Life in Portugal



Life in Germany

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I did a thing, but let's get re-acquainted first.

Hi, I am Annabelle, a 40-something mother of two, lover of all things culture, diveristy, travel and food.

I have lived in 4 different countries. Porto, Portugal is currently home. 

For as long as I can remember I have dreamt of far-away lands, foreign languages and meetings with people who were different from me.

My childhood was filled with van life trips to the British Isles. I started travelling on my own as a teenager when my parents agreed to let me take a transatlantic flight unaccompanied to meet up with my penpal and her family.

As a mum, I have travelled in all different manners and styles, planned and survived very different adventures:

📌 transatlantic flight solo with a toddler and a child? Yes! Twice!

📌 camping road trip in Italy with kids? Yes! We might even have visited a hospital there!

📌 experienced a tornado while on a holiday? Kids thought it was fun!

I love writing about travel. I have done so on this blog for a while, though these articles were never really the most popular. But more than writing, I absolutely LOVE planning trips. It might even be the best part of travel. So I decided to make travel planning for families my job.

I have had the immense privilege to be able to be a mother first and foremost for the past 10 years. I wouldn’t change that for the world. However, this came with a crazy mental load (travelling partner with no family support) and at the expense of finding myself again after leaving academia over 10 years ago now and spending my time dabbling in several fields including teaching, writing, marketing and creative businesses.

I feel like it is time to find myself again. 

Those who follow me elsewhere may have noticed I have launched a little business. My own little business. I am trying to combine my love for planning, organising with my escape, my passion and the legacy I am trying to leave to my children. Something I am good at and something I love: organising travel. 

It is a travel planning business. 

What does that mean? 

It means I get to plan the most amazing, entirely custom and entirely independent travel experiences for people and, mainly, families. I do all the research. All of it: accommodation, food options, activities, transport, etc. Clients (hello, mothers) can just tick that box off from their crazy to-do list. They can still travel, discover, connect and share with their family without having to do all the legwork beforehand. Because travel with kids doesn’t have to just be about resorts in brochures.

How different from a travel agent is this?, you may ask. Travel agents will pick what is on their books and get paid from referrals/commissions. I am 100% independent. I choose my clients. Not the travel company.

If you want to find out more, head on over to my website for more details.

Almost two years ago now, my family and I were embarking on a big transition. We were leaving Germany and moving to Portugal. Although our move was entirely desired, it was a little precipitated and happened under difficult personal circumstances on top of the dreaded pandemic restrictions.

10+ tips for a smooth transition moving abroad with kids

9 May 2022

You are moving? How exciting! Now what? 

Moving abroad (or not), can be a very daunting process for kids. Like any other transition in their life, it can feel overwhelming and they may struggle to process all of the emotions associated with the move. Any parent will try and smooth the process for them, of course. I attempted to make it easier for my kids also. Here is my take on it from a mama who made her own international move with two kids DIY-style.


3 weeks in the Azores with kids: itinerary and tips

2 Feb 2022

In this article, you will find our full itinerary with places to see, where to eat, where to stay, fun things to do with children and more tips to plan your family holiday in the Azores.

The whole family agrees that these 3 weeks in the Azores were our favourite family holiday to date. From whale watching to pineapple tasting, from snorkelling to 4x4 on a dirt road, we all loved it. It was relaxing, simple, fun, delicious, not crowded and unforgettable. What more would you want?

Azores with the family: 3 week itinerary

cakes eaten for Epiphany around France

When I think of Epiphany, I think of galette des rois. But did you know there are different types of galettes? Yes, the flaky pastry filled with almonds is not the most common galette in all the regions of France. Here are some of the others eaten in France.

Like many, looking for anti-racism resources for my kids, I started by looking for books with non-white characters. The thing is while my kids read in English, as a bilingual family, I also wanted books in French. I can find French translations of American books. But my kids know little about American history and being Mexican American or Asian American means little to them. I wanted books that they could more easily relate to or understand. I wanted books about being French from the Antilles or Algerian in France, etc. I wanted the books to relate to a more familiar diaspora of the population around them.

As Aventuras de Sofia na Selva (Portuguese book review)

23 Nov 2021

When I was little, I loved yoga. I practised yoga for many years as a child and teenager. As an adult, this has helped me tremendously with relaxation techniques, in particular. So when I heard about the books written by Giselle Shardlow, from Kids Yoga Stories, to introduce yoga to children through reading while moving, I wanted in.

As aventuras de Sofia na Selva: a book review