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About Holiday of a Lifetime

A few years ago, we packed up all our belongings, and our  children, and set off to spend several years in Europe. I remember walking down the long corridor at Brussels airport when we arrived, and having a sudden attack of panic, thinking, what on earth have we done? I would have fainted there and then on the travelator if a giant poster of Belgian chocolates hadn't revived my spirits. 

Many of Anna's 'so called disasters' have happened to us. We got lost so many times it almost cured me of worrying about getting lost. My mother was visiting and had her handbag stolen within about four hours of landing in London. We've been turned out of a hotel by a shrieking (false) fire alarm, and felt the severe cold of winter in Arctic Finland. 'So lucky, only minus ten!' is absolutely what Finnish people said to us. Our holidays at home in Australia have been equally 'interesting'. Like Anna we've been rained out while camping, and yes, we really did get so badly stuck in holiday traffic once that my middle child got a McMuffin for a birthday cake. 

So why leave the comfort of home? Of course we travel to see the world, but co-incidentally, we find out about ourselves. I think that's what I was really writing about, when I wrote this book.  It's easy to imagine that if you were rich, or living in a different place and time, you would be a different person. You would somehow be more attractive, intelligent, outgoing, daring - just more fabulous all round! But what living overseas for three years brought home to me was how much you carry your essential self with you, and how much attitude is everything. Anna  is a worry wart, but in the end, that's what she's good at, and she turns it from a negative to a positive.