Carrie Bickmore returned to hosting duties on The Project on Monday night, following a three-month family holiday in the UK and Europe.
Earlier in the day, Bickmore opened up about the extended trip on her Hit Network radio show Carrie & Tommy.
With her Project colleague Peter Helliar filling in for Tommy Little, Bickmore revealed that Helliar had been one of the inspirations behind her decision to travel for three months with her partner and three children.
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“You had chatted to us about how you had been overseas with your kids, and I remember you talking about that as one of the greatest times of your life, and I remember us talking about that a lot as we decided what we should do,” she told him.
Helliar admitted he had been “envious” of her time off – but Bickmore said it hadn’t all been as rosy as her Instagram photos would suggest.
“It didn’t all go to plan, and there were lots of times when it was really, really hard. Living away with three kids – kids are hard enough at the best of times, and living in a new place without your support network around … Addy (Bickmore’s three-year-old daughter Adelaide) found it really hard for a long time,” she revealed.
“She was a baby born around Covid times, and just likes being at home. All of a sudden we were dragging her on planes all over the world.”
But she said the family – young daughters Adelaide and Evie, teenage son Ollie and partner Chris Walker – were already forgetting “the tricky bits” and instead focusing on the highlights from their trip.
“I asked Evie what her favourite thing about the trip was, and it was the same as mine: Picking her up from school every day. It wasn’t being at the Eiffel Tower, it was such a simple thing,” she said.
“That’s very expensive,” Helliar teased. “You could’ve done it a lot cheaper and just picked her up from school. You’ve blown a fortune … how embarrassing!”
Bickmore said her teenage son echoed his younger sibling’s sentiments about the trip.
“As a family, we’re often (like) ships in the night, and he said ‘I feel like I know my sisters so much better now.’ It’s because we were in this tiny little place, all together, a lot, with no time apart – which comes with tension, but then you break through that.”
Bickmore also said that post-Brexit and Covid, travelling from the UK for short trips around Europe was more difficult and stressful than she’d anticipated, particularly with young children.
Bickmore hit the ground running on her return to The Project last night, barely reflecting on her three-month sabbatical as the panel debated some of the day’s big news – including a fiery debate about the NSW government’s decision to erect a permanent Aboriginal flag over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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