Travelling Europe With A Toddler Before I Became Unwell

Not long after I divorced my daughter’s father in 2010, I found myself a single mother, free from a life of abuse and able to make my own decisions. I needed to move as we had a protection order which was not being enforced very well by the Police and so encouraged by my parents I made the long Journey on my own with my 18 month old baby to the other side of the world.

I’d studied at University for six years, spent some time living in the Pacific Island of Tonga and had worked as a Head of Nursery in New Zealand. I’d never been on a GAP year or travelled very far so I decided to make the most of life and travel as much as possible..

Travelling Europe With A Toddler Before I Became Unwell

I sold all my belongings including my car, booked a ticket and flew to Korea. We stayed in a magnificent hotel in Korea. It was amazing! The beds were huge and I sat my daughter in the huge sink and she had water play which she loved. We enjoyed trying Korean food and learning about Korean culture. We explored a little and then flew onto London.

Korea

Sylvia and I spent time in London. I explored every nook and cranny. We went to Buckingham Palace, to the Big Ben, trafalgar square and toured on buses. We crossed the London bridge, took a cruise down the Thames and had a magical time in London.

ENGLAND2 055

Next we travelled to Paris. We went by Eurostar and stayed in a small apartment. The view was beautiful. Sylvia and I went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Paris

We toured the city, travelled the underground (which was tricky with a pushchair) and went to a Museum to see the famous Van Gough. We took photos by the River Seine and tasted French cuisine.

Louvre

I then returned to the UK and travelled via train to Yorkshire. I stopped in South Yorkshire first visiting my Dads Family and then to West Yorkshire where we settled for the next 3 years.

Amsterdam

Our travels did not stop there. Sylvia was too young for Nursery or school and so we took off to Amsterdam, visiting the home of Anne Frank, touring the markets, riding bicycles and taking a barge through the canals. Amsterdam was wonderful. I loved it. We returned home and I got saving again for our next journey.

amsterdam

Next we went to Belgium. We took a mini Cruise from England to Zebrugges. This was amazing. The Ship was awesome and Sylvia just had an amazing time. By this time she was three years old. Belgium was amazing, full of historic buildings and beauty.

brussels

We rode in a horse and carriage around the city, visited hundreds of chocolate and cheese stores, rode on merry go rides and viewed famous sculptures. I loved Belgium and bought a lace umbrella. Belgium is the city of lace.

At the time of travelling I had mild fatigue but was able to pace myself and do many wonderful and fabulous things with my little girl. Not only did we visit Europe, we also visited new destinations in the UK and spent a week at Butlins every 6 months. Sylvia loved this, the shows were fantastic and the entertainment was perfect for a toddler.

butlins

And then something terrible happened. My daughter was ripped from my care in Dec 2012. I was at the time falsely accused of things which were not true such as spending time in a mental hospital… which was not true. The social worker knew this. She was told by New Zealand authorities it was not true but chose to ignore it. She had put too much effort into proving I was unfit to parent and pushed the case to court (knowing the facts were false) and leaving me to fight a nine month battle.

In 2012 Family Services withdrew the case once they discovered the lies told by the social worker in the child protection team! My daughter was ordered back to my care and last year I finally got a written apology and statement to the effect that my daughter and I should not have been separated and there was no valid reason for a court case.

As soon as I got my child back we went to Butlins and had a fantastic time. Six months later we took the holiday of a lifetime and spent a week in Feb 2013 at Disneyland. It was amazing and our last Mummy daughter adventure before marriage.

DisneyLand Paris

I got married in July 2013 and became very unwell, eventually needing a wheelchair for long Journey’s. Despite my love for travel and hopes to explore more, I’ve not been able to take my daughter on holiday very much since my Adrenal Failure. We did manage to visit London last year and I went to Buckingham Palace in the Wheelchair but I spent most of the time in London in the hotel room while my husbandd and daughter explored.

I’m fighting to get well and having an operation to lose the excess weight I gained due to my illness and steroid medication. I’m also fighting for an adrenal pump which is a long term goal of mine. This could help me to get a lot better. Our travel and exploration dreams are on hold until we have saved for this pump and sorted a suitable wheelchair friendly home. I’m hoping to have an opportunity to review a holiday in the UK in the coming months. I’m also hoping once my health is better in a few years to continue our love for travel and save for yearly holidays to new and interesting places around the world.

travel

I’d love to go to Italy, Spain and the Canary Islands. I’d also like to return to New Zealand before Sylvia is a teenager to see family and friends. John would like to visit America and I’d love to go to Japan.

Blogging for me is an opportunity to share my life but it’s also the only way I know to work towards the adrenal pump. I plan to share posts on the experiences we had when my daughter was young and I have a goal of having a blogging holiday at some point and continuing the wanderlust I have in my heart.

Travelling and holidays are fun and enjoyable and I hope to give my child a holiday in 2016 and maybe once my health is on track and we have the home we need we could save for a fantastic vacation somewhere really awesome.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to writing more in depth posts about the places we have been.

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32 Comments

  1. February 1, 2016 / 8:03 am

    You travelled so much before the illness and I hope you get all the treatment the home and save up for more awesome vacations with your daughter and your husband

    • February 1, 2016 / 8:26 am

      Thanks. I also did travel before my daughter was born but that was like Australia and places in the pacific. I have so much to talk about could go on forever!

