Letters from the Larmours » Stories from the travels of the Larmour Family

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  • Hello and Welcome!

    Come on in... here you’ll find bits and bobs about us, The Larmours, our life, where we live, what we do, and most of all, about our biggest shared family passion – our travels. This is a record for us, a place for us to share pictures and ramblings on what we’ve done and where we’ve been, but you’ll find occasional blethering about other things too.

    We met in Hong Kong, and since then have lived and worked all over Asia before settling in China, where our Saffy arrived and then moving to the UAE where Indy joined us. Since we met we’ve travelled – since we married we’ve been on an adventure – since we had kids it hasn’t stopped… ultimately, all our small travels were preparation for the big one – that one day we hoped to take – a gap year, a sabbatical, a break from the daily grind – and starting 2014 we took off on it..... across the world, and then on a road trip that has taken us to three continents so far.....

    Grab a cup of tea and come exploring with us,
    Kirsty, Tommy, Saffy and Indy xxxx

A Letter from 2014 | Part 2, the Americas

And so, as all their friends went back to school, our girls took a plane and we headed to the USA…. To be fair, the USA wasn’t really on our travel radar – whenever we’d discussed how we’d spend this sabatical year we’d always thought we’d hang out in India and hike in the Himalayas, or maybe go to language school in South America and then backpack our way through that continent, or perhaps take some intrepid wanderings along the silk route… but the USA became our first stop because Kirsty was invited to teach some workshops at a photography conference there – not only that, but on kids travel photography, and given how passionate she is on that subject it was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down…. so off we flew, first stop NYC!!!

01-Letters-from-the-Larmours-New-YorkNYC was amazing! Not only did we get to hang out with a whole load of friends and family (including Kirsty’s besties from school) but it’s like being in a real live film set – every corner has a different iconic sight!! 02-Letters-from-the-Larmours-New-York03-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Ace-Hotel-New-YorkFrom NYC we took the overnight train to Chicago – where we hung out with yet more friends – yippeeeee!! 04-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Chicago05-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Amtrack-across-America-ChicagoWe then took a 2 day 2 night train to Salt Lake City – yup, everyone thought we were crazy, but it was the ideal amount of downtime for Kirsty to finalise her class notes and for us to chill after the long flights and busy days at the start of our trip – perfect!!06-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Amtrack-across-AmericaSalt Lake City deserves another post all of it’s own (well so do most of these places but this is a brief run down of the year after all!!) I, Kirsty, was taking 4 small group sessions at the Click Away conference – the ladies there were just wonderful – from people I’d admired when I was starting out, to people I’d met online who took me under their wings, to the amazing participants who filled classes and asked questions and indulged me rambling on about my passions – I found a love for teaching that I never actually realised was there!!

And out of 8,000 entries I won the “Street” category of the Voice photo contest with this picture of our trip to Paris a few years ago – when we have a home again this will be going on the wall!!! 07-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Salt-Lake-CityWe visited the Utah state fair – a veritable culinary and livestock experience the like of which I’ve never seen before!!!

And we hung out with friends at the Great Salt Lake – wow – what a place!!08-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Salt-Lake-City09-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Salt-Lake-CityFollowing SLC we took a road trip through Utah and Colorado – my gosh, what amazingly beautiful states they are… they’re well on the list for places we must go back to one day!!10-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Colorado-road-trip11-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Colorado-road-trip12-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Colorado-road-tripWe then headed to Mexico, for a brief rest and a few margaritas and nachos! 13-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Mexico-Tulum14-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Mexico15-Letters-from-the-Larmours-MexicoAnd then we flew to Cuba. We had figured while we were that side of the world we should visit somewhere else and had been trying to decide between Mexico and Cuba. On the advice of a Mexican friend who suggested that Cuba would change more in the next few years than Mexico we headed to Havana and it looks like that was a good choice!16-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Havana-Cuba17-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Havana-CubaWe started in Havana and the headed to the tobacco growing region of Vinales – aaah, it was wonderful – just like a painting, full of limestone scenery and caves18-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Vinales-CubaAnd mojitos!!!!19-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Vinales-CubaAnd vintage cars – everywhere, just as people imagine!!20-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Vinales-Cuba21-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Vinales-Cuba22-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Vinales-CubaFrom there we headed south to the gorgeous colonial town of Trinidad – where we took salsa lessons!!23-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Trinidad-Cuba24-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Trinidad-Cuba25-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Trinidad-Cuba26-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Trinidad-CubaFrom Trinidad we headed back to Santa Clara and Havana again – we travelled slowly and soaked Cuba up instead of trying to rush it all – it’s much bigger, and takes much longer to get around than you’d think!!! I guess we think of it as a little Caribbean island, but actually it’s probably larger than the UK!27-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Santa-Clara-Cuba28-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Havana-Cuba

And so, we left Cuba, a place so vastly different from the technologically developed west, or the land of no wifi as Indy called it, and flew back to Abu Dhabi to commence the next chapter of our travels…..

steph

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Karen

Stunning photos as usual 😡

[…] on their family travel blog (part 1 – Finland, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, & Bali  | part 2 – the USA, Mexico, and Cuba| part 3 – Abu Dhabi to the UK & Ireland via car […]

A Letter from 2014 | Part 1, the start of the year

Aaaaah, 2014… the year of travel – the year of upheaval, the year of chaos and yet also the year of realising a dream…. I totally intended to have these posts ready and up on the blog before Christmas – before I sent out Christmas cards to friends far and wide so they could come and read (if they so wanted) when they got that tiny update – but alas, we were actually so busy enjoying our travels and catching up with family and friends that it never happened… so here we go, the first of three instalments.. I’ll try to keep it brief, but really, it’d take me another year to cover all we did in this remarkable year!!!

