This week’s interview is with two time Baps Award winner Star Harford. Star is once again a finalist in the Travel and Accessibility category.
Star writes over at Kids on Tour – Autism without Limits, a site packed full of reviews of days out, holidays, restaurants, accommodations, products and activities.
What inspired you to start your blog?
My son is autistic and I have always believed in not letting that limit the adventures I can have with my kids. Instead, I have tried to build good memories for them to look back on and show them the world.
One year, when my kids were a lot younger, I took them to the Arctic Circle for a week and loads of people thought I was mad. It was -35 degrees at times but we had all sorts of adventures from horse riding in the snow to a day ice fishing on a frozen lake. There were husky rides in the dark and, of course, a day at Father Christmas’ house. My son absolutely loved the week; there were a few meltdowns (about layers of clothes usually) but generally the snowy, peaceful, white and pastel coloured environment with plenty of animals was perfect for him.
I decided whilst I was there to start my blog. I wanted to inspire others to adventure with their kids rather than let autism limit them and to give them helpful tips about places before they went. My kids are 14 and 16 now and we have had many adventures, blogged about so many places and even started a YouTube channel – please check it out, it’s in need of some love!
What other blogs/organisations do you turn to for advice?
Describe yourself in three words
Crazy, Impulsive, ADHD.
Grandad biscuits. Growing up, my Grandma used to bake the nicest biscuits that we called Grandma biscuits. When she passed away a few years ago, everyone commented how much they would miss her biscuits so my Grandad spent ages baking and perfecting them. He is now in his 90’s and still makes them for us all. He sent me a box of Grandad biscuits in the post the other day to have with my brew!
Favourite thing to do if you have some ‘me’ time?
I am a paint-baller in my spare time. I compete as part of a team in division 3 of the UK paintball tournaments, so I like nothing more than getting on the field to shoot some paint and let off steam. Other than that, I love to travel.
If there was a film of your life, what would it be called?
The Multi-tasking adventurer.
Which talent of yours are you most proud of?
I have played for the Great Britain ladies paintball team and travelled to Prague to compete in the paintball world cup. (I took my kids and blogged Prague while we were there.) The ability to get my children to school on time.
If you could be one fictional character, who would you be?
Wendy from Peter Pan!
What’s the closest thing to magic?
Memories. Sitting on top of the world watching the Northern lights. Zooming down a 3km sledge run. Snorkelling in a coral reef. Drinking from a coconut with a straw. Meeting the real Father Christmas. Discovering a ghost town as it was from years ago. Driving through the desert. Tubing down a river. Learning to cook together. Being chauffeured up main street in Disney World before anyone else gets in the park. Swimming with dolphins. Quad biking through the countryside. Horse riding at twilight. Jumping off a boat into the crystal blue sea. The Disney cruise. Seeing the smiles on your kid’s faces as they discover the world.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start blogging?
Just do it! But I have to say, as a parent of teens, be aware that as your kids get older they might not want stories about them and their pictures on the internet for all to see. They might not be happy with peers stumbling across stories about incidents from 7 years ago. Involve your kids, post only with their permission, delete things they don’t want on the internet about them from the past and consider not naming them. No matter how much you love your blog, protect your kids.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s BAPS Awards?
Having not left our house for anything since the beginning of March, I’m mostly looking forward to being somewhere that’s not in my house! Meeting new bloggers and seeing old friends.
The Baps Awards Ceremony takes place 4th November from 6.00pm. This year we are at a stunning new venue – The Athena in Leicester. We’d love for you to join us for a fun night of celebration – book your tickets here.
The BAPS Awards
The BAPs (Bloody Awesome Parents) Awards allows SEND bloggers to be recognised for their talents, tales and achievements. Founded by Bringing Us Together and My Family, Our Needs, these awards celebrate SEND Bloggers everywhere. Click here to find out more…