We are packing for two very different trips to two very different locations. IJ is off to the Lake District for a week with extended family, and I am travelling via London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, to Cameroon on the west coast of Africa.
Both of us are incredibly excited at what lies ahead; only one of us had needed a crash course in basic French, a yellow fever vaccine and developed a sudden interest in all things Malaria-related.
Never has such attention been paid to the health status of Cheryl Cole in our little household. Never did I think that I would be travelling over 3000 miles to Africa, and I simply cannot wait.
IJ has told me to be careful of all insects, not to talk to strangers and to be nice to people. She has, as always, prepared me well. I have told her to brush her teeth, not to boss her grandparents or niece about and to enjoy herself.
Despite my excitement, I am a little apprehensive, not just about the separation - I know some time apart will do the pair of use the world of good and IJ is in safe hands - but of travelling to a country I know very little about, where the primary language is French, the currency Central African Francs and both the culture and climate nothing I have ever experienced before.
That said, it is the opportunity of a lifetime and I intend to make the most of it, to soak it all up and report it all back.
It cannot be possible, I am certain, to visit a developing country and spend time with some of the poorest people in the world, and not be altered by the experience. So it is with great excitement and a little apprehension, that I make the final preparations for my trip knowing my life is about to change forever.
I don’t know exactly how but I know it will, and I’m ready for it.
To be continued ...