Travelling Europe With A Toddler – My Experience
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.