Ah. Funny calling it that, sometimes. But, that's what we ended up calling it here at home with the kids - The Big Trip.
Yes, my family and I are off to three of our "homes" - Singapore, the UK, and South Africa.
Of course, Australia IS our real home now. We love this country deeply.
Other than Australia, though, we do consider those three countries, along with the Philippines and the USA, as our other "homes".
To us, they're home for different reasons.
You see, almost 10 years ago, my husband and I got married in Singapore. We lived there during the first three years of our marriage as expats. So, we consider Singapore as our first home as a couple. We had a lot of wonderful memories there and made a number of fantastic friends. That's why it's exciting for us to be celebrating our 10th Year Anniversary back in Singapore. This time, we've even got our two little ones when we celebrate this special milestone!
We're all looking forward to seeing our good friends there - most of them even witnessed our marriage ten years ago. I'm even looking forward to seeing long-time friends online that I've never had the opportunity to meet in person, including Hsien Hsien Lei. And perhaps, even Jean.
I don't know how much/many we'll get to see, meet, and do, as we're only stopping over for about 4 days. So, we'll see. We're definitely planning on making the most out of eating out while we're there. We sooooo miss Singaporean food! (Not to mention, the shopping!)
After the quick trip to Singapore, we'll be off to the United Kingdom - the "mother land". There, we'll have a whirlwind tour of a handful of cities in England and a quick trip to Cardiff in Wales. We're only there for about a week and a half, so we've got an extremely tight schedule considering the number of places and people we're scheduled to visit. I wish I can get the chance to meet some of my online buddies (Hi, Simon, Rachel, Sinta, and Jen!)... but we'll have to see!
Anyway, the main reason for the UK leg of the trip is really to attend a wedding. The family of the bride is one of our good family friends. Their family was there to witness my husband and I's two weddings (in Singapore and the Philippines). In fact, the father of the bride is my husband's good friend. And, he was the best man at our wedding. The bride herself was even one of my young bridesmaids! She also became one of my son's godparents. And now, she has invited my 2.5-year-old daughter to be a junior bridesmaid and my 5 3/4-year-old son as a pageboy. Yes, the li'l ones are going to be part of the entourage. It'll be their first time to be taking part in a wedding, so it's pretty exciting for all of us.
My husband, being a Brit, of course, has a lot of family and friends in the UK. That's why we'll be moving from one house to the next during most of our trip. Since it will be our first trip there with the kids ('been there twice with hubby before kids came along) - we're hoping to make the most of meeting as many friends and family as we can. Especially since the kids have never met their British uncles, aunties, and cousins. We're also hoping to sneak in a bit of tourist-y stuff in-between. But, I know we can't really fit in a lot.
After Singapore and the UK, the last and longest leg of our trip is a visit to South Africa, where my husband's family live. It will be my fourth trip there, I think. My son's been there twice. And, this will be my li'l girl's first trip there. She will be meeting her aunt (hubby's sis), uncle, and cousin for the first time.
The South Africa trip is primarily a time to spend with the family there over Christmas. Since we haven't seen them for almost two years (three, for sis-in-law and family), it'll be pretty special just to spend a few weeks with them. And yeah, I think we are going to do a little bit of camping, sightseeing, and a trip or two to do mini-safaris as well.
Can you tell I'm quite excited? I think, my biggest excitement really comes from the anticipation of seeing how the kids will react to this trip.
In any case, I'm not sure how much I'd manage to blog while I'm travelling. But, I'm definitely hoping to check in here every chance I get. I'm also hoping to update my Twitter/Facebook with bits and pieces from the trip.
Until then... 🙂
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.