This blog was born out of my family’s fun holiday adventures.

I’m Karen and we’re the Latter Family…We didn’t plan this life, we were on a totally different path but when I was diagnosed with cancer, everything changed and Awesome Family Holidays was born.

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If you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer, you’ll know just how horrific it is, not only for you but those around you.

I was down in the dumps and incredibly ill, and our entire life was turned upside down. We went from being an active family to coming to a complete standstill.

On one of the days, I took a little walk on the beach, and that’s when I realised I hadn’t thought about cancer all weekend.

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer, you’ll know just how horrific it is, not only for you but those around you.

I was down in the dumps and incredibly ill, and our entire life was turned upside down. We went from being an active family to coming to a complete standstill.

On one of the days, I took a little walk on the beach, and that’s when I realised I hadn’t thought about cancer all weekend.

About my Family and I

My name is Karen. I’m a straightforward woman with flare.

I never head off on a family holiday, or anywhere for that matter, without something pink, something bling, or leopard print. I start my day with coffee, and I get through life with chocolates. I treasure my friends, and my husband and children are my pride and joy.

My husband is Travis. If you’re browsing through our Awesome Family Holiday’s blog, you’ll spot him by his red beard. Travis is a hard worker, and he can play even harder. He’s my best friend and partner in crime and I couldn’t imagine an adventure without him.

Funny enough, this is the second marriage for both of us. We were friends for 27 years and married to our respective partners for 11 years. We started out as best mates during our teens and some of the best times of my life were with Travis back then. We didn’t fancy each other during this period, but after almost three decades, something sort of ignited and we finally realised we were one another’s soulmate.

We’re not a small family. I have six sensational children. Lara is 24 and works as Tour Manager for Contiki Europe. Zoe is 21 and studying towards a qualification in Child Care. Jake is 20 and doing an apprenticeship in Mechanical Plumbing. Kai is our teenager at 13 and loves to act and play guitar. Charli is 10 and enjoys piano and art, and our youngest, Mitchell, 9, is our baby and sports fanatic. He’s amazing with a ball!

That’s us in a nutshell.

I’ve had a colourful career in the music industry from lead singer in a band to being a booking agent, I’ve worn many hats. It’s been a pretty good life.

That was until I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on 16 February 2015.

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer, you’ll know just how horrific it is, not only for you but those around you.

They found a tumour on my left ovary and diagnosed me with Mucinous Carcinoma Ovary Stage 1C. The tumour had metastasised to the surface of my lymph glands and ovary, and that meant I had to undergo intense treatment.

The tumour was removed, I underwent a hysterectomy, my lymph glands and cervix were removed, and anything else that could be taken out to minimise the risk of cancer was taken out. I endured 18 rounds of chemotherapy-Taxol along with 8 rounds of chemotherapy-Carboplatin.

I lost my hair, but thanks to my beautiful family, I managed.

How Awesome Family Holidays Came About

Going through treatment was the worst time of mine and my family’s life.

I was down in the dumps and incredibly ill, and our entire life was turned upside down. We went from being an active family to coming to a complete standstill.

On a whim, Travis took our savings and invested in a caravan.

I wasn’t able to travel far, but he wasn’t going to let that stop us from having our family holidays. He figured the more short breaks we had, the more we would focus on one another and not cancer. It was genius. The caravan was nothing fancy, but it fit our family and was ready to hit the road.

Our first trip was to Fingal Head Holiday Park in Northern NSW. It was idyllic and right on a beach, just half an hour from our home on the Gold Coast.

On one of the days, I took a little walk on the beach, and that’s when I realised I hadn’t thought about cancer all weekend.

I arrived back to Travis reading his book and the kids playing around the caravan. It dawned on me that this was the perfect therapy for us. That’s when we began to research budget-friendly family holidays close to home. A family holiday a weekend? Why not!

While we mostly headed off in the caravan, we have also stayed in family resorts and cabins.

Before we knew it, we’d been on 30 family holidays in a year, all fitted around our work and school schedules, within budget, and around chemo.

Remission and More Holidays

I’m thrilled to report that I am now in remission.

I’m just as excited to say that holidays have become part of our lifestyle, and we’ve made it our mission to share our stories with other families to demonstrate that even with cancer, you can still get away for a little while and enjoy life.

But, take our advice, you don’t have to wait for something negative to happen before you take a family holiday. No matter how hectic life may be, and no matter what your budget is, you too can start having wonderful getaways and creating a lifetime of memories.

That is how Awesome Family Holidays was born!

Karen Andrews Latter | Founder (2015)

“Sometimes you have to go through things and not around them”
Anonymous • Quote of the Day
“We must embrace pain and burn it as part of our fuel for the journey”
Anonymous • Quote of the Day