  2. February 1, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Wow. What a story. Your travelling looks amazing and I am so glad you got your daughter back and so sorry you had to go through that. Here’s to more exciting travels in the future hopefully, once you’re feeling better. x

    • February 1, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks. I’m glad I got Sylvia back too. She is my world!

  3. February 1, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    You have been so many places! It’s fun traveling with kiddies. It’s awful that Sylvia was taken away from you, I can’t imagine how upsetting that was for the both of you. I hope you have many more exciting adventures together in the future. Best of luck with your surgery tomorrow. x

    • February 1, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks Becky. I’m sure now im in the blogging world opportunities will come and we will be able to go on more fabulous adventures.

  4. February 1, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    How wonderful to have travelled so much – I bet it will give your daughter a real thirst for adventure as she grows.

    • February 1, 2016 / 7:13 pm

      Oh yes..She has been abroad without me to Canary Islands and South Island in New Zealand. She has almost been to more places than me! Crazy!

  5. February 1, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Aw bless you I really hope you get to live that wanderlust dream again after your operation and I bet that was once of the most iconic moments in your life when you traveled with your little Sylvia.

    • February 1, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Yes, we had some amazing adventures and I look forward to writing about them! 🙂

  6. February 1, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    Your story about Sylvia being taken away always sends a shiver down my spine – but it’s so fascinating to read your adventures before this.

    • February 1, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Me too….but yes the adventures we went on were fabulous!

  7. February 1, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Oh what beautiful adventures and memories with your daughter. I really hope you are well enough very soon to travel again. Precious, wonderful photos. Kaz x

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:11 am

      Thanks. It was really fun and if i get well I know what I will be doing. Going out and about more.

  8. February 1, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Wow! What a story! Where did you get all the money to travel to these faraway lands?! X We struggle to get a holiday to Butlins! Very jealous of your adventures 😉 x Long may you continue your journey around the world. Hope your illness doesn’t get you down and things are brighter for 2016 x

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:16 am

      I had a bucket list and I completed it! I do love adventure and travel and fun! I had money because I was a Head Teacher on £20 plus an hour before Sylvia was born and did really high paid relief work. Wen we left NZ, we I sold my car and all my belongings and I had a tax repayment due so i made the most of it. Then once I settled, I set up ebay and sold things to save up for travel. it was great and i’d love to do it again once i have sorted my health and home out!

  9. February 1, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    A great read Angela. It must be so amazing to have travelled the world so much with Sylvia by your side. I’m sorry to hear about your illness and having her taken away but I’m glad you’re together again. I can’t wait to hear of the new adventures you will go on together x

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:16 am

      Thanks. I’m pleased you enjoyed it! Adventures are fabulous and I loved it!

  10. February 1, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Wowee! What a story. What great adventures you have been on, I’m sure there will be many more to come! I hope you health improves x

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:10 am

      Thanks. I look forward to our travels.

  11. February 1, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    Oh my goodness you fitted so much in!! I am very impressed with your adventuring spirit – heres me thinking we are brave considering going to the South of France with a 6-8 week old. Hardly flying across the world!! I still can’t get over the fact that Sylva was taken away from you. I am so glad it was corrected even though you can’t get that time back. I would like to take Monkey to Disneyland one day xx

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:10 am

      Yes we have done so much and I have so much to write about…and tons of awesome photos. I loved travelling with Sylvia and I still cant get over what happened either.. It was a shock and life changing but..yes the good news is we are together and will be travelling again soon when my health improves.

  12. February 2, 2016 / 12:17 am

    Your travel adventures look wonderful. You’re brave going alone with a toddler. N’s 5 and I’ve never taken him abroad because I don’t want to do it on my own with him, and the OH never wants to go away.

    • February 2, 2016 / 12:20 am

      I think I just was fearless back then! We did have an incident in Paris so it was not all rosey and I’d prefer to go with a partner but when i was a single mum i just went for it! 🙂

  13. February 2, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    Although not done for the nicest of reasons your world travels look amazing. I only ran as far as the seaside when I became a single parent and thought that was mighty brave. Perhaps I was very wrong seeing your adventure.

    • February 2, 2016 / 7:04 pm

      I guess everyone makes different decisions and for t=different reasons. It was fun though!

  14. February 2, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    Sounds like an amazing experience and something I wish I had done before my kids started school. Sorry to hear you have not been well since and hope you get to fulfil your next set of travel dreams

    • February 2, 2016 / 11:07 pm

      Thanks. I sure hope i get to go on another adventure once i’m well. It was great making the most of th time before school! Now we are ruled by school holidays and my health

  15. February 2, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Wow, what am amazing life you’ve had and so brave of you to travel so much with a toddler. Good luck for your operation, I really hope it works for you and you and your little girl and husband get back to your travels.

    • February 2, 2016 / 11:09 pm

      thanks. It was fun nd we will get to travel again one day once ive done all that needs to be done..blog to one day earn, then pay for private care get a home get well and then holidays again.

  16. February 5, 2016 / 7:13 am

    What a story. I hope you manage to get your health sorted so you can continue to show your daughter the worls.

    • February 6, 2016 / 12:39 am

      Oh thanks. It was an adventure I loved. Thanks 🙂 Angela

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