Photo taken on our last evening in Venice


For weeks I’ve wondered how I would begin this first post after returning from the trip. Would I open by apologising for the longer absence than I had intended and then list off the excuses why this was the case? Or would I launch straight into a travel account, listing the places and things in a giant listicle?

Neither of these, I feel. Although perhaps that might change as these words come out – after all, this blog has occasionally served as my open, and very public, forum of muddling through my own feelings about something, trying to work out a reasoned opinion or wider perspective.

Add all to this an already pretty shocking case of jet lag – I can feel my inner ears still rising and falling to the motion of the plane in the sky – and let’s just see, eh!?

First of all – it was wonderful. Truly, truly magnificent. We all kept our health (to an extent) and there were no broken bones! As the time was winding down, I did start to get a little sentimental about keeping some things for posterity, or at least until I could write about them. Leaving Safari tabs open on my phone, for example, to show what I’d been searching: a guide to navigating Rome’s Metro Underground system, how to find free Wi-fi in Rome and Venice, visiting the Vatican’s very own post office where you can post your letters and buy their stamps, and the times for the Muslim call to prayer on a certain day last week to figure out when we would be able to visit the Blue Mosque.  Just on those couple of points alone, I’d be able to flesh out more words, lots of stories. I feel like I’d need to write continuously for days, weeks, to get everything down.

This is why I don’t want to rush. To pump out posts would tarnish the experiences – not just the extra special ones, but all of them. A spectacular sunset over Whitby; the dazzling grandeur of Dubai, the beauty of the Turkish countryside and the majestic sight of warships in a line off Anzac Cove, materalising out of the dawn fog, during the Anzac Day service. That’s for starters.

Between us, Adam and have thousands of photos and videos in Dropbox. We have mementos galore. I can’t wait to share them with you (only a selection, I promise!).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d better wake up some sleeping beauties. Flying in at 5am really stretches out a day, so we got back into bed. But best we get up now.

It’s nice to be home. x


Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity