we decided to cross the border for a night out – as you do!

During my 3 weeks travelling I visited 14 states – I headed from New Y0rk to Los Angeles hitting the southern states like Tennessee, Texas, Arizona and Utah. I did this with an organised tour company called Trek America, we camped pretty much every night in national parks and it was just an incredible experience. I actually wrote a blog whilst I was travelling if you want to read it ( I am so glad I wrote this blog as I can’t remember all the things I did with it being 6 years ago. It’s so nice to be able to look back and remember everything from reading these which makes me so glad that I have this blog as I’m sure in years to come I’ll forget a lot of things about Bea and bump being little and this will refresh my memory. Anyway, back to travelling my favourite memory has got to be when we woke up in Monument Valley after sleeping under the stars to the most amazing sunset then we headed to the Grand Canyon and had pizza watching the sunset. Sunrises and sunsets are my favourite thing ever and to watch them in these iconic place was just incredible. We also headed to Las Vegas which was amazing, even though I was under 21 there was still so much to do and I’d love to go back some day. After Vegas we headed to LA and said goodbye to the tour guide and everyone else, I was with my 2 friends that I made at camp and we headed to Santa Monica. We did all the touristy bits of LA then flew back to NY for a couple more days then home to see our families after a long but fulfilling 10 weeks.

After Camp America I then started working 2 jobs so I could go travelling again as I had go the bug so in 2015 my best friend (Alice) and I decided to head to South East Asia for 3 months. We did Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kuala Lumpa and Bali – we did the first four countries on a guided tour called Stray that we booked through STA Travel and then the others we did by ourselves including the Thai islands. I didn’t do an online blog when I went to Asia as I didn’t know what the wifi would be like however I did do a written journal – unfortunately I can’t find it at mine, I think it must be at my mums house somewhere. So firstly we flew into Bangkok, which was just crazy – I did not like the city one bit as was so pleased we had only booked 2 nights there. We then headed to the North of Thailand, then into Laos where we did a homestay which was amazing – we stayed in a local village which had no wifi, minimal electricity and it was just so incredible. We played in the Mekong River with all the kids and had a welcome ceremony and just had the best time. After this we headed south through Laos into Cambodia stopping off at Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh – Cambodia has some fascinating and emotional history including the Killing Fields which I would really recommend. After Cambodia we headed into Vietnam heading north along the coast, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to, Dec and I will definitely be heading there in the future. Once we got to North Vietnam we said goodbye to Stray and Alice and I were on our own, we headed to Bangkok to start our journey down to the Thai Islands. We started off in Phi Phi which is just party central, we were there for about 5 days and all we did was drink and sunbath! Dec and I starting dating a few months before I went travelling so after a random conversation one day and me jokingly suggesting him coming to visit us he booked a flight and met us in Phuket, we were there a couple of days then headed to Koh Tao, Dec and I just chilled on the beach most days here and Alice did her PADI. I wasn’t allowed to go scuba diving as I have had surgery on my ear so wouldn’t be able to deal with the pressure. After a few days on Koh Tao we headed to Koh Samui which was so lush. Dec stayed with us for 10 days then he headed home (after missing his flight and having to meet us on another island but that’s a story for another day.) So after Koh Samui Alice and I went to Koh Phangan for the full moon party which was just insane. There are so many other parties either side of it so we drank heavily for a few days then we relaxed and headed to Kaula Lumpa. We were only in KL for a day or two as a stopover for our journey to Bali where we were ending our incredible trip. We were in Bali for just over a week where we had the best time, we did surf lessons, went to the monkey sanctuary and loads more. We went to Gili T which was probably one of my favourite destinations in Asia, it is a small Island just off of Bali – all we did hear was lie on the beach, scuba dive/snorkel and have cocktails in the evening. Such a lush ending to an amazing 3 months.

So even though I had Bea at a “young” age I have travelled to so many incredible and beautiful places and I can’t wait to take Bea and bump to some of them and to other destinations when they’re older. New Zealand is definitely on the bucket list, Dec and I will probably go here when the kids are older and they can decide if they want to come with us. For now, we are going to enjoy going somewhere new each year and exploring with our little family of four.