It has been almost a year since LU AND ME flew off to our LONGER SOUTH PACIFIC TRIP, but we can still feel the powerful sun, smell the salty sea, taste the sweet coconuts and hear the waves if we close our eyes. Taking UNPAID LEAVE at my work for 3 months turned out to be a great idea. After almost a month visiting family and friends, skiing and celebrating birthdays back home in SLOVENIA we were more than ready for some fun in the sun, with 14 FLIGHTS and almost 2 MONTHS time. We decided to spend our yet another MOM & SON ADVENTURE between Singapore, Auckland, Cook islands, Fiji and Vanuatu. Here is our travel story.
New content. New name. New year. New start.
The title basically says it all, but let me explain. There have been quite a few “new starts” this past year and luckily I can today say with a smile on my face that despite some difficult moments and sleepless nights, those “new starts” definitely paid off. Anyhow, those were far more of a personal nature than I´m willing to share here so let´s just leave it at that.
As for this blog, I somehow felt I should do the same. You know, start over. Time passed by so quick and while being busy with those “new starts” I mentioned above, I realized I have not written anything in about 10 months. It just wasn´t a priority anymore, in fact it was not even remotely close to that.
I guess I needed a break from it. Which is fine – after all, writing a blog should be a fun thing to do and not an obligation of some sort. At least that is how I always looked at it.
I think the break is over now. With all the changes made I´m ready to get back to it. In the past weeks I´ve moved the blog to a new address and gave it a new name, have been updating older posts, adding and deleting photos, changing designs, upgrading plugins, and so on. Those of you who have done the same must know it is not a quick job and I´m still not quite finished yet, but I´m getting there. If you don´t know, the old blog was called “finding Malokoko”. That one is still active until the end of February but I will be deleting the content already before.
As before, I will keep my content orientated towards travelling with and without kids, but I will also be adding more about camping, road trips, hiking, special experiences and travelling as a single mom.
In the past year Lu and me have had some wonderful travelling adventures, from the South Pacific to European Mediterranean we have been to 13 countries.
Can´t really complain about that. So, here we go, ready for a fresh start, ready to fill you up on our 2018 experiences with new posts, pictures and stories. I will be happy if you stay with us and keep reading : ).
Main train station in Frankfurt. Cold. Grey. Foggy. On the train back home, we are already missing the moist tropical air and all the smells. It feels strange to hear German all around us, so I kind of pretend to be a tourist for just a while longer and continue to speak English.
Behind us there are weeks full of adventures and when I look back now I hardly believe we actually really did all those things! All alone! One mom, one son, 24 flights, 5 countries, sleeping at forgotten villages in the middle of nowhere, starring at exploding hot lava, swimming with sharks, treks in the jungle, showering in waterfalls, visiting friends on Rarotonga & family in Singapore and an unexpected visit of Auckland in the end. A couple of very dodgy rooms and a couple of very fancy ones. Days when we only ate noodle soup out of a little bag and days when we feasted on the best fish and crabs. Days without internet. Days when our feet were really dirty and smelly. Evenings without electricity. Salty messy hair. Watching the sun rise from our tent on the beach. So many new friends. And not to forget – one book read! Yeah, finally that is also possible while travelling with Lu :).
But well, not every day was without trouble, but that´s just a part of travel. Rocking boat rides, a close hello with a very destructive cyclone that almost changed our plans, cancelled flights, missed flights, extra costs and a few days of light fever – yes, travelling can be exhausting sometimes. And expensive. But in the end, it´s all worth those 5 minutes of frustration when something doesn´t go as planned.
Luckily, we are home without having lost documents or anything else important, nobody really got sick, our backpack didn´t get lost. Lu didn´t get lost :). We didn´t even get a sunburn. We can really say we had absolutely no problems travelling just the two of us. Honestly. Everyone took extra care of us and the locals thought it´s incredible how we do this all by our selves, you know, without a man to take care of us haha. So we have gotten a free banana here and there. And a coconut. And a discount in a taxi. And lots of attention from local kids. Not even once did we feel unsafe or threatened by anyone, as a mom I felt completely comfortable going around on our own.
