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Little Travelers

Fat Mum Slim /

Brought to you by Wotif, and is inspired by their video I shared on my Facebook page last week. I encourage you to watch it, although I should warn you – it will move you, it did me, I had tears!

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One thing I like for my girls to have as a habit, is daily gratitude. I know our lives are not normal. I know that blogging has afforded us some pretty amazing experiences, experiences that money can’t buy. They’ve traveled more in their short lives than I had in the first 30 years of my life. They’re lucky, there is absolutely no denying that. The thing is, this is their normal, and without gratitude and reflection they wouldn’t really get to see that this isn’t normal for most other kids. I want them to know that this life is pretty lucky and amazing, and something they should be grateful for.

Being grateful is something that I’d teach my kids, even if blogging hadn’t happened to me. I was brought up practicing gratitude, and it’s something I’d instill in my kids no matter what journey our life took. With Lacey and Lulu, who is only 3, we’ve been practicing daily reflection for around 18 months now. Over dinner we’ll ask, “What was your favourite thing today?”

I love hearing what they have to say, and the things that I think will be their favourites often don’t rate, but small, beautiful things make their lists instead. It’s one of my most favourite things about life. If you don’t already do it at home, I highly recommend it. As they get older, I’ll change it from ‘favourite’ to ‘grateful’ but for now this really fits with them, and their level of understanding.

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Over the weekend, I sat down with a map of the world and some of our photos from the past few years and we talked about the adventures we’ve been on, the places we’ve seen, the foods we’ve tried, the friends we’ve made, and best of all, the memories we’ve created. I wanted to know what they really thought about holidays, just like Wotif has been asking Aussie kids.

I marked out on the map in black, the places we’ve traveled to. I was surprised by how many black dots we marked, but also how much more of the world there was to explore.

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And then I asked the girls, “What have been your most favourite bits of it all? What makes a good holiday?”

By this stage Lulu had run off and was playing with her teeny toys under the Christmas tree, trying to open the presents for the billionth time. Lacey was enthralled by the map, recalling how many hours on a plane it takes to get to each place.

“I know what makes a good holiday,” she enthused. She rattled them off to me, and again I was surprised. I knew that the long flights wouldn’t make the list, but the ‘things’ I thought might make the list, didn’t get a look in.

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“It’s simple,” she told me, sounding beyond her years, “It’s about making friends first. I love making new friends when we go to new places.” She does. She’s made so many different friends from around the world. Some she stays in touch with, others become just beautiful memories and hopes that they might meet again.

“And then I love seeing new beaches, and swimming!” Ninety-nine percent of our trips revolve around water, so this was bound to make the list. I have two little mermaids on my hands.

“I really like exploring and learning new things, trying new food, eating ice cream in different places, seeing how beautiful everything is, but I really love making new friends.”

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What do your kids think makes a good holiday? Is it about the fancy hotels? Or the rollercoasters? Or is about the making friends, the treats, the family time, the laughs? Why don’t you ask them, and start a conversation.

Watch the video here:

To see more family videos and stories, visit www.wotif.com/wotifinsider.

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  • Oh gosh! That video combined with your words and the rush of trying to get ready for Christmas got me all snotty haha. I consider the Little Mister to also be really lucky. He’s travelled a lot further than I had by his age (he’s only 5!) – he’s been to Korea, Japan, Singapore, Tasmania, Melbourne and has his first trip to Sydney planned for next March. We’ve been camping together. We’ve built so many memories already and I love seeing everything through his eyes. It’s so worth it.
    We also practice the ‘what was your favourite part of the day’ exercise. It’s great over the dinner table or for a little bed time chat. I love hearing what he says. Knowing you do it too made me smile. I’m big on gratitude too.
    I did feel emotional watching the video because my husband has been working longer hours this month (not his fault – he’s had to cover two demanding roles instead of just his one) and I have seen the effect it’s had on our son. It’s subtle but he really misses his dad when he’s gone or comes home late and it’s all about the evening routine rush. The little things like building Lego together or his dad teaching him how to play footy or riding in dad’s car (a novelty) or coming into our bedroom in the morning on a weekend and seeing BOTH of us there means so much to him. I might feel like a chook with my head cut off right now but I know that Christmas will be special for him and I can’t wait x

  • michelle barrington

    I’m with Lacey it is all about eating ice-cream in different parts of the world!! My son would say seeing the wildlife and nature is the highlight (he’s 4) but Raya would agree that making new friends is the best part of a holiday.This is what she loves about going camping. Your post reminds me while I love taking them on grand adventures overseas and ticking items off my personal bucket list they are just as happy camping close to home and playing on the beach as they would be in the Maldives or Sri Lanka. Spending time together and chilling out being relaxed is key for our family. We practice gratitude a lot in our house reinforcing that we can’t always change what happens to us but we can change our response to the situation. It is such a privilege to help shape little souls.

  • Mandy Ferry

    I agree, I’ve just booked bali and I had to book a resort, so that my kids are surrounded by others. I also always try and incorporate swimming. If the weather isn’t going to be flash I’ll hunt out a place with an indoor swimming pool. I always say if my kids have a daily swim they’re in holiday mode.

@Fatmumslim