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