This week I thought I’d write about my recent trip to Australia which I mentioned in last week’s blog post. I suppose this is more personal this week; more of an insight into me, my family and our travels …
The story starts almost two years ago, when I lost both my parents within six weeks of each other. My Dad passed away unexpectedly in August 2012, closely followed by my Mum in September.
I’m an only child, my Mum was an only child and my Dad has a brother who lives in Australia, so when all this happened it was the toughest time in my life so far.
“Thank goodness for my children who all supported me at the tender ages of 18, 15 and 11. It was tough for them too!”
The silver lining from this story is an unexpected inheritance which my Dad received from a long lost cousin, although by the time they managed to trace my Dad he had already passed away.
Dad had a cousin on his Father’s side who didn’t leave a will, so he was entitled to a share of her estate. It was a lovely unexpected surprise but I just wish Dad had lived long enough to have known about it.
I thought long and hard about what he’d like us to do with the money. I decided to use some of it to visit our family in Australia as they hadn’t managed to come over for the funerals and I hadn’t seen my uncle since my nan died in 2000 or my cousins even longer – they were just boys last time we’d met.
My daughter was also in Australia during that time. She was studying a three year degree course in Psychology at Plymouth University and was offered the chance to do an exchange year to Griffith University in Queensland.
“Although she’d been home for Christmas I missed her terribly so it was a great chance to visit her too!”
My other children and I flew to Dubai from Heathrow on the first leg. I thought we’d break up the journey a little and stay there for a couple of nights. I’ve been to Dubai before in 1993 and boy had it changed! My 17 year old son loved it. All the bling and the fast cars!
From there we flew to Adelaide where my Uncle and his family live. This part of the trip was really emotional as I really wished Dad had been alive to join us, he’d have loved to see Australia and his brother again.
To say I was an emotional wreck on the plane was an understatement and my boys wanted to disown me! I managed to pull myself together before we landed and my Uncle was there to meet us. It was so lovely to see him. We stayed in Adelaide for 5 nights and became reacquainted with all our Aussie family.
Next stop Brisbane where Sarah, my daughter, joined us. It was great to be with her and Brisbane is a great city. We’d seen lots of Kangaroos and Emus in Adelaide but hadn’t seen the Koalas close up so we visited a Koala sanctuary. It was amazing, we all got to hold a Koala and had our photo taken.
We then drove up to the Gold Coast in Queensland. We stayed in a place called Surfers Paradise as that’s where Sarah has been living while at Griffith University. We had a fantastic apartment here with spectacular sea views. Up until that point we’d had two hotel rooms in Brisbane, one large family room in Adelaide and a suite in Dubai as they made a mistake so we were upgraded.
We were almost three weeks into the holiday at this point! At times it felt like living in the big brother house with your family! I think we learnt a lot about each other during our travels. I loved having my children with me, although there were times when they each drove me nuts, but that’s kids for you!
Our final stop was to Sydney. The Sydney Opera House was absolutely amazing and there were stunning views all around the harbour from the ferry. Sydney is very tall and very busy which reminded me of New York or London.
“It was a fantastic holiday. One which none of us will ever forget!”
If you know someone like me with very little family around, Extra Help is always there for them, whether they need cleaning, ironing, shopping services, meal preparation or help with anything similar! Have a look at our website or give us a call on 0895 618 2904 and let’s see how we can help you.
Until next time …