If anyone has been reading this blog over the last few weeks you will have noticed that we have been trying to save up for a trip back to the UK this Christmas. Well us Brunts have a habit of leaving everything to the last minute and when it comes to planning a trip to the other side of the world, it probably is not a good method to follow.
We have been studying the online cost of flights for a family of four online and trying to face the fact that this trip was going to be bloody expensive no matter what we did. Over the last few days in particular we have seen the flights begin to creep up, in one case by just under a thousand dollars overnight!
This prompted us to make the final decision and we have booked flights for the four of us leaving Christmas day, in the early hours of the morning. So we will be spending about 6 hours of the festive morning in Sydney airport. Not really ideal, but when the flights are two thousand dollars cheaper when you travel on the 25th its probably worth it. I have told the girls we will probably see Santa flying on his way home as we fly over the pacific.
We have not been back to the UK since we moved over here almost four years ago, so this trip is really overdue. However when talking to other expats, this amount of time, without a trip back, is not unusual. The cost is simply too prohibitive. For the cost of transporting us all the way back for four weeks, we could be replacing our extremely clapped out and tatty people carrier for a model at least 8 year younger and with far fewer bumps and scrapes. Probably without the many ice cream stains and bits of unidentified vegetation spread over the back seat as well.
Having said that we are missing family and the girls do not have any memories of living in the UK. The youngest left the UK when she was 6 months old and the oldest was only 3. It is about time they found out a bit about where they are from and got to meet their Aunts and Uncles, Great Grandads, Nan and Grandads and all the other many relatives we are lucky enough to have. I think that is probably worth more than the prospect of having a car that is only 8 years old as opposed to 13.
So I am beginning to get excited about the whole trip now that I have got over the shock of having to pay for it! I am looking forward to driving along the M25 again, showing the kids the castles in Sussex and the mountains in Wales. Taking them to London to see the museums, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Most of all though I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family.
But next time they all have to come to NZ instead!