The year started off with us in Finland – We’d been to see the real Father Christmas, who was nothing short of magical, and to ski, and yes, skiing in Finland is actually really good… 01-Letters-from-the-Larmours---Lapland02-Letters-from-the-Larmours---LaplandThe year continued in Abu Dhabi – us hanging out, doing our usual stuff, y’know, going to the camel races and stuff like that!!! 😉
And of course lots of desert trips….03-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi-desertThe girls both celebrated their birthdays and had a joint Hip-hop party at their dancing class04-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi-desert05-Letters-from-the-Larmours-birthdays-Abu-Dhabi-desert06-Letters-from-the-Larmours-birthdays-Abu-Dhabi-desert07-Letters-from-the-Larmours--Abu-Dhabi-desertThe end of March saw us head to Hong Kong for a few days of catching up with wonderful friends, lots of reminiscing and lots of wondering if we could ever live there again… the 2014 travel seed was well and truly planted by this time… at the end of 2013 we’d had the news that an international move we’d been hoping/waiting for had been called off – in light of that we were weighing up options on what we might do instead to see more of the world and spend more time with the girls without the pressures of life/work/activities which tend to pull us all in different directions….08-Letters-from-the-Larmours--Hong-KongFrom Hong Kong we headed to Bali. Those of you who know Kirsty well will understand that this was a really tough time – both in the run up, and whilst there, a lot of tears were shed, but we were able to laugh through the tears and tell the girls some great stories, and leave with a little more peace… well Kirsty anyway, Tommy left Bali with 10 stitches in his head – ouch! 09-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Bali10-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Bali11-Letters-from-the-Larmours-BaliThe girls had their first try on a motorbike and their first try at surfing too! And they made firm friends with Audrey, daughter of Kirsty’s friend Rowe who we were lucky enough to stay with.12-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Bali13-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Bali14-Letters-from-the-Larmours-BaliAnd so we headed back to Abu Dhabi, via HK again!

15-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Hong Kong Abu DhabiBack in Abu Dhabi school and dancing classes took over and the travel ideas ticked away in our minds – knowing that maybe this was our time to take off and see the world with the girls, but not quite knowing when or how or where to do it….16-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu DhabiBy the end of the school year we knew we had a chance, maybe a once in a lifetime chance and we had to take it. We’d always said we’d take some time out to travel, possibly a year, but maybe more or less, before the girls got to High School and suddenly the travel gods started smiling upon us… things started coming together that meant a natural break was coming… it left us with under 2 months to plan, to sell/store/organise our stuff and hit the road!! Eeeeeek!!
17-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu DhabiAnd with those plans in mind we hung out in Abu Dhabi for the summer – which meant plenty of pool time… the odd night in a hotel to break up the school holidays and the quietness of Ramadan and a huge clearout!!!! 17-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi18-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu DhabiThat stripey inflatable ring above ^ best AED20 I’ve ever spent!!!!18-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi19-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi20-Letters-from-the-Larmours-Abu-Dhabi

By the time August came, and our 10th wedding anniversary (celebrated at Jumeirah 360) we were giddy with excitement and filled with trepidation – were we doing the right thing? What about school? What about all our stuff? What about Kirsty’s business? Tommy’s work gave him 6 months, and off we went…..

To be continued in Part 2!

Steph

Anxiously awaiting part II. Love love love all the photos and seeing the world thru your eyes Kirsty!

Katie Corner

What a stunning diary. One you will all treasure in times to come. Utterly inspired by your adventures and hope opportunities arise in the same way for us. Thinking of you often and sending love always. K x

Amanda

What a fantastic journey you have begun! Just love these beautiful images, they help to transport us there!! xo

Isabel

Love it Kirsty! Can´t wait for part 2!

Louise Zabriskie

You have done such a beautiful job of documenting your travels! Each shot is so unique and lovely! Thanks for sharing your journeys.

Karen Williams

Can’t wait for the next installment and no wonder so many tears were shed in Bali. But you will be glad to have remembered (I am sure) some very very good memories of a truly dear and funny person.

Debbie Wibowo

I really enjoy following your adventure…Beautiful and made my heart stopped!

Leigh

I wish we where more like you guys . What a fab experience and I am only on part 1 . Keep us posted . Hope everyone is well.

[…] shared their 2014 adventures on their family travel blog (part 1 – Finland, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, & Bali  | part 2 – the USA, Mexico, and Cuba| […]

A Letter – we’re ready to go!

We’re ready to go! Off on the big adventure we’ve talked about – the one all the other trips have been preparing for! We had a chance and we grabbed it… our stuff is going into storage – or at least what’s left of it – we’ve sold a lot and given a lot away and have ended up with less than when we moved to the UAE 6 1/2 years ago!!! Not bad!! We’re heading first to the USA for Kirsty to do some work as we go, and then Cuba, and then…. watch this space, the wheels of our long planned epic road trip are hopefully in motion….

For now though here’s our 2 little explorers on an adventure closer to home…Liwa-Castle-Abu-Dhabi-01

I’d love to say I’ll update from our travels, but lets be realistic, I’ll probably be too busy enjoying them and soaking every moment up… you can follow them on instagram though as that’s usually my social media of choice these days, or maybe on our FB page (link over there —>) and I’m sure some pictures will feature on my biz blog www.kirstylarmourblog.com (I’ll also be doing photo shoots along the way if you’re interested) and maybe over on Clickin Mom’s Daily Project

Until next time, somewhere in the world…. Kirsty xx

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Katie

Yay!!!! I can’t wait to see – please post pics sometimes 😀

SARAH

So excited for you!!!!!!!! this is HUUUUGE!!!!!

CC

Following you on IG and loving seeing your travels – always amazing