Hi, I’m Steph and I’ve been blogging at Steph’s Two Girls (www.stephstwogirls.co.uk) for over nine years. I started it the day our younger daughter was given a diagnosis of autism at the age of two and I’ve carried on sharing our family’s experiences ever since. Sadly our daughter’s increasing anxiety has meant that she’s begun to struggle more with travel generally and prefers the comforts of Center Parcs where everything feels familiar, but we did manage quite a few trips in the early years and I’m hopeful we’ll have more chance again in the future.
Where was your favourite ever trip?
This is such a difficult question. I love travel; as a young girl all my family holidays were spent on board big oil tankers (see photo below), as my Dad was an Engineer in the Merchant Navy. So we travelled up and down the Mediterranean a lot, to Turkey and Egypt, and over to Canada. At one point when I was just nine, we spent six months on a tanker moored just off Grand Bahama Isle.
So I think I got the travel bug then, and over the following years I’ve been to many amazing places – a round the world trip to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and California, Bahamas for my honeymoon, Barbados for a baby making trip (!), New York and of course lots of European travel and city breaks too. This photo is of the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Australia – such a stunning coastline. I also travelled a lot for work, to the Far east and America. I think though, I’m going to have to say Florida as my favourite trip.
What made you choose to go there and who did you go with?
We went to Florida four years ago as a family, with my parents too. The main focus was Disney; our girls were 9 and 7 at that point and we thought they’d love it. I’d been as a child with my parents and had very happy memories.
What made it so special ?
We had two weeks in a villa, visiting all the Disney parks and water parks, and the Universal parks too. We found out on the first day that the Disney parks were going to be too much for our autistic girl to take – hot weather, crowds, waiting around and lots of walking were all big issues which were difficult to overcome. Luckily, she was very happy in the private pool which we had at the villa, and she also enjoyed the water parks and our fab day at Discovery Cove, so it wasn’t a disaster.
We were lucky that my parents had gone with us so we worked as a tag team, taking it in turns to stay at the villa with our youngest while the others went out and did the crazy parks with our eldest. Our eldest had the time of her life – all the tallest, fastest roller coasters, spinning rides, drop rides, you name it, she was up for anything. Her grandparents surprised us all by going on quite a few too! Big Thunder Mountain was our favourite. The parades and fireworks at Disney are all amazing; it’s so clever the way they light up the Castle. It was a non-stop holiday but one filled with happiness and fun.
Where was your least favourite trip and why?
This is really tricky because I love travel so much and rarely find fault with anything. I guess I’d have to say the time I went to Thailand wasn’t much fun – but that was mostly because I was on a business trip and was 12 weeks’ pregnant at the time, so feeling rather hot and queasy!
What destination is on your Bukit list ?
One place I haven’t visited but would love to go to is Japan. I’ve always thought it seems like a fascinating country, and now my youngest girl is Pokemon, Anime and Gacha Life obsessed I think she’d love it too, if we could just convince her that flying is safe enough!
Thanks so much Steph – hope you get to Japan one day!