Mt Eliza’s Jade Szonyi is a mother of two, an international flight attendant and a travel blogger with a rising Instagram profile. This month marks the first anniversary of the 32-year-old’s blog Mum With Wings (@mumwithwings) and in that time she has racked up 16,100 Instagram followers. She reflects on how it all happened.
Tell us about Mum With Wings and how you got those 16,000-plus Instagram followers!
I am a local Mornington Peninsula mother of two (Lottie, 6, and Sol, 3) and I have been an international QANTAS flight attendant for more than 10 years. I love looking after families on board and I was nicknamed the ‘on board nanny’ at QANTAS way before I even had my own children. I LOVE taking my children travelling around the world. Travelling teaches children so much and I believe it to be the best way to learn. My first overseas trip was to Sri Lanka when I was seven and it was a life-changing experience. I started Mum With Wings because my friends and their friends were constantly messaging me and asking for advice before they travelled with their children. So I decided to condense my experiences and knowledge into a blog. I want to encourage more families to travel and not be so scared of the thought. If parents are prepared before the flight, the journey will be much smoother once in the air.
Social media is an amazing platform for sharing my tips. Mum With Wings has had a great response and has grown very quickly. It has also been a really good creative outlet for me. Before I was a flight attendant I studied Media and Communications at RMIT, I’ve always loved writing and photography, but nothing too technical, it has to be fun! Social media gives me that freedom to not take things too seriously. I reply to every comment and question on my social media channels, I think interacting with my audience has helped it grow, I’ve also done a few things for QANTAS’ social media and an Expedia Blog which gave me huge exposure to a global audience. The content I share does really help families, I think that’s why it’s been well received. I’m a real mum doing what I love. I’ve assisted thousands of families on international flights over the last 10 years and I have learnt from their experiences too. That’s the knowledge I draw from. I also really appreciate what we have here on the Mornington Peninsula and I think like a tourist in my own back yard. I love sharing the best of my home region. The peninsula is such an amazing place for families, I do lots of local reviews and family friendly Mornington Peninsula posts. I often have the opportunity to serve Mornington Peninsula wines when I’m working in first class on board the QANTAS A380 and this makes me so proud of my home.
What’s a normal day like for you?
I am really just a normal local mum. It’s the school run, the kinder run, cooking dinner, coffee at local cafes. I fly part-time so I only go to work once or twice a month max. I feel like a stay-at-home mum who gets a break in a hotel room in LA or Dubai every now and then. My blog is something I do when I can. I don’t put too much pressure or deadlines on myself to get that done. If the sun is shining I take the kids to the beach. The blog post can wait. I post on my Instagram a few times a day and I like to try to get one new blog post published every week if I can. The content has now built up on the blog and it really is a great resource for me to direct the many questions I receive daily to.
Favourite local spots?
I LOVE all our peninsula beaches and our national parks, Seawinds and The Briars, especially in autumn. I love visiting the wineries in Red Hill. Flinders is such a beautiful place. Sorrento. Too many! I can’t choose. I like mixing it up and exploring different areas. My hammock in my backyard might just be my favourite spot.
Favourite destinations with children?
Hawaii would have to be the most child-friendly place that I have been. Little things like kids’ drinks being served in a takeaway cup with a lid and straw are really big things when travelling with kids. An immigration line with priority for families can be so nice at the end of a long flight. I have loved taking my kids around Europe and the USA. Closer to home we have had amazing adventures in Laos, Thailand and Indonesia.
MUM WITH WINGS