Kelley’s Guest Post!

Today’s guest blogger is Kelley, who has become a blogger friend of mine, and I’m so happy she’s taking over for me today. She lives across the pond in London with her family and I love following their adventures. I’ll let Kelley take it from here:
Allow me to introduce myself… 
Hello, I’m Kelley! I am a Colorado native currently living in London with my husband of almost 10(!) years, Davis, our daughter, Madeline (3), and our rescue doggie, Hyde. Prior to relocating to London in 2014, we called Los Angeles home. And prior to being a stay-at-home mommy to Madeline, I was an elementary school teacher.
I started my blog Madeline in the City last year just after we moved to London as a way to keep family and friends updated on our lives and to have a family journal of all of our adventures. I blog about our adventures in and around London and use it as a travel diary when we take a holiday. I also write about the every day boring stuff of just being a normal mom living in a new city.
I love blogging because…
Blogging helps me process and express my thoughts. In the first few months after moving, I had some really hard days missing everything from back in the states (like a normal trip to Target). I used my blog as a journal to write several posts to help me process this huge life change we had experienced- moving to another country. Of course, I never hit publish as they felt too personal to put out there for the world to read! I also thought my blog would be a great way for Madeline to see her life over here and I’ve loved looking back to see all that we’ve done in the last year and a half of living in London.
I also love blogging because it puts me in contact with people around the world that I would normally never be in contact with (and comments just make my day!). I met one of my good friends in London because of a California friend’s blog. I am so glad Erin followed Erin’s blog so that our paths crossed! 
 
My favorite vacation was…
Before Davis and I were going to start our family, we took what we thought to be our last trip before I got pregnant. (Africa actually turned out to be the second to last trip as we also squeezed in Panama before I could get pregnant due to needing to wait for the Malaria medication we had to take to fully exit my system.) We spent 3 weeks on the continent- began in Cape Town, did safaris in different parts of Tanzania seeing the Great Migration, spent some time on the island of Zanzibar and finished in Cairo, Egypt. It was the most incredible experience and I hope to one day be able to visit again once Madeline is old enough to truly experience a trip like that.
We loved Cape Town and one of the highlights was being at the top of Table Mountain. The other highlight was visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held as a prisoner for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. Oh and Davis went cage diving with great white sharks which was probably the worst experience of my life. It was so cold (it was winter in that part of the world), the water was SO turbulent and I was so very sea sick despite beginning my Dramamine regimen 24 hours before we even set foot on the boat. But hey, the things we do for love, right?
On the Safari part of our trip in Tanzania we flew or drove around the country spending time at the Ngorongoro CraterLake ManyaraTarangire National Park and the Serengeti. We went in August to see the Great Migration– the incredible amount of wildebeest (1.5 million!) and all of the animals that go along with them- is absolutely breathtaking. It’s hard to put into words the absolute beauty of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. You can just sit there for hours. Waiting. Watching. We had a few unbelievable experiences that I caught on video- one with an elephant and another with a mother rhino and her baby.
Our 3 weeks ended with a few days in Cairo, Egypt during the holy month of Ramadan. It was incredibly hot but visiting the pyramids, riding a camel and seeing the (smaller than you think it’d be) Sphinx was pretty amazing. If getting to Africa is on your bucket list, it’s not going to disappoint one bit!
The best part of our summer…
Madeline and I spent a month in the states (and Davis 2 weeks). It was so wonderful to spend an extended time with family and friends in Denver and Los Angeles doing things and visiting places we’ve missed living abroad. It was also especially nice as we did not have much of a summer in London so spending time in the states gave us some good hot weather.
Blogging has taught me…
It takes me a long time to write a post! And being a tiny bit of a perfectionist, it probably takes me longer than most. I am always so impressed by the bloggers (Julie!) who post multiple times weekly. If I get one done a week, I feel accomplished.
Also it takes commenting on other blogger’s blogs to develop a following and to get your blog out there. I am feeling more confident about my blog a little over a year into it and I am trying to link-up more and take the time to comment more on the blogs I read. I often read my favorite blogs on the train or while I’m waiting to pick up Madeline from nursery and then don’t get around to commenting. I need to get better at commenting since I love reading comments from others on my blog. 
 
A few bucket list items or life goals would be… 
(and in no particular order)
1. Add to our family with another baby and rescue another dog
2. Get certified to be a yoga instructor to teach children
3. Visit New Zealand/Australia and Iceland (and pretty much anywhere else in the world)
4. Have you seen this video? I would absolutely LOVE to have an experience with whales in the wild.
5. Own a horse so I guess that would mean someday living in the country.
Thanks for having me Julie! I hope you are having a nice trip to North Carolina!
And thanks for reading my post. Please stop by my blog Madeline in the City to say hello too!
How sweet is her family? Love all these pictures! A lion, the Sphinx, a safari, AND Cape Town? WOW!  Thank you again so much for sharing this and your family with us Kelley! Now you all know why I love her blog so much!
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