You tend to find a niche in this blogging business which your blog revolves around. Ten years ago I accidentally started a mummy blog, over the years this was the niche where my blog slotted in. After some time had passed I began to fall out of love with blogging, my children were getting older, and we were struggling to come to terms with Dylan’s Autism diagnosis. I felt lost, I no longer had the urge to blog, and I was struggling to put life into words. Because our lives had changed entirely, even when I changed the blog name from Me, The Man & The Baby to Me, The Man & The Kids to keep up with our family, the writers’ block crept back in after a few months.
I became scared of leaving the house with Dylan, I got stuck in a rut, and my mental health was starting to suffer. Something as simple as going to the park became a mission; it was just less stressful not to go. Autism was so new to all of us, Dylan was unpredictable. I missed exploring the world beyond our doorstep; my heart was broken about the fact that we wouldn’t be going away anytime soon. And then along came this determination not to let Autism take over our lives, not to let it decide what our family was going to do! I don’t know where it came from, though thinking back it was probably envy at other families, normal families just getting on a plane and flying off to a destination other than home.
Our first family was booked for California, a couple of weeks exploring places like LA, Disneyland and San Diego – it’s like they say ‘go big or go home!’ And then that sparked the travel bug for the 5 of us. Where I once struggled to write about autism I had found a way to incorporate it with this new passion we had to travel the world with our kids. The more people questioned why we went to places like New York City with a child with autism, the more determined we became to go out of our comfort zone and show fellow special needs parents that the world can be accessible to our children.
Dylan does not talk, he struggles to understand but what I can tell you is that he has a passion for travel. He came alive on that gondola in Venice, I feared I would have to hold him down to stop him wanting to play with the water but he surprised us, this is what happens when you go out your comfort zone. Of course, I was ready to pounce in case he fancied like going swimming, but that’s part and parcel with Autism.
We are not going to let Autism hold us back from going to the countries we want to go to or enjoying new experiences. So what if we have to carry a pram all over Venice (the man’s arm muscles were bulging by the end of that trip) or have to seek out special airport assistance as our first task when booking a getaway, we are going to continue to do what we love and encourage others to do the same. By sharing posts like ‘American Museum Of Natural History – The Discovery Squad‘ and discussing barrier-free travel in our Facebook group we can show our readers what kind of Autism resources are out there in the world to allow us to travel as stress-free as possible.
So we were honoured to find out that I was nominated in the shortlist list for best travel & accessibility blog, just seeing my name listed had me ridiculously excited. A few weeks later I pointed out to the man how the BAPs Awards finalists were to be announced that very day at 12pm where I just happened to be at Meet the Media event where I had meetings lined up with various travel companies & PRs. The finalists were announced just minutes before I went into my first meeting, all pitches went out the window as I sat in excitement at finding out I had been nominated as a finalist in one of the most awesome blogging awards around!
Please do vote for me if you like what you’ve read on both here and our social media channels like Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. (voting now closed)
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