Leander and I have taken some smaller trips together over the years, but we’ve never actually had the opportunity to travel by plane anywhere, just the two of us. So for Leander’s 11th birthday this year, I booked us a trip to London.
We were going to do the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but unfortunately, that was sold out by the time I was able to book our hotel and plane tickets. So we will just have to go back I guess 😝
So where is the London vlog, you might wonder? Well, I did film a little bit during the trip but decided pretty quickly that there wasn’t going to be a vlog for this trip. The main reason for this was that I wanted the London trip to be about Leander, and for him and I to have some really good quality time together. And if I’m focusing on getting as much good content as possible for a vlog, then my mind would often be elsewhere than on being mindful of all the experiences we were having together.
So what did we do on our trip? We walked around the city a lot, sat down at cafés, ate yummy food and cakes, spent some time at Hamley’s, did a little bit of shopping, had fun in the hotel swimming pool, got to meet some wonderful people, went to the science museum and we stayed up late, eating candy in our hotel room.
But the thing that I take away from the trip that was the most wonderful, was all the time we spent talking about life and thoughts. I’ve always said that the best way to really get to know someone is to travel together with them, and I do believe that Leander and I got to know each other even better than we already did throughout this trip. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic everyday lifestyle, and we probably don’t take as much time as we should to actually just sit down and talk about our feelings and experiences, but while we were away, we really did get the time to do so. There was no rush for anything, and we just had a wonderful time. Even when getting soaked in the rain, or when Leander was so tired on the evening of our first day that he walked like a drunk person, we still smiled, laughed and talked so easily.
It is also so fascinating to me to experience how he’s growing up so extremely fast. And he constantly takes me by surprise when he’s wording these really profound thoughts that are running through his mind. But even though he’s getting closer and closer to becoming a teen, he still finds the joy in toys and playing, which is something that I think is so important!
And he’s so funny and entertaining my little guy!
It’s so wonderful, but also scary at the same time, to watch him finding himself and taking on the world.
Solo traveling with kids is a little different from when I do travel completely alone though. There are a lot more breaks, earlier nights, and a bit more planning. But it was such a joy, and I do hope that I get to travel more with my little man in the near future.
Not only because I think it’s an absolutely wonderful way for us to get quality time together, but also for us to personally grow through traveling together. Some of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood are the adventures I went on with my family. We didn’t have to travel far or by train, but it was something about just getting out of the comfort zone of home, and try new things and explore new places.
And that is something I wish for Leander to have plenty of; ADVENTURES!
London was an absolute treat, and as I’ve mentioned before; London always feels like coming home! It brought me so much joy to share that with Leander, and it was just a pleasure to watch him fall in love with the same city.
London, thank you for all the wonderful memories we got to bring back home❤️
There are places, sounds, smells, and sensations that are linked to not only specific timeframes and memories but also to people and feelings. Places in particular that I avoided for a long time because they were just too painful to revisit. And when I first started to go back, I saw the past everywhere.
I saw his face, the way he looked at me, and I could almost feel the way he’d touched me. I could taste the food we’d shared, smell the snow even though it was gone, hear the music and his voice. It hit me like a giant wave of the past. I felt everything all over again, and for a while, it was almost too much for me. I felt like I was invading on spaces that no longer belonged to me.
But as time went by and wounds healed, things changed. The waves turned into splashes, then heavy drops, and finally no more than a drizzle. And by then I saw so much more than I had before. I was revisiting the now of the places, and not the past. I was experiencing the moments that I was in, not all that once was.
Little by little, the places that felt like belonged to something once lost, started to feel like my own. In my backtracking, I found new spots, new faces, new smells, and new sounds. I made new memories that made me smile in places that used to bring nothing but tears.
It’s like repainting a canvas. Making new patterns out of those who are already there. And as I backtrack and make new stories in old places, I’m learning to love them in a totally new and different way.
