To my darling boys – A letter on our travels

To my darling boys,


We are coming to the end of our backpacking adventure around South East Asia and so it seemed fitting to pen you a letter on our travels. After all they have been such a monumentally important part of our lives.

Mum at Phi Phi Don viewpoint with young children


My idea to sell a load of our stuff, pack up our belongings into two backpacks and set off on a family adventure around South East Asia was met with a few raised eyebrows. Actually, scrap that. It was met with a barrage of negativity, people questioning our sanity and people trying to talk us out of it. Despite all of the negativity, we felt it was an amazing voyage to embark on as a family and we couldn’t help but feel that it would enrich our lives and bring us closer together as a family unit.


I would be lying if I told you that the negatively didn’t impact the lead up to our departure. In the last fews days before we left England my anxiety was in full force. I struggled sleeping and found myself questioning if it was too late to put the brakes on our entire operation. Thankfully through the negativity, we also found some fellow passionate travellers backing our corner, reminding us that we were about to embark on a rather epic adventure that many other families are already on.


It all seemed a bit surreal standing in the airport, attempting to check in our luggage and trying to navigate a rather tricky conversation with the woman at the check in desk, who kept talking about the complications of not having onward travel booked. I’m not entirely sure why we had the fiasco to be honest with you both because on arrival in Thailand they didn’t even ask about onward travel… at least I don’t think they did but by that point I was hallucinating from lack of sleep because neither of you slept on the bloody plane!


Anyway, landing in Bangkok was the starting point of our backpacking journey and what an adventure it has been. We have travelled through seven countries on our journey, all so different and unique. We took in the stunning temples of Chiang Mai in Thailand, the natural beauty of Laos, the chaos of Vietnam and the ancient city of Cambodia. We’ve learnt so much about kindness from the people of Malaysia. We’ve learnt so much about conservation in Singapore and we’ve leant so much about the true beauty of childhood and family from the people of Indonesia.

Temple visit in Chiang Mai with young children

Feeding elephants Chiang Mai

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens, Laos

Volunteering teaching in Laos

Bai Tu Long Bay cruise with young kids

Angkor wat cycling tour with kids

Daddy and Bear on swing at Tropical Spice Garden, Penang

Family photo in The Tropical Spice Garden

Ubud with young children - Tegallalang rice terraces

Ubud with kids - Tirta Empul


It hasn’t always been an easy road, there was that time I messed up the flights in Vietnam, the time your Dad lost the credit card in Thailand and that really awful 20 hour sleeper bus ride, but those days are outnumbered by the truly wonderful and magical ones. The days we held hands as we walked along the beach, the day we fed a rescued elephant by hand and the days filled with everyday moments in extraordinary places.


I am so incredibly thankful for these moments and these times I have spent with you. It is like a dream showing you things that would only have been accessible to me in a book when I was growing up. I’ve loved opening your eyes to a whole other world. One of different cultures, religions and ways of life. It has been incredible to climb mountains and trek through jungles with you. To show you rural villages, bustling cities and a hundred different sunsets.


We’ve experienced so much together as a family and have learnt so much about the world we live in, but I think what has been the most rewarding part of our trip is seeing how much you both have grown. You have both grown so confident, so intrigued about the world and so inquisitive. You have become passionate about our planet and the creatures we share our planet with. You have become aware that not everyone lives like we do and with that you have become more aware of the importance of kindness.

What to do in Hoi An with young children - exploring Hoi An's old town

Feeding the baby macaque monkeys at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

Angkor Wat with young children

Island hopping in Thailand with young children - family on longtail boat in Thailand

Monkey feeding deer at Farm in the city, Kuala Lumpur

Mummy and Monkey at Gardens by the Bay

To my darling boys - A letter on our travels


Our travels around South East Asia have been quite the adventure, full of perfect moments and learning. How lucky we are to have been on such a wonderful adventure, how incredible a journey, but what is the most amazing thing is that all of these moments, these memories, they’ve been made as a family.


All my love,

Mummy xx


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26 thoughts on “To my darling boys – A letter on our travels

  1. Wow, what a beautiful post on such a magical adventure. Fitting with the name of your website! The photos are amazing and you should be very proud of what a lovely family you have and for doing such a brilliant job in creating some fantastic memories. I don’t have the courage to do what you have done and do not understand the negativity you have received xxx

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment, it has made my morning! I hope people have seen during the course of our travels, that choosing to live differently doesn’t necessarily mean wrong! Our time travelling around South East Asia has been amazing and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to do it. We’ve loved being able to take in new experiences and create so many wonderful memories together!

    1. Thank you for your comment! It has been such a wonderful adventure, we have loved making so many amazing memories and we feel so thankful for being able to do so.

  2. Emma that’s an amazing letter to write to your boys. You’ve been on an incredible journey, one I’d jump at the chance to do if we didn’t have our dog to consider as I’ve told you before. You’ve visited many of the countries on our family bucket list and I’ve loved following your journey and travels. Your memory banks must be full to the brim with incredible moments many others can only dream about!

    1. Thank you so much! It has been such a wonderful adventure, we’ve have made so many memories and we are so thankful for being able to do so. I look forward to reading about when you venture to South East Asia and seeing all the photos from your special time there!

  3. Oh my goodness that is amazing! What an amazing and wonderful trip to take your children on! It looks like it was well worth any hassle you may have had and completely worth ignoring all the negativity thrown your way. That’s an experience you and your children will be able to cherish forever:)

    1. Thank you for your comment. It has been such a wonderful adventure and we have made so many amazing memories. We are definitely glad we ignored the negativity and went on our adventure around South East Asia anyway.

  4. Amazing opportunity and amazing adventure. Well one for sticking with it at the start and going for it. The memories and life skills they have learnt will be stay with them forever

    1. Absolutely, the boys have grown and developed so much since being on our travels and it has been the most amazing adventure. We have definitely made so many wonderful memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.

  5. Oh wow, what a great trip. I can imagine how stressful some of the things that happened must have been. You and your family will have these amazing memories forever though. Lovely phots.

    I really need to start traveling again 🙂

  6. Thes is such a beautiful post and all your pictures are really stunning. Memories are the best thing ever, giving your boys amazing experiences will stay with them forever. Travel is a great thing for anyone and especially children since it can help them learn a lot. Fabulous!

  7. Awww what a beautiful letter and I am sure your boys will love reading it, I love traveling and do it monthly and hope when I have kids of my own I will continue.

  8. Such a beautiful letter. I remember being in awe of you when you said you were off travelling with such little children and I have watched your journey with interest. I think you should be immensely proud of yourselves having the courage to do this and creating memories that will last a life time.

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