Living My Dreams And Our Middle Earth Adventure
2009 was a big year for me. It was the year I took out a protection order and decided to go travelling with my one year old daughter Sylvia. We flew out from Auckland New Zealand and visited the city of Seoul in Korea. After Korea we flew to London and visited the most famous sights, Buckingham Palace, the Big Ben, the River Thames and the South Bank.
Sylvia and I then caught the train to Paris in France. We visited the Lovre, to view the famous Mona Lisa painting and then went to the Musee d’Orsay to see the amazing art works by Van Gogh.
I was following my dreams and making the most of life as a newly divorced single mother ready for a fresh start.
Watching Diversity On Britains Got Talent
The next stop for Sylvia and I after Paris was a trip to Yorkshire, England to visit family, friends and grandparents. During my time in Yorkshire I had the opportunity to watch the tv show Britains Got Talent where a Dance Troupe known as “Diversity” were crowned winners of the 2009.
I watched in interest as I saw individuals and groups on the show performing and going for their dreams. Ironically I was doing the same thing. I was following my dreams, the dreams I had to travel and visit loved ones.
I returned to New Zealand in late 2009 and began the process of selling everything I owned. I decided to start a new life in the United Kingdom with hopes and dreams to reach for the stars, to use my teaching qualifications in the UK and build a safe and secure life for Sylvia and I.
When Life Gives You Lemons
Not everything went to plan when we settled in Yorkshire England. I found a modest home, which was not in the best condition but a home where the landlord was willing to take on a single, unemployed mother will a low income. Times were tough. Sylvia was so young and I decided to be a stay at home mum.
I set goals and started an online business from home. Sylvia and I did more travelling, we visited Amsterdam, Belgium and different locations in the United Kingdom.
I was doing quite well however when Sylvia was 3 I decided it was time to return to teaching. I applied for a job at a local school and just before I was about to start, Family Services became involved and took Sylvia away putting all my plans on hold.
A Court Case And Compensation
Family Services wrongly accused me of spending time in a psychiatric hospital overseas. (This was completely false) and after a long court case and battle to prove this, my daughter was returned home. It took 9 months! The worst nine months of my life!
We were given an apology, compensation and a letter stating Sylvia should have never been placed into care but no money or words could give back the pain and heartache we had endured and nothing could give back the time we had lost together.
A Fresh Start!
In 2013, a year after my daughter was returned home I married my husband. John moved in after the wedding and we begun a new life together.
The week after our wedding, I collapsed and was admitted to hospital. I was given a life changing diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency and life was turned upside down.
Our plans and goals were halted. My dreams to go back to teaching were smashed. Plans to grow our family, have more kids and continue our travel adventures were no longer a possibility.
The main focus for the family was to get the correct medical care to get me out of the wheelchair and get my health stable enough that I would not need to go to hospital all the time.
We moved to Lancashire, to a quiet village which was central to the hospitals I needed to attend for specialist care in Preston, Liverpool, Manchester and Wigan.
The Dream To Blog
In 2014, John and I made new plans and goals based on our new circumstances. I began a blog and we made a 5 year plan to be earning a full time income from our blog within 5 years.
We have both worked hard over the years to achieve our goals. We have sacrificed so much focusing on my health, building a lifestyle website and giving our daughter Sylvia the best opportunities.
Although I love travel, our focus has been paying for medication and medical treatment and so we have only been on one family holiday since 2013.
We visited Disneyland Paris and collaborated with the Disney Store to promote their Moana toys! It was an amazing experience but really draining as I was and am very unwell. It was worth it for Sylvia!
As our blog has grown, and I have built my brand The Inspiration Edit, we have had more fantastic opportunities. Most opportunities are home based due to my health, however we do at times go on adventures with a lot of planning and pacing.
Meeting The Banjo Brothers At McDonald’s
Last week as part of an Instagram collaboration, Sylvia and I went to McDonald’s to meet Ashley Banjo and his brother Jord. Just like us, the brothers from the Diversity Dance Troupe have come a long way since winning Britains Got Talent ten years ago. Ashley has now married and has a daughter. He has done so much and is a judge for TV’s Dancing On Ice.
Ashely Banjo is a real inspiration for me and last week Sylvia had the opportunity to create crafts with the Banjo brothers, as well as take part in fun summer activities and learn some dance moves from Ashley and Jord!
Sylvia had a great time and although I was not too well, I enjoyed meeting the Banjo Brothers and seeing how far they have come in the past ten years. They really inspired me to continue following my dreams!
Returning To New Zealand
One dream I’ve always had was to return home to New Zealand to visit family members who I have not seen in ten years. We began saving a few years ago and were able to book our flights in December 2018 for the 2019 Summer Holidays.
Seeing my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, parents and friends is a dream come true and we leave for our adventure in a few days! I am so excited! I’m also super nervous as flying with Adrenal Insufficiency has it’s risks but I have the extra medication to help me survive the flight and am preparing myself for the long journey.
Reach For The Stars!
I have always believed that I can achieve anything I want to. My mother taught me to change, “I can’t do it” to “how can I do it”. This motto has really helped me to do things which seem impossible and out of reach for myself and my family.
Visiting New Zealand is a dream come true and although we bought tickets, it has been hard to save much more due to ongoing medical costs.
We will be staying with family in New Zealand and although I will be unwell with my Adrenal insufficiency and other health conditions I am looking forward to just spending time in the homes of my family.
Our Announcement! – The Dream New Zealand Collaboration
And here is our big announcement! While in New Zealand we will be doing the dream collaboration!
Yes… I can barely believe it myself, but we are going to be visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata New Zealand during our holiday.
We will be collaborating with The Hobbiton Movie Set Tours company and touring Middle Earth as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
The whole family is beyond excited. We are looking forward to touring the 12 acre set, visiting the Hobbit Holes, the Mill and the world-famous Green Dragon Inn.
We are looking forward to our Middle Earth Adventure and will be having a fantastic feast which I can’t wait to share with you all!
Well, we have a few days before we leave for our adventure. I have so many goals and dreams and visiting my family is one of them. I can’t wait to share our journey with you.
Last but not least, my goals don’t end here. I have some plans and dreams I wish to achieve in the coming years and will be creating a new bucket list for the family once we get back home. I can’t wait to share this with you and instead of saying, “we can’t do it”, saying “how can we do it”?
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!