I didn't go to the Isle of Man last year. I had been to Fuerteventura and had plans to go to Cyprus which soon changed due to moving house and funds, and instead went camping in Scotland.
I didn't tell anyone just how broken I felt not going.
I went to my car in my lunch breaks at work to listen to the racing. I was constantly refreshing Twitter and Facebook looking at race updates. Looking at any Isle of Man and TT related hashtags on Instagram.
I don't really believe in regrets but I can't forgive myself for not going.
I was due to go this year, booked a ferry with 2 weeks between arrival and departure and due to a comment made by my ex-boyfriend ended up selling the crossing. I wasn't going to go. I thought I'd be fine. Then we split up and I knew that there was no way I would be able to cope not going to the island.
I had half term booked off and was going to take the boys away to a caravan in the UK. Surely that would be enough to take my mind off not going?
I just curiously looked at flights to see if it was an option but at over £1000 for the 3 of us one way I knew it wasn't possible....
Then I had an email one day stating there were ferry crossings available. I looked thinking it would just be for foot-passengers or bikes but no...half term week I could go in my car, with my boys, for around £350.
Quick maths of the ferry crossing plus the price of camping for those 5 days made me realise I could combine a holiday with the boys with my yearly dream trip.
I phoned them at their dads just to make sure they were happy to go....but in all honesty I knew that I had to go so if they said no I would have gone by myself and would have taken them away later in the year.
Which might sound selfish, but I knew that if I'd instead taken them on holiday to anywhere else in the UK I would not have had a good time and wouldn't have been the best mum I could be.
An hour later the ferry was booked and so was the campsite.
And the tears didn't stop.
Not only am I going to the Isle of Man, my children are too. And as nervous as this makes me because I like to focus on the racing and this is usually "my thing" I am SO excited for them to experience everything about the racing. For them to understand why I feel so passionately about it. But also for them to visit the place that I truly believe is my spiritual home.
For them to visit the place that made me who I am now.
The thing I am most anxious about, is how I cope with my emotions as we get to the island. How I cope with my emotions when we hear on the radio that the first bike is away. How I cope with my emotions when we are waiting for the first bike to come past. How I cope with my emotions when we walk around the paddock and I get to show them the racers if they are there.
How I cope with my emotions when Michael Dunlop rides past us. When I get to point and say to my boys "there he is!!!" or point out his bike and trailer at the paddock.
It's only 4 and a half days but I'm going home.
I'm going home and I am taking my babies with me and my heart, despite the anxious feeling, already feels so full and excited at the thought.