holy moly, it’s been forever!

you. guys!

I logged in here after… yeah I’m not even sure how long… because I wanted to have a look at some of my old posts. Partly to see how far I’ve come, and partly to get inspiration for some new posts by being reminded of my old travels (and life, haha!)

Since last posting, the little bean has grown huge – he’s nearly four now! And there’s a new kid on the block too, although he’s not that new anymore: he’s nearly two!

I’ve gone back to uni, and just finished my degree in Psychology. I’ve also been hard at work building up a new website, so I would love it if you took a look: it’s called A Winter Escape and it’s still travel-related but with more of a family bent. I’ve learned a lot about blogging so sometimes it’s just nice to start afresh.

Anyway, I can’t wait to scroll through the Reader and catch up on what everyone’s been up to!

considering a babymoon? read this first.

There’s a trend these days for couples to enjoy a “babymoon” before their babies are born – that is, to have a little getaway, enjoy some quality time together and relax before that little bundle of joy arrives and sleepless nights set in.

It’s a cute idea for those who have the time and resources and let’s face it, what new mum or dad isn’t at least slightly anxious about impending parenthood?

I’m all for the idea in theory but there’s one really big thing to think about that a lot of people seem to be forgetting: their travel insurance.

Being an expectant mum myself, I’m seeing lots of women considering babymoons which is great, but what concerns me are two trends: travelling without insurance, or travelling with insurance and assuming baby is covered. Here’s a little newsflash that surprises a lot of people: baby won’t be covered if you travel overseas.

For Australians, travel interstate is fine because pregnancy will always be covered by Medicare (the joys of being a citizen of a country with such a scheme). If you travel on a cruise though (even if it’s a domestic cruise) or you fly out of the country this is where expectant parents really need to consider the risks far more thoroughly than they have been.

On a standard policy (bearing in mind this is a generalisation, however it is based on experience and in-depth conversations with several insurance companies) a woman with a single pregnancy would be covered up to about 26 weeks (depending on the policy) provided she has experienced absolutely no complications whatsoever. This 26-week limit means all travel must be completed by then, NOT that you must depart by then. It’s usually about 18 or 19 weeks for women pregnant with multiples.

But here’s the trick: while the mother is covered, the baby isn’t. This means that the mother could go to the hospital complaining of pains and be treated but the minute the decision is made that the baby is to be delivered, that’s it. Cough up the dough because the insurance company won’t be.

Consider the risks of this: what if a mother went to say, Fiji or Bali for a week at 25 weeks, fully intending to be home by the 26 week mark. While away, she goes into spontaneous labour and needs to deliver. At 25 weeks the foetus is viable and is born alive, but now needs three months of round-the-clock care in the NICU of the hospital. Sorry, but those parents will be paying. Not to mention having to stay in that country for the whole time, paying for food, accommodation etc and not going to work. Can you imagine?

Or, on the most awful end of the scale, consider the tragic case of the lady who this week delivered her baby at 24 weeks on board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane. The plane needed to be diverted to Denpasar and unfortunately the baby passed away. No post-natal care would be provided for this woman and the repatriation cost of her baby’s body wouldn’t be covered either.

As ridiculous as much of this may sound, I’m yet to come across a policy that works differently (but if you happen to come across one let me know!)

My advice: ALWAYS read your Product Disclosure Statement, ask as many questions as you can and really consider if a particular policy is right for you – or indeed, if the risk is worth it.

i’ve cracked.

Well… I’ve added a bucket list (see the top menu). I’ll keep ticking things off as I go, but let’s be honest I’ll probably add just as many things as I tick off!

I know the idea might be kind of naff, but I thought it’s a nice way to remind myself to “just keep swimming” when I need a bit of encouragement.


What’s on your bucket list?

nosy iranja, madagascar in pictures

This little island is about an hour and a half from Nosy Be island (in the far North of Madagascar) by boat. It’s tidal, so when we arrived it looked like two round islands with a massive beach connecting the two, but as the tide came in the two islands became separated.

