Outside of the bubble

So Hans Christian Andersen once said, “To travel is to live”, a quote which still rings true today, and one I take my mind to often.

To Travel is to Live
True words spoken

It was my plan this year when making my resolutions (most of which are either already out or on their third attempt) to travel more and tick some new countries off my ‘living bucket list’, you know, the one you do when you’re alive and not on your way out!

MAP
The world is our oyster

Having done a fair amount of travelling and backpacking in the pre-kids life, we’ve both always had wandering souls.  Then when the little one’s arrived, several ‘sit by the pool with the kids all day’ trips prevailed, but a couple of years back we decided to give the traditional Mediterranean holidays a miss, and try something a little more adventurous, something that would enlighten us, surprise us, and ultimately teach us.

trunki airport
Holiday starts now
Flight time
Flight time

I’m a strong believer in travel being good for the soul, and for me it’s more of an escape. An escape into another country yes, one with more sun is always nice, but also an escape away from the norm, from work, from chores, and into the lives of others, to see where and how they live, to learn their cultures, to speak their language, to recognise that the world is a big place, and to immerse myself in the unknown.  Having said that, I also feel that travelling is a way to ensure life doesn’t escape us, that we make the most of every minute with those we love.

Street musicians on the Promenade de Anglais.
He was so good!
nice promenade music
Street musicians on the Promenade de Anglais. Love this!

So we’ve recently returned from this years first trip, a lovely week on the French Riviera.   Quick flights from Bristol to Nice made it easy and our apartment, booked via AirBNB was just perfect, in a prime location overlooking Nice’s Port, amongst beautiful coffee shops, French restaurants and super yachts!

Nice port apartment
Gorgeous view across the Mediterranean
Nice apartment
Our stunning apartment on Nice Port
nice port
The Olympus Blue Super Yacht, worth $250m! Just wow!

The children were a little apprehensive when they learned there wasn’t a pool joined to the accommodation, and also when they found out I had made a huge, detailed plan of all the sights I wanted to see, which included miles of walking.  But to be fair, they were good as gold and relished the opportunity to explore, which they thoroughly enjoyed, as did us older kids.

Castle hill, nice
The long walk to Castle Hill, hundreds of steps!
Castle Hill nice
View from the top
Castle Hill, nice
Breathtaking views of the Promenade de Anglais and Old Nice town.
Castle Hill
Beautiful buildings at Castle Hill, Nice.

A whole, unexpected day of thunder and lightning storms and torrential rain, which you could see rolling across the sky above the sea, meant we got drenched walking the Promenade de Anglais the first day, but we laughed the whole time, jumped in puddles, and went in the sea in our clothes, as we were already completely soaked through!

Storm nice port
Crazy skies
Wet shoes
No flip flops today!
Nice floods
A rare sight on the French Riviera
Nice ocean
Magnificent waves in the storm

The sun did appear for a day trip to Antibes and Cannes, and a second to Monaco and Monte Carlo, both of which were just breathtaking, certainly the world renowned coastline journey we took.

BUS 100 NICE TO MONACO
Bus trip from Nice to Monaco around the beautiful coastline
Cannes
The beautiful Cannes
Armani Cafe
Didn’t get to try a hot chocolate, but bet its delicious!
Palace of Monaco
Prince Alberts beautiful Monaco Palace
Monaco markets
Monaco’s fresh markets

Being in these particular destinations certainly opened our eyes to how the other half live, with the affluent houses, cars, shops, but I loved that the kids took it very much in their stride.  Our Son is almost 12, so he recognised the likes of the Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and all the other supercars casually driving the streets, but I don’t think either of them realised the significance of being in these cities and the reputation that proceeds them.

Monte Carlo
Welcome to Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo Casino
The famous, and impressive, Monte Carlo Casino
Super cars monte carlo
A usual sight in Monte Carlo
Monte carlos designer shops
Designer shops anyone?

I loved the fact that they casually soaked it all up but also that they questioned lots of things, like why there was a mini Statue of Liberty on the beachfront in Nice, why Monaco was a different country that we didn’t need our passports for and only 3 miles long, and why they didn’t sell Cadbury’s chocolate!

statue-of-liberty nice
Statue of Liberty, Promenade de Anglais

Ultimately, we all learned a lot that week.  Yes we learnt about the areas we visited and the history of their infrastructure, that Monaco Pizza’a are amazing, Cannes has the best McDonalds, and Monte Carlo is somewhere we could never afford to live (or eat!), but we also learned, or at least reminded ourselves that the Danish author was spot on, that travelling really is living.

ice cream cannes harbour
Family time at Cannes Harbour

Travelling for children certainly broadens their perspectives on life, gives them confidence and gets them excited to adventure.  Smells, tastes, sights all teach them the differences from around the world, as it does us, and our little ones are always so grateful for the opportunity to travel, and they appreciate that others may not be so fortunate, which melts my heart.  We laughed, we learnt, and we saw new sights we may never see again, and got our passports stamped in Monaco!  We had just the best time, all of us, together.

Monaco passport stamp
Monaco Tourist Office, the only place you can get your passport stamped in the country!
Monaco passport stamp
Another one for the book

Coming back was difficult.  Arriving home to a rainy UK, missing the French coastline wasn’t great but we’ve made more memories.  Teddies bought at Monaco’s Palace Square, about a thousand photographs taken and the compulsory magnets collected means this trip will stay with us forever, which we’ll talk about, reminisce about and hold deep in our hearts.

Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo look out point
Promenade De Anglais
Fun in the sea on the Promenade de Anglais
Nice port super yacht
Strolling around Nice Port
Mediterranean Sea
Dipping my toes in the Ocean is a must

It’s amazing how in different countries some things are exactly the same, and how other things are completely different, and this really is an eye-opener for children and a great way to teach them that we don’t all live the same, that people are individual, that cultures are different, and that that’s ok, that’s the world we live in… and what better way to teach your children, and yourself about the world than to see it first hand.

Next stop, Holland!

Rhian
x

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Hi, welcome to WorkKidsSleep. This blog is all about my thoughts on life and modern day living, rearing children while being a working Mother, setting up home on the other side of the world, living life while I can, family travel and all the in-between.

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