2014 was a funny old year. When it started, I had no idea how it would end. I had many ideas about what I hoped to achieve and where I hoped to go, yet hardly anything I planned actually happened.
I began January in my usual trip booking frenzy, filled with enthusiasm for travel, ready to make sure every day off work was accounted for. We’d go back to Greece in the summer, but we’d also return to Paris and visit new countries in Sweden, Switzerland and Croatia. I’d rinse out my #take12trips challenge! But we always knew we wanted a baby, and if there’s anything life has taught me, it’s that plans can change in an instant. I secretly hoped a baby would come in 2014, but in January, there was no way I could be sure that this would be the year. So I clicked book over and over and got that familiar thrill every time.
By February, we’d had our first weekend away in Amsterdam and I returned to find that our baby had actually come with us, tiny speck that he was. I was overjoyed and I headed straight to Newcastle for the Traverse travel blogging conference knowing I’d be off the booze for a change. There’s always a party vibe in the evening at these conferences and it wasn’t like me to be drinking fizzy water instead of fizzy wine, but I didn’t care. I’d do anything for the wee one.
The only thing I wish is that I’d started travel blogging sooner. I’ve met wonderful people at the conferences and meet ups I’ve attended (Frankie, Kirsten, Julika, Ana, Yishyene, Victoria, Helen, Mia, Lucy, Lisa, Monica – I mean all of you!), and I’d intended on being more active in the blogging community last year – by attending more events, meeting more people in person who I’ve come to call friends online (hello Jo) and clinking glasses with anyone and everyone who had a smile and a story to share.
I also had hopes that 2014 would be the year I made big things happen for Need Another Holiday. And although I’ve continued to grow my beloved little blog, it wasn’t really to be. But in the end it didn’t matter, because I’m writing this now on my phone (thanks to Evernote), with my beautiful baby boy sleeping on my chest.
I didn’t find being pregnant easy – and in the end I visited websites to click cancel almost as much as I had clicked book. But that didn’t matter either.
Being a parent is not for everyone, and that’s fine. I’d never tell someone that having children is the only way to truly complete their life. But I do know that my son has completed mine. I thought travel was the best way to find out about what life is all about. I didn’t know that looking into a tiny new face could show me more than a new place ever would. And I realized quickly that the eyes of the baby we made will show me the wonder in the world that I’d long forgotten.
So although in 2015 I’ll be taking some trips (12 is probably asking too much!), right now I’m not making any firm plans. At this moment, I’m just content to be in one place – at home. With my child in my arms.