There’s a baby turtle nursery (a bit dubious about this) and a village too. Here are some pictures.






my dumbest obsession

Someone with an interest in pop-psychology, or hey, maybe someone actually qualified, needs to tell me RIGHT NOW why I have such an obsession with Air Crash Investigation.

Firstly, what is the appeal of hearing any kind of story where people die?

Secondly, why would I choose to watch a show about plane crashes when my job (read: livelihood!) kind of requires me to want to get on planes?

Maybe it’s so I can sound smart in the lunch room at work when I use words such as “aileron”.

World Malaria Day APRIL 25th

Hi guys,

A blog I like to read, Barefoot in Madagasar, recently posted this infographic on Malaria that I’d really like to share with you. Many of you will know that Madagascar is a really special place for me but many won’t know that I have a keen interest in Malaria Awareness programs and campaigns.

I hope you find this as interesting as I did!

Barefoot in Madagascar

World Malaria Day APRIL 25th

Malaria Initiatives

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it’s fat belly curry night

Well this is fast becoming a food blog, clearly. When you buy a house and can’t afford to jet away constantly you need to find a new outlet… Mine is stuffing my face, I think. But in an artsy, look-what-I-did kind of way, hopefully.

Anyway, tonight was curry night.

I’ll be honest, hubby did most of the work. I just stood around and looked good (duh). And fetched beers.

Last night we marinated some chicken in a Madras sauce. I thought hubby was being lazy by leaving it in a casserole dish and baking it but alas, he is a genius. The meat was perfectly tender and completely packed with flavour, just like you would get at an Indian restaurant. Took about the same time as it would on the stove top but with amazing results.

Served with roti (slightly toasted), raita (yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and a little bit of mint), mango chutney and lime pickle (my favourite!)… I was actually dancing up and down the hallway with excitement while it was cooking and it didn’t disappoint. The below photo probably will though; I’m a food eater, not a food photographer.

Hit me with your favourite curry making tips. I promise I will gobble them up (insert creepy wink face here).



the worst travel agent ever

Okay kids, I’m going to say it. The worst travel agent ever is: myself. (Work, please don’t fire me)

Now, before I do lose my job, I need to clarify something. I’m the worst at booking MY OWN travel, not my clients.

It’s actually a pretty well-known fact within the travel industry that travel agents, even the very best ones, are hopeless when it comes to organising their own personal holidays. I am no exception; in fact this rule may as well be in existence thanks to my track record. To be fair though, I have heard worse stories than my own, (for instance, one agent meant to fly herself to San Diego, California but got the airport code wrong by one letter and, after not picking up her error anywhere along the way, actually wound up somewhere in South America) but here is a list of some things that have really hindered my own more recent travels.

  • Travel Insurance: on both of my most recent trips it was 9pm the night before an early flight when i realised “SHIT, I DON’T HAVE INSURANCE”. Cue desperate last-minute “cheap insurance” Google search. At least it’s better than BOTH trips to Fiji (the first of three I had a wonderful agent who was not me) where half-way through I remembered I didn’t have insurance at all.
  • Immunisations: Hanging out in Mauritius, I got really sick. It dawned on me: what if I have some awful mosquito-borne illness? Which then led to HOLY SHIT WE ARE GOING TO MADAGASCAR IN TWO DAYS AND WE DON’T HAVE ANY ANTI-MALARIALS. Through an absolute stroke of luck (!) I have a little skin condition called rosacea, and I take some mild medication for it which just so happens to be doxycycline, a common anti-malarial drug. Nice!
  • Documentation: I’m not even going to say much about this one other than it’s pretty pathetic when I have to call my work the day before my honeymoon to ask if someone can please send me my flight tickets because I forgot to print them off? Yep. Honeymoon. Forgot the tickets. Check.
  • Visas: I’m yet to actually be caught out on this one thank God, but a few times I’ve been queuing at Immigration freaking out about whether I needed a visa or not. Never hurts to double check.
  • Itinerary: Next time I book a holiday, I promise myself I will do some more research on the kind of itinerary we should have, as well as the hotels we book. Five nights in the cesspit of hell in Mauritius at least taught me that much.