I am lucky enough to have been raised experiencing many diverse cultures and travelling to different corners of the globe. When I completed University in my early 20’s, my Mum took me to Europe and we explored 14 countries over 3 months. What I remember vividly from this trip was not what we ate, or the particular sights we saw (while remarkable all the same). I remember the time I spent with my Mum. The laughs we had when we found ourselves on a regional train between Prague and Poland sandwiched between a cage of chickens, the tears we shared when we spoke to family we missed at home, and the precious stories she shared with me about growing up that I had never heard before.
Travel was instilled in me when I was a child. Growing up, our parents would scrape together what money they could to take our family on a holiday. A favourite pastime of mine, still to this day, is to pull out old photo albums and reminisce over family trips, especially the ones I was too little to remember. Travel for me feels like taking a weight off my shoulders. It gives me space to think, to reset, to observe and to spend time with myself. And it is even more important now we have 2-year-old Sam. The pace and upkeep of everyday life, the washing that needs to be done, the emails that need to be written, the floor that needs to be mopped, it feels like something always reigns supreme over the pure simplicity of spending time together. With these distractions gone you find yourself taking time to reconnect; with your family, your children, and most importantly with yourself.
Something I am incredibly grateful for are the many wonders we have right on our doorstep in Australia. In winter you can be on the beach in the morning in Queensland and on the slopes skiing in the afternoon in Victoria. My husband, son my Mum (affectionately known as ‘˜Ma’ to Sam), and I recently returned from Noosa in Queensland. Noosa is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, a short 25min drive from Sunshine Coast airport. Our trip up North was the perfect timing as I had recently launched my new venture Scout and Stay, and was keen to write a personal recommendation for our blog on this ideal family destination. The boardwalk on the main beach is filled with children, toddlers, parents, babymoooner’s and grandparents all enjoying some time away together. We travelled in Australia’s winter and were lucky enough to experience day time temperatures of between 20 – 28 degrees Celsius (68-84 Fahrenheit). Noosa truly caters for children. Almost all the restaurants and cafes are child friendly; a local company can arrange cots, high chairs, toys and beach toys to rent for a small charge; the National park is a short walk away, where if you are lucky you can spot whales and dolphins at the right time of year; and of course having the beach on your doorstep is heaven when you have active toddlers!
Since returning home I feel a renewed sense of calm. The addictive holiday vibes are still hovering around me, and it helps that we are seeing the ever so slight glimpses of Spring in the air. I have no doubt that as our recent trip becomes more of a memory I will find myself pulling back to my old ways, and letting daily stress get on top of me. But a gentle reminder to myself not to “sweat the small stuff” helps. Oh and also jumping on the Scout and Stay Travel forum to get some ideas and inspiration for our next adventure!
My least favourite thing to hear about travelling with children is “don’t bother as they won’t remember.” Well, what I remember from Noosa are the squealing noises Sam made while he floated in the pool with “Ma”, the way his face lit up when he had an afternoon ice cream on the boardwalk, his expression of wonder on our early morning walks as the sun rose over the ocean and he pointed the birds out to Daddy, and his even relaxed breathing when he napped on the couch, sand still on his feet and bucket and spade beside him. And I can’t wait to sit down with him when he is grown up, and show him these memories that we made when he was a little boy in Noosa.
This article was originally published here. Kristen is the founder of Scout and Stay, an online destination for parents to refer, discuss and recommend holiday ideas and accommodation. Kristen lives in Melbourne Australia with her 2-year-old son Sam, husband Patrick, and Kelpie Tully. Follow Kristen on Instagram.