My name is Diana Heather (yes, Heather is my last name) and I’m the proud mommy of almost 3-year-old, Khloe, and 1½-year-old, Lola. I refer to our girls as “Little” and “Littler” or collectively as “the Littles.” They truly are the joys of my life and I couldn’t be happier to be a mom, despite how chaotic life can be with two toddlers that are only 15 months apart!
My goal in writing this blog is to advocate family travel. With all its crazy ups and downs there’s nothing better than watching your toddler dreaming away while in a rented stroller at the end of her first day at Walt Disney World, or during a beach vacation pondering the questions, “How much sand can an infant actually eat? Why is my infant eating sand in the first place? Doesn’t it taste bad?”
The course my life has taken thus far has given me a great appreciation and love of travel, but since having children of my own, travel has taken on a whole new meaning and I’m excited to now be able to experience destinations through their eyes, as well as my own!
A LITTLE ABOUT ME…
I’m a Mississippi girl that had the privilege of growing up on the Gulf Coast - think white sand beaches, family-owned businesses, casino fun, water skiing on the bayou, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras! However, after a childhood vacation to New York City, I fell in love with palpable energy and inspirational atmosphere of life in the Big Apple, and knew I had to live there! After getting my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations, then graduating from law school, I had brief stint working with my father at a legal practice, before “retiring” from my law career to follow my dreams and move to New York. I’ve now had the good fortune of doing PR and social media for incredible brands like Mikasa, Henri Bendel and Harry Winston, and couldn’t be happier in my new home!
Two days after moving to the Big City, I met my amazing, fabulous, magnificent husband, Ashley, (aka Hubs), who hails from England. As fate would have it, he also left home and moved to New York to pursue his career as an entrepreneur (lucky for me!), but my in-laws still live across the pond, about a four-hour drive north of London - five hours if it’s Christmas Eve with a 6-month old baby – happy to tell you that story if you’d like!
MY TRAVEL HISTORY
I've been traveling with family in one form or another for most of my 35-year life. We were lucky to get to travel frequently as kids, leaving me with many great memories, from my first plane ride at the age of 3 to Austin, TX, to my brother and I learning to water ski in the Caribbean. Growing up in Mississippi, we also took many road trips to Disney World – every kid’s dream! It took us two days to get there and I distinctly remember my dad using an Atlas for that trip. He and I share a love of maps and I can recall many maps in my travel history.
In college, I traveled with classmates to Europe and hopped trains from country to country. By the end of the summer we’d been to Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Prague, and even Budapest and we did it all with our maps, our guide books and our big American backpacks in tow.
After moving to New York and meeting Hubs, who as I mentioned is from England, travel became even more important, since we were quite a ways away from both sets of parents. Since we’ve been together, we’ve received countless new stamps in our passports and even decided to have a destination wedding in Barbados!
Since having our oldest daughter, Khloe, we’ve visited the in-laws in England, grandparents on the Gulf Coast and Savannah, and recently had our first trip to Disney World (more to come on that in another post!). No invitation for a birthday party or baptism is ever turned down. Even if it requires great-granddad Bill in Vancouver to hop a plane to the Coast or if 80-year old GG needs to update her passport for family Christmas in England! You’d be shocked by how many times in the last five years our entire extended families have actually all been together for one event or another.
However, it’s true that kids change the game - and it’s especially true when it comes to family travel [I used to have a carry on and a checked bag both for me, now I’m lucky to have one corner of one bag for the entire trip. Nothing in my carry-on is actually for me anymore. Nothing! ] But seeing our family and experiencing all the world has to offer are the most important things to my husband and I, and its part of why we’re together. Geography doesn’t get in our way. We agree, based on both our own childhoods, that travel and family are both invaluable parts of what made us who we are.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO READ IN THIS BLOG
Here, I hope you’ll learn from my travel smarts and experiences and as well as from my travel mistakes. I’m going tell you every thing I know and everything I’ve ever tried when it comes to the sometimes mind boggling topic of family travel.
You can expect to read how to make traveling with your family easier, lighter, safer, cheaper and ultimately way more fun!
Hopefully you’ll be inspired to travel with MORE of your family, MORE often, because nothing compares to the memories you’ll create for your kids and yourself, and the stories you’ll one day be able to tell your grandchildren!
Together, lets have fun, travel with our families and create many family vacation photo albums together (online of course- I can’t scrap book)!
Stay tuned here for tips on family travel and updates about the places I’ll go both in life and in parenthood.