Seeing the world through the eyes of her children has given Suzy Cato a new perspective on the world.
Travel has reiterated that we must treasure what we have, when we have it and to make the most of every moment.
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have travelled, with my family, through parts of Asia, the UK and the Mediterranean, and through some special spots within New Zealand.
I've not only been able to witness the sights through my own 50+-year-old eyes, but through the eyes of my children. The sights are the same, but how we, as individuals, view them can sometimes be completely different.
That concept first hit me in the 90s when I travelled to the US, as a celebrity host for family tour groups. The memory of finally stepping on the cobblestoned road of Disneyland, as a 21-year-old, is something I'll never forget. Neither is the excitement of the gorgeous kids I travelled with, who would finish one ride and say "Woohoo! Where's the next one?" Or the wonder of the parents and grandparents who'd worked hard to finally travel with their family; who marvelled at the detailed craftsmanship, the magic of the atmosphere, and the size of the meals.
Age, experience and perspective can play a part in how we react. So can our approach to life. My gorgeous wee family and I have learnt a lot on our travels; not only about countries and cultures but about people, choices, and life.
From the tour guide who worked hard to move himself and his family out of the slums, overseas, to the young restaurant owners, here in New Zealand, who are putting everything into making their business work. Life is what we make of it, whether we are at home or abroad. Life is for living; making the best of what we've got and for enjoying every moment.
• Suzy Cato is grand marshal for the Farmers Santa Parade, on Sunday November 24. 2019.