Now that we’ve gotten the ball rolling (interviewed ourselves two weeks ago), today we will feature another family who loves travelling.
I discovered their site this year while I was looking for travelling families here in the Philippines – and I was elated to find out that they actually came to my country, explored it and loved it, too. They have probably gotten to more islands here in the country than we have ever had. Haha. Anyway, here’s Sharon who willingly joined us for this interview – thank you so much!
1. Give us a short background of your family.
We are a family of 4 – mum, dad, Miss 4 and Mr 3 from Melbourne, Australia. We would be like any other family except we prioritise travel. We love exploring the world with our little ones, so much so that we created an online business to support us to travel as long as we want.
2. Do you travel full time or part time? When did you start and why?
We travel full time, although we are currently using Penang, Malaysia as a base. We find it works well to have a home set up there where we can have some normalcy while going on lots of trips to other places.
3. How do you afford to travel as a family? Do you also work on the road?
Before the last year, we always saved our money to travel, but now we make money online, primarily through our travel blog, and this enables us to travel permanently.
It is not always fun to have to work while exploring fabulous places, but I am very thankful that I have been able to make an online business work for us.
4. How do you plan out your trips (and for full time travelers, are you always out or do you have days where you just stay in)? Do you particularly choose those “family-friendly” or “kid-friendly” destinations or are you flexible and just simply adapt to the place?
I love planning and am a bit anal about travel planning so everything is well planned! We definitely do have days when we take it easy. This is our life, not every day can be go, go, go. In saying that, even on shorter trips, we had plenty of days taking it easy and I never plan on being able to do more than one activity a day. Our kids are young and it’s just too much to be out all day doing different things.
I’d say we mostly travel to places that are reasonably family friendly. I think our definition of what makes a place family friendly may be different to someone who has not travelled much though. The place certainly does not need to be filled with kid attractions for me to consider it family friendly. As long as there is good food, comfortable accommodation and something we will enjoy doing all together, then I consider it family friendly.
I find kids (young ones anyway) adapt very well to whatever is going on. Our kids definitely adapt to travel quicker and easier than hubby and me!
5. What is that one item you can never travel without when you are with kids?
Our trunkis (affiliate)! They are small, ride on kids suitcases. We only started travelling with them at the end of last year but they have been invaluable. They allow the kids to be able to pull along all of their own luggage and it also gives them a seat when we are waiting, something to play with in airports and just a very practical and fun bag. We travel carry on only and this is how we were able to achieve that.
6. There are varied opinions when it comes to learning while traveling VS. formal schooling. What is your stand on this? Does travelling really give an advantage to your kid’s education, based on experience?
My kids are still young so they would not be in formal schooling yet anyway which helps make schooling while travelling far less stressful for us! I definitely feel that it gives an advantage though. You just need to hear my kids speak about different countries, geography and cultures to realise how much this experience is teaching them. They also get to attend preschool in Malaysia which is in three different languages and giving them all types of experiences they just couldn’t have back in Australia. My daughter is actually reading and writing in Chinese better than in English!
I was a teacher back in Australia and I honestly can’t see what advantage my kids could have in a traditional classroom vs learning on the road.
7. What advice would you give to families who want to start out a travelling lifestyle?
Try to have no or minimal expectations. I find that my friends who have found travelling with kids hard tend to have one thing in common – they thought it would be a relaxing holiday similar to before they had kids! Unfortunately as parents our job travels with us. Parenting is hard work no matter where you are. The way I look at it is that I would rather be dealing with a tantrum on a beach in Sri Lanka than in a supermarket at home. The tantrums are still going to happen though unfortunately!
8. Where else can we guys read about your family adventures?
We share all our travel adventures on our blog, Where’s Sharon Family Travel Blog. It’s full of tips and tricks to also help you travel more and to maybe take a chance on travelling somewhere more adventurous than you would have thought possible with your own kids. I love sharing all the itti bitti details of travel with young ones to help inspire others to do it too.
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#FamiliesOutside is an interview series to help encourage families to go out and explore places, near or far. Bi-monthly, we feature families who love travelling – full-time or part-time – or who simply love including the outdoors in their daily activities.