Monday, 23 December 2013

Things travel and stay-home parenthood have in common

Travel and parenthood tend to be placed on opposite ends of some sort of fun/responsibility spectrum, where one end is how you spend the footloose and fancy free part of your life before the grown-up and responsible phase kicks in. Travel is supposed to be the thing you get out of your system, before you start caring about interest rates and decile rankings. The closest I have gotten to real travel recently is looking at other people's pictures on Facebook.

I have been thinking today, though, about how there is a lot that stay-home parenthood and travelling actually have in common.  Perhaps I have too much time on my hands as a stay home mum, and perhaps I am grasping at straws in a deluded fashion, but here are ten things they have in common:

1. Sleep deprivation.  Jet lag wakes you at odd hours, and we had many an early morning to catch a bus, plane or train. So, it's just like now with a toddler.and a newborn!

2. Sleeping in odd uncomfortable places. An airport floor while waiting for an early flight. A toddler's bed when they can't sleep on a stormy night. The discomfort of an Indian slat bed. The discomfort of the aforementioned toddler deciding my pillow is just the place for his feet when the storm does lull him to sleep. Exactly the same!

3. Being hassled. When travelling, I was often hassled to buy a person's wares, or to give them money, or to ride in their taxi/auto rickshaw/tuk tuk. Now I'm hassled to put on Peppa Pig and provide a never ending supply of Tiny Teddies.

Friday, 13 December 2013

7 years of blogging

I realized earlier today that Tane and I started this blog seven years ago. So, I thought that was worthy of an entry in itself, especially as we are closing in on 20,000 hits and 370 posts.

This started off as a general blog about whatever took our fancy, then morphed into a travel blog, and is now about our children more than anything else.

2006: Younger and less creaky versions
In the past seven years we've traveled to 35 countries, got married, had two children, and had plenty of random thoughts that we've thought worthy of a post. We've written some entries that still get almost daily hits even though they are five years old, and some that probably have only ever been skim read. We've received abuse from a clearly disgruntled Bulgarian who didn't agree with our assessment of their country, and odd comments from a Holocaust denier on my entry about Auschwitz. There are posts like this one about movies that are better that the books that I've been meaning to update for years, and posts that make me cringe. We've also been approached through our blog and asked to be on TV news. I even wrote one post that I had to take down, about my experience doing a pole dancing lesson in 2007, as I found the number of hits creepy. Serves me right for putting 'pole dancing' in the title I suppose.

We've gone through phases when we've blogged often and had long periods where I'd like to say we were too busy, but it was probably more laziness than anything else. Plus, after blogging about travelling the world, updates on my day now don't feel quite so glamorous. I'm sure you'd much rather read about what we were doing this time four years ago in Mexico and Guatemala than the most noteworthy part of my day today. I'll be vague to make it sound mysterious, but here's some clues: it involved bad smells, two children being plonked in the bath and copious amounts of carpet cleaner. It certainly isn't an experience you'd want photos of. 

The last seven years has also seen the rise and the fall of the blog. Back in 2006, everyone was getting them. Blogs were the new black. Our list of 'friends with blogs' was long, and these other blogs were updated often. I used to enjoy trawling through other people's blogs, commenting, and knowing they were reading ours in turn.