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Never have I been so glad to see the back of January. I know many people are full of optimism, but I have been suffering from a touch of the holiday blues… And with the first month now out of the way, I feel I can now brush myself off, take a deep breath and dive in head first!

Even though we didn’t get to go on many adventures – we were still recovering from our epic trip to South Africa – January has seen somewhat of a transitional period for all of us. Not least the baby, who turned one a few weeks ago. How did that happen?

My baby boy is slowly but surely turning into a bright young spark, who certainly has a character of his own. Mischievous and cheeky, his need to know what’s going on (much like his mum) is beginning to emerge and we are seeing signs of a young explorer on our hands.

The January Digest: Travel Planning, A Milestone and A New Job

We celebrated with family – and also took him to a local adventure park, where he had an absolute blast. He really didn’t have a clue what the fuss was all about but we all enjoyed marking his milestone birthday for him.

We also went back to a National Trust favourite, Claremont Gardens when the weather decided to play ball. It was a cold, but bright day, and we enjoyed the fresh air, being able to feed the geese and ducks around the serpentine lake, as well as make a climb to the top of Claremont’s amphitheatre.

The January Digest: Travel Planning, A Milestone and A New Job

Last month, also saw me take up my new position as the Surrey Editor of lifestyle magazine, Time & Leisure. I am still trying to find my way in the nuances of this new part-time role, but it has been keeping me on my toes. I am hoping once I’ve edited a couple of more issues, I will find my rhythm. I’ve already had to interview a few celebrities as well as do a restaurant review – which, I must admit felt rather indulgent!

The January Digest: Travel Planning, A Milestone and A New Job

And finally, I have begun firming up more of my travel plans and I am certainly going to be busy this year. I wouldn’t have it any other way, now would I?

Next month, will see me go for a long weekend in Volterra in Italy – staying with a whole raft of other family travel bloggers with Bookings For You. Not only does the villa look absolutely beautiful, but I can’t wait to return to the two wonderful Tuscan cities of Florence and Siena.

The January Digest: Travel Planning, A Milestone and A New Job

I will also be returning to the Tenerife in May – where I will be hoping to see more of this wonderful Canary Island. Having been many years ago when Monkey was little, it will be interesting to see what type of trip it will be without the family. Yes, that’s right. I am lucky enough to be going with a girlfriend after winning an all-expenses-paid holiday last year. While I will miss them all terribly, I am rather excited about getting the chance to relax in the sun. I might even get to read a few books…

Having flown several times with as a family in 2017, we wanted our summer trip to be closer to home and, after having such an amazing time in Burgundy in France two years ago, despite the biblical rains, we decided we wanted to head further south this time, and are packing up the car and going on a road trip to Dordogne. We will stop at several towns along the way before staying put for a week in a French farmhouse in the countryside. I am looking forward to discovering more of what the region has to offer for families.

November will see another adult-only trip when my husband and I will go to Las Vegas to celebrate my best friend’s 40th birthday. We haven’t been for five years, and even though we will only have four days, we are determined to tick off a few things we didn’t get to do last time – such as catch a show and fly over the Grand Canyon.

It already cheers my soul when I think of all the exciting travel plans I have for 2018. I also can’t wait to see what other adventures we may find ourselves on.

So, although January may not have been filled with lots of action outdoors, I certainly feel I’ve had a super busy month. However, I am determined that we will get out a little more in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed the weather brightens up for us all!