Have to go to work in about an hour. I hope the car will start. It´s been standing in the cold for quite a while now. You won´t believe it but I´m flying again on Friday. This time without Lu :). And when we get over jet lag and sort out the photos I´ll surely write more about all the places we went to.
When we were sitting on the plane from Rarotonga to Auckland last year at this time around, i said to myself – we´ll definitely come again. I was really sure of that but never could i imagine it will happen already this year. And not in the usual setup, because this year it´s just Lu & me. To be honest, it´s been quite alright like it is. After a couple of days in Singapore where we visited relatives, we flew to Auckland (btw Singapore airlines beats Air New Zealand this time), spent a night at the airport and flew to Rarotonga the next morning. 10 whole days at friends on the biggest one of the Cook islands, what a luxury 🙂
Singapore was great. As usual. It was my 4th time, 3rd for Lu. That´s why we didn´t do any touristy things. Evening lights are still fascinating, there are rules to obey, everything is clean, hot, humid and fairly expensive. Everytime I come here I promise myself I will sleep in the Marina Bay Sands hotel the next time I come, but that never happens. Just check out their amazing pool and you´ll understand why. But the 3€ curry or a spicy masala dosa at the food court next door is a must. This time we also had a special extra swimming pool to overcome the heat in the middle of the day and a yummy Taiwanese feast the last evening – we might come next year again 🙂
Short but sweet, it was time to move. We´re on Rarotonga. Just a little paradise in the middle of the Pacific. Cook islands. You might have heard of it, but you probably can´t put them on the map in a second. The circle road around the island takes only one hour drive with a car. On the way, you can eat a fresh coconut, bite in a raw tuna, jump into the warm sea, say “kia orana” about a 100 times, buy a colourful pareo and send your grandma the most beautiful postcard there is. In our case, you also get to know where they have the coldest beer, the best coffee, the most amazing view and the most tasty passion fruit ice cream. Not to mention the hidden beaches. You buy the veggies at the market, wear flowers in your hair, drive on the left and meet loads of nice new friends over a BBQ at the back garden. We´re not alone here at all. Surrounded by friends. Old and new. Big and small. One last day today, before we move on again. We´ll miss everyone here. But we´ll see them soon again. It´s Fiji for us for the next 2 weeks or so!
What will we do and where will we go there? No clue. We don´t have anything booked and just a very rough plan of which places we want to see so we´ll just go with the wind. Feels so good to have this kind of freedom 🙂
Almost one month in Slovenia went by too fast. To be honest, there was really not much time for boredom. I think we did quite a good job at fitting the whole winter into one month – went up the snowy mountains as much as we could & visited almost all of the people we wanted to see again. Luckily we have also successfully avoided the nasty flu which has been going around quite a lot right now. It´s been at least 6 years since I´ve been home for such a long time and even if that meant we cut off a week or two from our upcoming trip, we don´t regret it at all. We still have muuuuch time left before we go back to our German home.
And now? Packing & saying goodbyes today, driving to Munich tomorrow and flying to Singapore on Sunday. As it is the rainy season in the Pacific right now, we just have a rough plan where exactly we are going, we´ll just see what the weather says and follow the sun. We do have the plane tickets for the flights between the islands as they were much cheaper to buy a little bit in advance. If there is internet and we feel like it, we might write something here and there, until then, adios :).
Mountains. Sea. My old bedroom. The sound of snow crunching under our feet. Fire place. Grandma´s beef soup. Skiing. The falling apart playground in the park. Christmas lights. Drunken teenagers on the last bus back from the centre. Memories. The smell of warm cookies. Wine. Wineeeee. Family. Friends. Love. The ever barking dog of our neighbours. More Fridays with plane tickets. Me & Lu. And just me. For the next 3 weeks. And South Pacific after that. No alarm clocks, no meetings, no phone calls, no every day hectic. No job, no kindergarten. Until mid March. 3 days to go! Adios Germany. Soon :).
