A WANDERLUST FAMILY













Ever since I was little, there was something about holidays that felt so magical. I distinctly remember having those flutters in my tummy the night before we were due to fly. Not being able to sleep, the excitement and adrenaline almost pulsing through my veins. Something that never really changed as I grew up, the more I saw the more I wanted to see.  I've been fortunate, with my parents having the foresight to see just how valuable travel is, and ensuring they passed that wisdom onto us by giving us passports littered with stamps. They set the bar high, but I want to reach it. I want to see new countries and cultures through my sons eyes, there isn't much that can beat watching tiny toddler toes pad through the sandy dunes for the first time, or seeing their chubby hands pressed up against the cabin windows, peering down at the world beneath them. They are magical moments, and we want to experience them over and over again. If travel were a bug then we are truly bitten by it. 


Mark Warner are searching for a new ambassador, and whilst I told myself I wouldn't enter, and made every excuse of why I couldn't enter - here I am completely succumbed to the thought of sunshine and memories to make, in one of their beautiful resorts. Whilst I've been busy pinning till my hearts content, the deadline has been looming and with just a few hours to spare, I'm hoping I can squeeze this in. They've asked us to think about where we want to visit, and those thoughts are easy, with pins in our map and circles on our globe. We already know where we must go.


I don't just want to visit Morocco, I need to visit Morocco. Whilst European cities feel like a home away from home, I don't want to be sat in the centre of my comfort zone, nothing ever flourishes there. I want my boys to wade through the hustle and bustle of the souks, absorbing the chaos and lapping up the attention. To return to our hotel room with the spicy scents still lingering in our clothing. Morocco has soul, energy and vibrancy, every quality that I see in my sons I see too in Morocco. I can only imagine the show and tell that month for Noah at preschool, talks of snake charmers and magicians. I adore the bartering on foreign markets, growing up with the firm advice from my Dad 'you have to be prepared to walk away', working wonders and always resulting in a firstly somewhat despaired mother that she wouldn't be owning the silky kaftan of dreams, but secondly a win, a successful deal and the most important part - a happy wife.

Turkey was a large part of my childhood, I've lost count how many times we visited and just how many belly dancing outfits I conned my parents into buying. I'm not sure if it were the gold sequins, or pink chiffon that drew me to them every time, because I know for sure it wasn't my knack for dancing - that leaves a lot to be desired. Even at the age of 8, it was clear I wouldn't be the next Shakira. Visiting Turkey as a child didn't just allow me to see their country, but it helped me see beyond ours, and visiting Ephesus was the pinnacle moment for me. Until that moment I'd only ever read about Romans and ruins, to experience Ephesus first hand was something that could never be put into words. To begin with, I think my parents selected the hottest day of our two week stay to visit, in the middle of a Turkish summer - timing hasn't ever really been their strong point. Standing in that amphitheatre as a child, taught me two things; the world was a much bigger place with far more lifetimes behind it than I could ever comprehend and steps were built a lot steeper in the 'olden days'. I often wonder to myself what revisiting would be like now, seeing those sights through the eyes of someone almost twenty years older. I'd be a liar if I didn't say that holidays as a family of four, don't always feel exactly like a holiday, chasing two children around in a new environment is every bit as exhausting as it sounds. When I heard that Mark Warner are opening a new resort, Phokaia in Turkey, my heart jumped a little. With an on site childcare centre for all ages, giving us the opportunity to dive into all the water sports on offer whilst our boys are in the greatest of hands, the resort is practically calling our name.


Cuba emits a vibe that cannot be bottled, should it ever be attempted, it would be worth more than it's weight in gold. I was a teenager when we landed in Varadero, with more annoyance I'd been forced into holidaying with my parents, than excitement for what was ahead. First world problems, if you please. Cuba isn't all about rum and cigars, though that is a large allure I'm sure, for me it was the endless white dunes and the deep aqua waters. Reflecting on our first ever evening in Cuba, me, my younger brother who was around five at the time, and my Dad went off to explore the beach - under strict instructions from my Mum to keep clean as we were heading to the restaurant once she'd finished unpacking. Easy enough, one may think. Wrong, within thirty seconds of hitting the beach my brother had hit the water, shortly followed by the sand, and a grand total of five minutes and twenty one seconds after we left the room, we returned, with our very own sandman. A look on my Mums face I will never forget. Cuba gave me so many experiences, a crab running over my feet in a restaurant, hoiking my brother onto my shoulders to grab coconuts from the trees, and a penchant for fruit punch mocktails - something that at the age of 13 meant I was the height of sophistication.


Though our bucket list isn't jammed full of trip advisors top destinations, it is packed with pieces of my heart. All places that mean a thing, or hold a memory, that I want to experience again. I'm a whole other person now, with two sons under my belt and a life partner on my arm, it would be turning full circle to revisit as a person I never envisaged I'd become. Having a child at 21 pushed a thought into my head, that suddenly my life wasn't mine anymore and any plans, dreams or aspirations I had weren't to be fulfilled. How wrong could I have been? Sure I might be packing calpol sachets and baby wipes in my bag, and two pieces have firmly been replaced by a swimsuit, I'd never want it any other way. Travelling the world is extraordinary, but travelling with children, now that's something else. 

