Browsing Tag

Adventure Nannies

Gratitude, The Adventure

Meet CARRIE

For our extended stay in New York City, we decided to bring on a nanny to make sure everyone in the family would get the most from our time in the big apple. James and I had tickets booked to shows, to see the NY Rangers, and most of all, eagerly anticipated trying out some of New York’s better restaurants.

Enter Carrie, a born and bred local New York girl originally hailing from Long Island  but residing in Brooklyn. Carrie impressed James and I during our skype interview, she ultimately had the best knowledge of the city and would be able to keep the kids entertained with the click of her fingers. We agreed on a 3 day per week schedule with some nighttime babysitting too.

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Holiday, The Adventure

Cool Copenhagen

A quick 90 minute flight took us to Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. Known for their sleek design, more bicycles than Amsterdam, unique cuisine, harsh winters, markets and beautiful landscape, the entire family was excited what the next 8 days would entail.

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The Adventure

Ancient Athens

After departing Crete, we flew back to Athens and checked into the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel on the city fringe. Marlee had her own room down the hall while the family stayed in a 2 bedroom corner suite.

With only 48 hours to explore the gigantic city, James decided to book a private driver for the day who would ferry us between the major attractions. Being September in Athens, it was so unbearably hot. We started out early and headed straight to the Acropolis. The sun was already beaming down on us as we hiked up the slippery path to the top of the ruins. Dear lord, the crowds were unbelievable. You know them, the typical tour bus tourists. Pushy, impatient, rude and ruthless. The kids were so well behaved considering the hot conditions and asked many questions about the different ruins and temples that we saw.

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The Adventure

6 MONTHS

UPDATE3

6 months. Halfway. 187 days abroad.

What an adventure it has been thus far.

Since my last post here, we have visited Prague, Amsterdam, London, Bath, Bristol, the Cotswolds, Copenhagen, Malmo, Washington DC, Boston, the Hamptons and which brings me to my current location in New York City.

We parted ways with Marlee in Copenhagen which was so hard for all of us. She has become part of our family and we have built a relationship with her that will hopefully last a lifetime. She was more than a nanny to the kids, a friend to James, a sister to me. She has flown home to reunite with her family in Australia but we are still in close contact and the kids ask about her every day.

UPDATE4

We are 3 weeks into our adventure on US soil. Washington DC was utterly beautiful and inspiring. While I am not too interested in US history, it is hard not to be impressed with such monumental and pivotal moments in history that have taken place all over the city.

Boston continued to wow us, with gorgeous tree lined streets, friendly locals, the most supreme Halloween experience of my life, and best of all, our first snowfall of the adventure.

We then drove south to Connecticut and crossed over to Long Island for a family reunion in East Hampton. More about that here.

UPDATE2

This afternoon, the sunshine welcomed us into New York City, as flags hung proudly for Veterans Day and servicemen and women were marching all over the city.

We have a new nanny joining us tomorrow, her name is Carrie and she is a NY native, born and raised here. She will be a live out nanny working 3 days a week.

It has been an absolute blessing to have my in-laws and gran-in-law stay with us for the last week in East Hampton. Our days have been full of love and laughter. Breakfast time is busy with the kids running around, dinner conversations lasted hours and honest words were shared. They are with us for another week in the city and we have many lovely things planned together.

As for my depression and anxiety? I am as well as I can be right now. My anxiety is almost gone. I feel at ease juggling 3 kids onto a flight with 8 pieces of hand luggage, 5 winter coats and a thousand eyes on me. Travel days are easier than you would think.

update7

Some days, I am numb to many troubling issues that are lingering in my heart, other days I am so busy and out enjoying life that I fall into bed with a smile on my face, and count my blessings a thousand times over.  That’s the sad thing about depression, it’s up and down, hot and cold, on and off, so you really have to enjoy the good days and embrace it all.

I appreciate every person who reads my words here. I’ve been soul searching for so long and I’m finally starting to like the thoughts and feelings in myself. At the end of the day, I’m just a woman, a wife, a mother who took a huge leap 6 months ago. I’ll admit, I’ve looked back a few times, who doesn’t! But I like where I’m heading now. There is new hope on my horizon.

Until next time,

xo

The Adventure

Meet MARLEE!

The idea of adding a nanny on the journey began way back when, in Sydney while our final preparations were made. James and I felt torn about the idea of potentially hiring the odd babysitter in different destinations and how that might affect the children being left with strangers. But we also wanted to ensure we could enjoy a little downtime for ourselves as we saw the world in all its glory.

I researched hiring an au pair, nanny, travel nanny and found some really average websites and companies who didn’t offer security screening or adopt a strict hiring process of employees.

Finally, I stumbled across a fantastic business named “Adventure Nannies” based in the United States. They were professional from the get-go and began the process quickly. After we created our wish list of a travel nanny, we were sent a very extensive list of girls who were all keen to join our family. Some were teachers, others were studying childcare at university. All had amazing credentials, references and more importantly, they were experienced travellers themselves.

After some deliberation and a chat with the kids, we settled on Marlee. Here she is, our gorgeous travel nanny.

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Last night in Florence

Marlee is 23, born in Sydney, raised in Melbourne.

She has been residing in New York City for the last 12 months, working in marketing artistic management. She also lived in Italy when she was 15 years old for 12 months.

She has travelled extensively around the globe including India, Italy, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Mexico, and the United States.

She loves yoga, running, painting, sketching and listening to music. Her family and friends are a huge part of her life and we have swapped many stories about our loved ones back home in Australia.

IMG_4123A busy day at Pisa, so many people!

The children adore her. Upon her arrival in Cannes after flying overnight from New York, the 2 older kids had her change into her swimmers and out the door to the beach within 15 minutes of arriving. Talk about eager!

Abi enjoys doing school work and crafts with Marlee every day.
Ted is physical and loves to swim, go to the beach and cook with Marlee.
Harriet was the slowest one to warm to Marlee, but now they are inseparable.

IMG_5469Drawing at lunch behind the Duomo in Florence. Not a bad view!

Her role hasn’t been limited to just a baby sitter, but also someone who is caring and nurturing my children. She has their best interests at heart and has witnessed many milestones like helping Abi learn to read difficult books, watching Harriet learn to climb stairs, taking the kids for swims in the open ocean in Croatia. Stories have been read, meals have been cooked, clothes have been folded and unfolded, colouring in and crafts have been created. She is always there, day and night, for the children and for James and I.

By the time Marlee finishes with us in Copenhagen,  she will have visited 8 countries and over 15 cities with us. Flown countless flights and sat in the back of several mini-vans as we road tripped our way around Europe. Eaten crepes in Paris, calamari in Greece, the best cheeses in Italy and tasted gelato in every place we have stopped.

veniceSo much luggage at the airport in Venice!

When she returns home to Australia later in the year, she hopes to live in Adelaide with her boyfriend and from there, the world is her oyster.

If you are ever in need of a nanny on the road, I highly recommend Adventure Nannies. Holly and Brandy have been so professional and lovely to deal with. The  group of nannies we interviewed were impressive, varied and each sported unique skills such as a second language or experience working with special needs children.

Having a travel nanny has given James and I  the freedom to enjoy some down time on the trip, like we did back home in Sydney with our regular sitter, Jess. Hi Jess if you are reading! I don’t feel guilty about enjoying the odd sleep-in, going on date night to a museum or having a long lunch with a cheeky bottle of wine.

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Marlee has been a perfect fit for us and we aren’t quite ready to part ways with her just yet!

Until then,

xo