This question has been following me for the last couple of weeks. And considering the fact I have realised I have not written anything in months (yxkćblekžnfidn!), this might be the time to do it. So. The answer is, no, I´m not going all alone. I´m going with the best possible little traveller. With one that can be more durable than so many big ones. Luckily. Many supportive messages have flown into my inbox lately (thank you guys, you know who you are), but of course there have been also some less encouraging ones. Thanks also to those – you made me write something after a long time.
All alone with a small kid? Won´t it be too dangerous? Too expensive? What if something happens? And if someone gets sick? Aren`t there still cannibals? Oh Well.
It will most certainly be expensive, but as always – where there is will, there is a way! Going down the stairs to the basement can also be dangerous and I crossmyfingers no one will get sick. Are we afraid? Alright, we are a bit. At least me. Kids are anyway fearless or they don´t know exactly what is coming. But it´s a good dose of fear, just enough to get some adrenaline running.
How do we dare to do this? Easy. The same as we dare to be all alone like this every day. At home. And to be honest, it´s been perfectly fine like this, all alone. You won´t believe it, be we also go all alone to buy our weekly groceries, we go all alone camping for the week end, we go all alone on a plane. We also swear all alone in the car when someone is driving to slow on the Autobahn and we visit the doctor all alone if we have to! Every morning we go all alone to work and to the kindergarten. So why not go all alone travelling somewhere far away? It will be just like at home (minus the annoying alarm clock at 6:15 in the morning and plus a fairly dose of sun and sea).
So. We are going all alone somewhere far away. As far as we can go. With the finger through the globe. To the other side of the world.
It´s not like we are running away. Okay maybe we are a little bit. One last time before school starts next year. And for as long as it is possible at the moment. 2 and a half months. Would have been great to do it for a whole year though. Maybe some other time. And of course we could not miss the chance of coming home first. To Slovenia. To ski. And say hello to family and friends. To eat and drink. To admire our beautiful mountains and smell the Adriatic sea for the last time this year. Before we replace the winter gloves and scarves with flip flops and bikinis. And sit on a big plane at Munich airport. And then the next one in Singapore. And then the next 14 smaller ones. Just the two of us. Me and Lu. All alone!
This was OUR FIRST MOM & SON ADVENTURE outside of Europe. I bet the Philippines are not one of the easiest countries to try this out, but we made it. And we had fun! And i realized I was totally able to do this SINGLE PARENT TRAVELLING thing. A friend and her 5-year old son decided to join us, so we went together. It was quite practical at times because Lu had someone his age to play with. Overall it was a nice trip despite the fact we were quite UNLUCKY WITH THE WEATHER in the second week and had to change plans a bit. Read more about what we did and where we went below.
Not so long ago, it was still kind of planned that we pack up our “summer clothes” and drive off to SYLT – a German island I´ve been really eager to visit ever since I moved over here. But then, well, as we by now probably all know, plans changed. It would have been a long drive by myself and besides, we had no reservation. So, plan B was CAMPING WITH LU, for the very first time! Well, I`ve done it often enough before to feel comfortable sleeping in a tent. Since we conveniently paired up with friends who live on the other side of the country – it was obvious we would meet somewhere half way. And there was THÜRINGEN. We´ve only always just driven through parts of this German state, when going to Slovenia and all I knew a bout it actually was that there are nice forests.
The second weekend in May was approaching and it was still rather cold and rainy in Germany. Despite that, we took our chances and booked one of the last remaining free hotel rooms in Bad Pyrmont, a SPA TOWN just about 2hrs drive from where we live in Germany. My mom was visiting and this short trip felt like a good idea. And it was – we had full sunshine the whole Saturday, Sunday wasn´t so bad as well, but we decided to head home a bit earlier and enjoy lunchtime on our home terrace. Anyway, if you´re looking for a place to relax and enjoy beautiful parks with a Mediterranean touch, this is a perfect place to do it over here in Germany!