Behind The Scenes of Our Family Travels

As bloggers, one thing we’re always accused of (and sometimes, I admit, rightfully so) is painting a glossy picture of idealised lives. Living life through a social media lens encourages disreputable behaviour when it comes to colouring in certain (less than perfect) experiences in order to make them appear flawless to the outside observer, while our grimmest of moments are swiftly swept under the carpet while we pray that nobody noticed.

I’m as guilty as the next blogger human at doing this. OK, I might have been a little more honest recently about some of the truths about being a mum and offloaded how I feel about having not slept for ten months straight, but what about the other things? The rest of my blog is plastered with shiny images of luxurious five star hotels, exotic travel destinations and fine dining, and while that’s all very pleasant, I sometimes think that what lies behind some of these images would be far more entertaining to my average reader.

Queue a little behind the scenes snoop into what really goes on on our family travels, or some outtakes if you like…enjoy it while you can because tomorrow business will return to normal!

Behind the shiny shots

It probably comes as no surprise that while traveling (or eating at restaurants, or joining friends at social gatherings…or whenever there is a photograph-able moment come to think of it) I am a bit of a nightmare. People are made to stand still for far too long in less than favourable weather conditions, food gets cold, my baby goes into hysterics. But it’s all worth it in the name of a good photo…isn’t it?!


At least 20 minutes and one ruined marriage later….

A photo posted by Follow Your Sunshine // Polly (@polbag) on

Behind the beautiful bouncing baby moments

Everybody knows that with a baby in tow nothing ever goes to plan but like most parents I had to learn this the hard way!

Take Sophia’s first ever holiday to Anantara at The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, where we were super excited for her first swim in the idyllic lagoon-like pools. I imagined us cradling her in our arms as we floated in the water, while she giggled and splashed about. However, she had other ideas and as Rich lifted her into the water for the first time, she promptly fell asleep…as she did the next time we went back…and the next!

What can I say, those pools are just too relaxing!

She actually falls asleep at inopportune moments quite a lot on our travels, spoiling some excellent photo opportunities. I was desperate for a family photograph at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque on our recent trip to Abu Dhabi, but once again this happened:

Funnily enough, when we really do want her to sleep while we’re travelling she never actually does. This was me at our ‘romantic’ dinner in Il Teatro at our recent staycation at the Four Seasons Doha. Sophia was supposed to be sleeping soundly in her pram while mummy sipped on wine and daddy whispered sweet nothings in her ear over perfect plates of pasta…but why would she do that when she’d miss out on all the fun?!

We don’t mind her not sleeping much on our travels one bit though because even in the middle of the night, Sophia is always a happy, bubbly and inquisitive baby.

That is, until you put her on a camel…

Whoops! That one won’t be making it into my forthcoming blog post about our stay at the Emirates Palace.

And I probably won’t ever mention that while we have heaps of fun traveling as a family once we’ve actually arrived at our destination, most of the way there and way back is spent like this, while I am crushed back against my seat, praying for the damn flight to be over!

Behind the luxury

On our honeymoon we stayed in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels (remember this one?). However, we also had one experience I would really rather forget. The hotel was in a great location on the Amalfi Coast, with stunning views over Positano from the little balcony in our room.

However, that’s where all features of merit ended. The A/C was broken on Italy’s hottest day of the year. There was no hot water. The wifi didn’t work. On top of this, the staff were rude and continually lied to us about all of the above and when it would be fixed. We couldn’t wait to leave the hotel at the end of the stay and I had to inform the Manager that I definitely would not be writing a blog post about his hotel.

I was mortified as we left. Hopefully this is an experience that we will never have to repeat!

Behind the comfortable expat life

Probably the biggest fallacy of my blog is that our expat life in Doha is ‘perfect’. No, we don’t eat out at fancy restaurants every day of the week. No, we’re not always nipping across the Arabian Gulf for a quick jaunt to the UAE. Actually, a lot of the time we’re working hard at being working parents on no sleep and it’s actually really, bloody hard!

The most difficult part of all is living away from our wonderful family and friends. We spend so much time glued to our phones FaceTiming them that I’m sure Sophia thinks that they’re an extension of our hands!

But right now I’m OK about all this because I’m writing this post from the airport, about to hop on a flight home to see these people and I could not be more excited!

I’m interested to find out how many more travel outtakes that we will accrue on this trip that you guys will never get to see!

An InLinkz Link-up



  1. February 1, 2017 / 6:32 am

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's risked divorce to take food photos… I can also relate to people thinking that expat life = holiday. It doesn't matter where in the world you live someone still has to scrub the toilet!

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:54 am

      Hahaha, it's such a blogger thing isn't it. Food photos first, relationships second!! Thank goodness for our patient instagram husbands. And YES about the toilet thing!!! Unfortunately.

      Polly xx

  2. February 1, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Haha this reminds me that I actually love how my family expect me to stand on my chair and take a photo of the table before anyone is allowed to start eating! Behind the scenes or not Sophia is super cute!

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:55 am

      Oh good on your family for expecting and accepting it! Can they have a word with mine?! That's so sweet of you to say, thank you 🙂

      Polly xx

  3. February 1, 2017 / 8:45 am

    I tell you, the kid has the right idea about sitting on camels. Terrifying things. Think I have pics of myself making the same expression

  4. February 1, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Haha some classic moments there! That camel one surely has to be saved for the 21st right?

  5. February 1, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Oh god these posts are making my day! So many funny moments. And why do we always argue with our other halves about pictures �� fab post xx

  6. February 1, 2017 / 10:42 am

    I loved this post Polly!! You know what made me laugh too? that most of us have to jump on a seat to take food flatlay. But you? You just stay a little bit on the point of your feet and that's it! you got the best corner from above lol!!

  7. February 1, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    "At least 20 minutes and one ruined marriage later…." – happens to me all the time. Our Instagram husbands would have a lot to grumble about to each other. xx, nano

  8. February 1, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Haha I can imagine the outtakes are even better with a baby in tow! That camel photo is priceless!

  9. February 1, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    Ha that's so funny – my parents actually have a very similar picture of me on a camel in their house 😀 I guess, babys and camels just don't go along 😀

  10. February 1, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Mr Kiwi has become adept at taking his own food photos – mostly because he likes his food hot I guess. Does that make the behaviour spousal abuse?

  11. February 2, 2017 / 7:50 am

    LOVE the pic of baby asleep in the pool. These are great photos and show the character of traveling and being an expat.

  12. February 2, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    The photos of Sophia on a camel is priceless. Firs commandment of blogging, never work with animals or children 😉

  13. February 2, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I'm loving these outtake posts. It's totally hard work presenting perfection on social media.

  14. February 5, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    I love how honest this post is, Polly! I definitely applaud you and Rich for taking Sophia with you on your date nights and holidays, I know it's hard work… but I love seeing your snaps and IG stories about how being together as a fam MAKES the holiday.

    Safe travels! x

  15. February 6, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    I still haven't got into the food photographing phase, we've had some stunning meals and I just can't bring myself to do it!

  16. February 8, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I can't imagine having to pack for yourself and a baby. Seems like a lot of stuff!

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