Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our 15 minutes of fame!

I'm feeling anxious as the countdown begins to the finals of the Escape Travel Family Reviewer competition in Sydney on Friday.
It's not so much the finals I'm worried about ... the other four finalists are fantastic, and I feel honoured just to be up there with them. So I figure, what will be, will be, when it comes to the winner. (Pick us, pick us! Please?)
If we're lucky enough to win, it would be truly life-changing. To have the opportunity to see more of Australia and the world with my children, and share it with Escape Travel's readers would be a highlight of my life, and one of the best gifts I could share with my kids. And I know I could do the job, because I've been writing and editing and blogging for years. It's what I love to do.
But if we don't - well, at least we tried, and we had the opportunity. And maybe, maybe, a little of the magic will rub off!
But I always feel weird and guilty about leaving the children, who are, after all, my favourite travelling companions. Even if I am leaving them for a very good reason.
And then there's the fact that the competition became very real this week, when the media came knocking.
Firstly, Anne Martindale from South Burnett Online, came to do a story and photo with us.
We'd just got home from school with minutes to change when she arrived. I was a bit worried when she decided to take her photo of us around the kitchen table. It is actually where I do most of my blogging, but which was currently covered in paperwork, drawings and toys.She reassuringly told me this reflected typical family life.
Okay then.
Today it was the turn of the local paper, The South Burnett Times. Danielle Lowe arrived, and we had a chat about the competition. The highlight was when she told me I was pretty into social media for an 'older lady'. Hee hee. I am officially an older lady. It's okay, I took it in the spirit in which it was given.
The kids weren't here, as they were on a little travel adventure of their own, a school excursion.
This one was to a writer's event in Ipswich, about a four-hour bus trip away, where they were getting to meet Australian children's author, Jackie French, amongst other writers.
They were very excited last night, having waited for this event for weeks.
I'm glad they are getting the chance to spread their wings a bit and branch off on their own in a safe environment via school.
It's a busy week of travel for our family, as I am headed to Sydney for the finale of the Escape Travel Family Reviewer Competition.
I have to drive to Brisbane, catch my flight, and make my way to the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour, which looks absolutely delightful.
The hardest part will be being away from the kids, who have to go to school. But I know we'll all be fine. (Of course we will!)
And I will feel incredible Mother Guilt, sinking into a hot bubble bath and sleeping in a King Size Bed all on my own for a night. Isn't that the worst?
In the meantime I've been thinking about what our family can offer as family reviewers.
We're a single parent family, but I don't necessarily think that makes us different to other families.
These days, families come in all shapes and sizes. We're all different and that's okay.
We all want value for money, and expect - and deserve - good service.
Certainly, as a single parent, I probably need somewhere where there is going to be plenty on offer, at no extra charge for the kids. So that it's somewhere where I can get a break as well, rather than doing the same thing in a more exotic environment.
And I definitely travel on a budget! That doesn't mean we don't like a taste of luxury if we can't get it, and I'm a demon at bargain hunting, especially on the internet.
In addition, we have a child with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, and allergies, several of them life-threatening. That doesn't make travel impossible, just a little more interesting at times. You have to factor in a little more planning, and a few more breaks.
I've learned that routine is important, even when travel makes this difficult. And packing a supply of easy to get to and prepare snacks has saved us time and time again from the edge of disaster!
As for me, I have arthritis and vertigo, so I have trouble negotiating plane stairs, especially if I'm loaded up like a pack mule with kids' crap laden with carry-on. I've learnt to check in myself where possible and request seats near the front so I can walk on via the front. But if I can't, I manage. And the kids these days are big enough, and caring enough, to help.
Certainly, apart from a few meltdowns here and then, and the odd discussions with chefs, our family's extra needs are rarely a big deal. It's certainly never stopped us from doing what we wanted to do. Have epipen and a positive attitude, will travel.
It really can be as difficult or as easy as you make it.
Part of the fun of travel, as they say, is the journey.
Do you have any tips at surviving the drive? Or flight? Or how do you cope when you finally get there?

Off on an all-day adventure!


vegemitevix said...

So excited for you Bronnie.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much. I'm getting really nervous now. Deep breaths!

Char said...

My fingers are crossed for you. I hope you get the win. And enjoy that Mother Guilt while you can. You'll be back on duty in no time.

Farmers Wifey said...

Gosh I'm so excited for you, I hope you WIN!!!!!!!!

Kelley @ magneto bold too said...


Anonymous said...

Well done Bronnie! Congratulations on making it to the pointy end! :D

Sheridan Anne said...

Good luck! I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you.
Loving the blog x