Travelling has been part of our life story from day one. As we matured and grew as a family, travelling grew beyond being simply a means to a destination and became an immense source of excitement and enjoyment. Grab a hot drink and draw closer and I will tell you the story, as it has unfolded.
We had our first conversation (in English and Greek), with Alex from an overpriced internet cafe in Villars, Switzerland, our matchmaker (this is a story for another blog post, lol!) from Athens, Greece and myself from Iasi, Romania. I should have seen it as an omen, a good omen, a sign that the relationship that was budding will be one of journeys, of crossroads, of amalgamation and of discovery.
Before we got engaged later that year, we had managed to travel thousands of miles between the two of us and met in three different countries in as many months.
Our wedding took place in Romania, bringing together two families that could only communicate with each other in sign language and who never got to meet in that formula ever since!
Our first holiday as newlyweds was back in Villars, Switzerland, the place we both had visited before as single people. Some of the best memories were created there, on sunny ski slopes and around pots of steaming hot fondue and mulled wine:
Switzerland had put a magic spell on us and it did pull us back for several years during the cold season. We not only enjoyed the mountains, but we took in the wonderful sights of its chic towns and cities, our favourite being Montreux and Lausanne.
Those initial first years of marriage saw us taking Europe by storm. Or plane, better said.
We saw relatives in Greece, Germany and Romania several times, visited with Barbary macaques in Gibraltar, holidayed in Spain and generally, had a wonderful time discovering our rich continent and its history. And some amazing hotels, in the process:
We marked the wonderful news of my first pregnancy with…you guessed it, more travelling!
My cute Emma bump travelled first to Australia and caused loads of mischief, in the form of repulsion to strong smells and a penchant for…toast and kangaroo! We did manage to squeeze a lot into that week and did the Sydney fish market (twice!), the Gold Coast, a drive up to the rain forest and another one to Australia Zoo, home of The Crocodile Hunter.
We came back to the UK enriched by the experience of having visited a vast and amazingly diverse continent, of which we had seen only a tiny fraction.
That spring, we took a Mediterranean cruise, accompanied by Alex’s parents, knowing that the growing Emma bump would not allow us such luxuries in the near future. This was our second cruise and was enjoyed as much as the first because:
- the views were never the same the following morning!
- we discovered hidden gems only locals frequented
- the food was amazing!
- the craic was mighty, as the Irish would say!
With Emma’s arrival, our journey of discovery became of a different nature. We learned to be parents. We learned to love unconditionally. We learned that a baby opens new routes, those of self-sacrifice and self-discovery.
But as she grew older, we took many, many trips with Emma, mainly to Greece and Romania, for her to get to know and love her extended family, but we did squeeze in hotels stay here and there, to give her an early taste for adventure and novelty:
Emma was exposed early to the rhythmic twang of mixed languages, often on her travels abroad:
and just as she was turning two, she had her first transatlantic journey to New York:
And then, we had Georgie.
And then, we lost Georgie.
Our hearts were shattered beyond recognition but we drew strength, paradoxically, from all those amazing travelling memories. We found courage to carry on, knowing that, the world is an amazing place, as we had seen it on all those previous travels. We decided that, by continuing to live and travel, we would honour our boy and carry him with us, in us, to see so much more of this beautiful Earth.
This is my photography entry to the Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Program . I am truly hoping it will make me into a lucky #MarkWarnerMum for 2016 so our travels in Georgie’s memory take us to see the tallest mountains and the bluest seas.