We loved speaking with Cristy — hearing her talking about the love, connection and support between herself and daughter Lucy had us all reaching for our phones to send our own mums a quick message. There’s nothing quite like that mother and daughter bond!
After a recent five week trip exploring the USA, Cristy is more than qualified in top-tips for travelling with kids! We caught up to get the best travel-hacks, talk about what she loves most about being a mum, and why this trip in particular was just so special.
Tell us about your family. How do you like to spend your weekends?
I have the most gorgeous, loving and supportive family! I have an amazing daughter, Lucy, who continues to be my shining light each and every day. Her strength and positive attitude to life brings happiness to everyone she meets. Lucy and I love to play sport and we spend most weekends on the netball or basketball court, or at state cheerleading competitions (Lucy holds two National Championship titles).
Tell us about one thing that makes you proud to be a mum.
I am always so impressed with how much Lucy absorbs and learns from everything around her, which is one reason we love to travel so much. Travelling is such an educational experience and I am grateful we have been able to experience so many places together, here in Australia and overseas. I’m proud of how she carries herself and how inquisitive she is – she certainly is an open-minded, confident and more rounded child because of the time we have spent exploring and supporting each other. She’s the best!
What’s your top tip for parents planning a getaway with kids?
Channel Mary Poppins, and have a well-prepared, ready-for-anything, bag packed! Everytime Lucy and I set off, we ensure she has options of things to keep her busy whilst on the plane, train, bus, or airport. She always has a pencil case, notepads, a travel diary, books, small toys, and games, and I always make sure we pack an extra powerbank for the iPad. Other must haves — for both of us! — are headphones, wet wipes, painkillers and snacks galore.
Tell us about your most recent adventure - what made you plan it?
Our trip to the USA was a very personal and significant trip. In January 2017 my husband and Lucy's adored daddy passed away from a very rare form of cancer. For years Karl and I had talked and dreamed about travelling to the USA. We first thought we would go for our honeymoon but quickly realised we needed to save a lot more money for all the things we wanted to do, so we put it off for a few years. Then Lucy arrived, and neither of us could bear the idea of being away from her for so long, so we pushed the trip back again to when we thought she would enjoy coming along — around 8 or 9 years-old.
In mid-2016 Karl was diagnosed with cancer and we decided that when he got better, we would jet off for our USA adventure together straight away. Unfortunately, Karl's health didn't allow that, and in the weeks before he passed our discussion changed — he made me promise to take Lucy on the trip we had spent so long dreaming of together, and to tick everything of our ‘dream list’ of things to see and do there. As promised, in December 2017 I took Lucy (with the support crew of my amazing parents) to the USA for a trip of a lifetime dubbed #teamjackasbucketlistadventure. Together we spent five weeks exploring all that the USA had to offer, and ticking so many things off Karl's bucket list and a few things off our own – shopping at Tiffany's was a girly highlight!
Why did you want to capture memories with your daughter & family through a shoot?
Our amazing travel agent Hollie knew the story behind our big adventure, and thoughtfully suggested a Travelshoot session in iconic NYC. New York was the location for a number of big ticket items on Karl's bucket list, and we thought it would be a wonderful way to get some great family photos that capture the spirit of our trip. I’m so glad we did it — we took thousands of photos ourselves over those five weeks, but it’s the ones from our Travelshoot sessions we really love, and have made it onto our walls at home.
How did Lucy find your NYC shoot? Did you all have fun?
We adored our New York session with Laura. She was able to capture the core emotion of why we were on this trip, and made us feel so relaxed that we honestly forgot that she was our photographer – we felt like we had known her for years. Laura was highly aware of our story and was able to incorporate Lucy's daddy pillow into some of our shots, which was really appreciated and made the experience even more special. Lucy had the greatest time — she certainly isn't camera shy! I think she was disappointed we didn't have a shoot at every one of our stops!
What would be your advice to a fellow mum, thinking about booking a shoot?
DO IT! It was one of the best things we did whilst travelling, and we have recommended it to everyone we have spoken too since returning to Australia. To capture those moments is just priceless, and it’s so rare now to have high quality photographs that include everyone you’re with. Not to have selfie stick in sight was amazing!
And finally, what’s your favourite shot from your Travelshoot? Why do you love it?
Oh! I have so many! If I had to pick just one, i’d say the whole family shot of us in The Mall, Central Park [main image]. To me it just sums up so much love, happiness and support. It makes me so proud, everytime I see it.
To read more about about #teamjackasbucketlistadventure, visit Cristy’s dedicated Facebook page @Teamjacka, or follow on Instagram @cristy.jacka