Sometimes, journeys go backward a little before they can move on, but that does not make it any less of a journey❤️
My heart is very well at the moment, so don’t worry. But I am working on something very exciting these days! As I’ve mentioned a few times, one of the ways I express myself most easily when I’m feeling down and a bit broken is through writing and poetry.
As I went through a few heartbreaks over the last couple of years, I wrote a lot of poetry. Some have been posted here, and others are still resting in notebooks, on scraps of paper, and on café napkins. I’ve been playing around with the idea of a poetry collection for a while, and now it’s definitely become more than playing around with it. I’m really doing it! I’m working on putting them all together, rewriting some, and even adding some new ones, now that I get to look back on all that has happened with a bit of distance.
I haven’t decided all the details yet, but it will be a self-published collection, and it will be a collection of poetry, pictures, and thoughts.
I’m very excited, and equally scared about this project. It’s one that I’ve been wanting to do for so long, and this one will be so extremely personal. It’s hard to revisit all the emotions and pain of the breaking, but it’s also a wonderful and new way of growing from the experiences.
I will keep you guys updated on the progress!
And thank you to all of you lovelies who’ve been there for me through it all. For all the kind words, and pep talks!❤️
Lots of love❤️
I would probably go batshit crazy if I didn’t!
I found outlets for my thoughts and my frustrations in a lot of ways, but mostly through my creativity. And as you guys know, writing and pictures/videos are the ways I express myself creatively the most.
But no matter how much I write and share, my journaling is something that I do just for me. It’s raw, unfiltered, and the best way for me to get my thoughts in order. Very often, I find that writing down the things that make me frustrated or emotional is the best way of getting it all into perspective. By getting it all down my hands, through the pen and out on paper, it gives me just the right kind of distance to be able to more sanely look at it all.
I started writing my first diary when I was 11 years old after I had read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, and I was just so fascinated by the fact that I was able to get an inside look into someone else’s personal struggles and thoughts. So I found myself curious as to how my thoughts and feelings would look on paper.
And here we are, 20 years later, a lot of journals filled out, and I’m so grateful that I started.
Journaling has changed a lot over time, and I would probably cringe CRINGE cringe if I started reading my teenage ones, so they’re stored away in a safe place. And one thing I do know for sure is that I will keep on journaling till the day my hands are no longer able to put words down on paper.
It has saved me from my chaotic mind so many times. As I said in the beginning; I would probably go batshit crazy if I didn’t!
Do you journal?
I read a hardback version of The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Genre: Historical fiction, based on a true story
Publisher: Zaffre Publishing
Originally published: January 11th, 2018
Pages: 288 (Hardback)
Blurb by the publisher:
For readers of Schindler’s List, The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes a heart-breaking story of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
Ever since I read The Diary of Anne Frank as a young girl, I’ve had a soft spot for historical fiction and non-fiction about World War Two. Some of it is because of the fact that Jewish blood runs in our family, but mostly I find it fascinating and equally tragic.
Heather Morris spent three years listening to Mr. Sokolov’s memories of his time at Auschwitz, and what that resulted in was a beautiful, yet heartbreaking love story. And not only that but also a fascinating story of surviving through a war, in the hope of a better future.
I devoured this book! It was intriguing from beginning till end, and just knowing that it was based on a true story made it even more interesting.
I smiled when they fell in love, I gasped and fell physically ill by some of the treatment they had to endure, and I cried and cried for what they experienced and for the beauty of this true kind of love that was shared between two people, and also their friends.
To read the stories of love through war and hardship is a bittersweet experience. I am so moved by how much they would sacrifice for love, for the dedication and the beauty of something so true. And my heart also breaks when I compare that to how easily love often is thrown away in our modern society.
Lale and Gita’s story is one that will touch your heart and stay there for a long time. Heather Morris made their story come to life in the most beautiful way that felt very real and honest.
We need these stories. We need to be reminded of what happened so that we can be sure that it will not happen on that scale ever again!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a wonderful love story, but it is also so much more than that!
Highly, highly recommend!