Why do we choose to travel? This is a question that we are often asked my boys.
The answer is really simple. We have decided that experiences together is the most important thing for us. Although the answer is simple, the road map isn’t always easy. But it is this factor that drives us to be better every day.
Life before you boys
Mama and I have always loved adventure. Before you boys were here you would often find Mama and I climbing a hill somewhere in New Zealand. One of my favourite adventures was when Mama and I climbed The Pinnacles in Coromandel. I can remember us both sitting at the summit sharing a ‘Chokito’ (we agreed we would only eat it when we reached the top!) talking about how we would want to share this moment with our children. Mama’s favourite part was when I decided that the summit was actually a little higher so I climbed some rocks to make sure I got there!
At that point of time we had been trying for over 10 years to bring you boys into our world and our IVF journey had been difficult. We had seven failed attempts, and we mourned each loss. Rakeiora you were number eight, and Haeata you were our last embryo. You two certainly defied the odds – especially you Haeata.
Travelling the world was high on our bucket list. But strangely we never really got very far. Though not so strange on reflection – we weren’t driven to make it happen. Mama and I had only been to Australia a few times. My job has always taken me overseas, and I have seen almost every corner of the world. Sometimes I wonder if that is why I have taken it for granted. There have always been moments that have taken my breath away as I have stood in greatness or looking out across some of the world’s best sites.
As a child I never left New Zealand. Mama had been to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Singapore. We both agreed that experiences and travel was something that was important to us.
It’s time to see the world
It seemed really natural to decide to take you overseas Rakeiora. Mama and I even took you on a plane ride at three months to make sure your ears were ok and clear up some of the things we had heard about little ones and flying. I can remember asking Mama the whole way on our first flight, “Are you going to feed him?” (as this was supposed to help your ears). All went well so we decided to plan our first overseas trip.
I had to work in England for four months and during this time we saved up enough money to travel to Rarotonga together. The trip to England was my first trip away from you Rakeiora, and I still remember how much I missed you. The day I left we spent it at Butterfly Creek, and I remember Mama and I discussing how much we wanted to travel the world together.
Mama did all of the planning for Rarotonga, making sure we were going to be staying somewhere right for you. We had always wanted to see the Cook Islands. The beautiful images had us hook, line and sinker. But I can tell you my boys it didn’t disappoint. You can read all of our tips for Rarotonga here.
Experiences over things
Our first trip was amazing. I can’t explain to you how much things clicked with us as a family. You loved exploring Rarotonga. For us as Māori, Rarotonga holds a special place as it is believed by some that is where our people launched from many years ago. I kept wondering if exploring was in our blood and that’s why it felt so natural.
Throughout my life I have always liked material things. Your room is a shrine to my childhood desires of having toys all around me. A lot changed for me in this first trip. My approach to things changed, and I decided it was the experiences that mattered most. I have always known that it is the time we spend together that is most important.
Since then Mama and I have decided to save, plan and work every night to bring more experiences into your life. So far we’ve travelled together to:
- Gold Coast – Australia (two times)
- Various spots around NZ
We have another trip to the Gold Coast booked for August this year, and we are heading to Thailand late in the year hopefully.
Travelling isn’t always easy to achieve but it’s a choice we make. You need to make it a priority just like anything in your life. We haven’t mastered any master code to free travel, so the basics are simple – work hard, prioritise and save.
So why do we travel?
The answer is simple. Because some day I hope that the experiences we give you boys, open your eyes and minds to new things, to help shape you both to be the best person you can be. Of course too, you will both have special memories of our times together exploring. And that is priceless.
Travel the world my boys.
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