*This post is my entry to the Mark Warner ambassador programme. I told myself there was too much competition this year, and entering was just a one way ticket to failure. But both of those notions were far outweighed by our lust for travel, and our eagerness to visit their incredible resorts. 

52 comments

  1. I felt the same about going travelling and feeling 'free' as such but you can definitely travel with children too! I hope you get all the holidays and memories! xx

    Gemma Louise

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    1. You really can, we’ve loved our holidays so far with the boys.

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  2. Lovely post! I can't wait to travel with Amelia when we can afford it ! Good luck with your entry!!

    Lucie // www.lucielovesit.com

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    1. Thank you my love. Travelling really is incredible and I bet you’ll love it.

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  3. I've always wanted to visit the real authentic side of Cuba! Good luck with your entry and fingers crossed! :) Sim x

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    1. It was indescribable. Some of my fondest holiday moments were in Cuba.

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  4. Oh I'm so with you, I've got so many places on my bucket list, basically everywhere! And I'd definitely love to soak up the authenticity of Cuba, love discovering new cultures too. Good luck with your entry lovely x

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    1. Thank you. Discovering Cuba was totally surreal, you’d love it.

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  5. Great post! I really love your images, adds a lot to the words. I hope to be able to travel with my little one someday, it's sug an amazing thing to expose them to other places and cultures

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    1. Thank you so much. I wanted to add something more than just plain pictures. It really is, you’re not wrong there.

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  6. Good luck, there were some great entries this year!

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  7. Good luck - I loved this entry - great post full of heart and aspirations xx

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    1. Thank you, that's so kind. We do adore travel, so it was really easy to write and harder not to ramble on too much.

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  8. omg! You have been to so many fab places and all those memories! Good Luck. Hope you get it!

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    1. Thank you, we do feel really lucky and hope we can continue to travel so much.

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  9. They say travelling is good for the soul because it broadens your horizons and makes you awareness of other cultures. Travelling with a family sounds amazing.

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    1. You have hit the nail on the head. Travel is everything for us.

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  10. Holidays are some of my favourite memories as a child and I want to show my girls the world. My bucket list just grows and grows!

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    1. Same here. Do you think you'd revisit any of the places you went as a child?

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  11. Holidays are top of our list of to do things this year! Good luck with your competition entry!

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    1. I don't blame you, travelling is so much fun. I hope you have a lovely time exploring.

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  12. I have recently realised how very important family holidays are, and I just keep adding places to our list! Top of my list has always been Iceland to see the northern lights

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  13. This is a beautiful post! We visited Turkey a few years ago pre-children and it is somehwhere we would love to go again one day. Good luck with your entry :)

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    1. It's just beautiful isn't it? Thank you so much.

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  14. Ahhh good luck! I love family holidays too but they never turn out quite like I originally envisage. Think the Griswald's and you've got us! Haha!

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    1. I'm completely with you on that, I think that's part of the fun isn't it?

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  15. I would love to travel more with our whole family! We are taking baby steps!

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    1. That's the best way to go, slowly slowly catch the monkey!

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  16. This is lovely and I love how you talk so fondly of your memories of family holidays. Best of luck with you entry too! xx

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    1. Thank you Fran, we've got everything crossed though we know it's a long shot.

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  17. Lovely post. I love traveling this year we are taking kids abroad for first time!

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    1. Oh enjoy and have fun, I'm sure it'll be absolutely amazing.

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  18. Good luck with your entry. Holidays create some of the best memories!

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  19. One of my dad's old passports was so full of stamps that he had to get a new passport! My passport has a nice collection of stamps but is sadly due to expire.
    I went to Morocco in 2007 and it was amazing. I wouldn't go to the super touristy areas like Marakesh though.

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    1. Oh no, he'll have a great excuse to fill a whole new one up now. Yeah I think it's nice to visit a complete mix of areas.

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  20. Really good pictures, readking this I wanna become parent soon :)

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    1. Being a parent is the best feeling in the world.

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  21. Lovely post. It's great to see your passion for travel and sharing these adventures with your children. They are learning so much! Things they would never learn at a desk in school. It's great to see you taking them (or thinking of taking them) to your " not so typical" family holiday location, such as Morocco. Your own childhood memories are proof that visiting other cultures and stepping outside of the resort is an incredible and life changing thing!

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    1. Oh this made me smile, thank you for your kind words. We want to try and give our boys as many life changing experiences as we possibly can.

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  22. Aww that's lovely. It's definitely lovely going away with the kids , memory making magic!

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    1. Magic is exactly the right word, holidays are so magical for us.

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  23. Travelling is so life-affirming - I’m always raving on about the fact everyone should. So nice to hear about your childhood memories. I think you’d make an amazing Mark Warner ambassador. Best of luck!

    Kat x

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    1. You've took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you, I'd love nothing more than to be a MW ambassador.

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  24. Good luck! Some great places on your travel list!
    Eilidh

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    1. Thank you - I hope we get to visit them!

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  25. Good luck! I loved reading this and you totally deserve to be an ambassador, your photography is stunning!

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    1. Oh thank you Laura, that means a lot. I'm trying to up my photography game this year.

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  26. Good luck with your entry! Your passion for travel really shines through.

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  27. Great post! I used to feel the same about travelling when I was a child and still do. My own children do now too. Good luck with your entry x

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