Traveler of the Week: Caz and Craig Makepeace

As I continue my family travel series, I bring you an interview with traveling parents whose love of seeing the world is certain to continue despite the responsibilities of raising two small children. The travel blogging community is large and diverse, and two of its most visible bloggers are Caz and Craig of Y Travel Blog. I respect them for their sometimes unconventional choices, love of not just traveling but also living and working abroad, and interest in building community among fellow travel lovers. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about how this fun-loving, adventurous traveling family.

Family blog trip with Tourism New Zealand

1.  Tell us a bit about you, your site, and how you started blogging.

Our site is an independent travel blog aimed at providing travelers with the inspiration and information they need to travel themselves and to live their dream life.

We have lived and travelled around the world since 97 and have such a passion for it and so much information to share. We were always sharing with others on the road, so it felt like a natural fit to start sharing on our blog.

We wanted to create a community similar to that we discovered while travelling. People who were intent on discovering life, living it the max, having fun, sharing and getting to know one another. We have fun with this especially on our fanpage.

2.  You have had some pretty amazing travels both before and after having children.  Can you summarize them for us? 

Before children we had some adventurous and wild travel times. I (Caz) lived in London for two years and travelled Europe in a campervan. Then Craig and I lived in Bangkok, Dublin, Western Australia and Raleigh, North Carolina. We travelled through the UK, Africa, Asia, and The US.

Our travels since having our daughters have been a bit calmer. We lived in the States with Kalyra for two years and travelled the US, Puerto Rico, and Fiji. Since starting our travel blog we have also been seen more of Australia and New Zealand. Savannah had her first international trip when she was just 8 weeks old- she’s a natural!

Friendships across many nationalities

3.  You are not a nomadic family. Where is your home base and what do you do there?  How does having a home benefit your family?

At the moment our home base is our home town in Australia. We have been back here for almost 18 months and are looking set to be on the move again within the next couple of months. We mainly work on our blog, while doing casual work on the side to help cover the bills. Craig is a carpenter and I am a teacher.

I actually wrote a post today on Finding the Travel Balance, I think when you have children it is important to try to find that balance between long term travel and a normal life. I think children cope very well with travel and it is so beneficial for them, but I also think there is a lot of benefit in them having a place where they feel they belong surrounded by people who know and love them.

4.  How has travel changed for you since having children?

It has slowed us down a lot more and changed our decisions in regards to where we stay, how we get around and what activities we do. Things like hiking, adventure sports and partying late at night are not really an option at the moment while the children are so young. We stay in hotels more than hostels now and are less inclined to ride around in the back of a pick-up.

5.  Your older daughter is old enough to understand your family’s lifestyle.  How do you think traveling has influenced her?

She is so globally aware and has such an insatiable curiosity about the world around her. She loves learning and can rattle off the names of many different countries and places.

She also has an understanding of the idea of planning for future events and working towards goals, as we are always taking of our future travel plans and what we need to do to get there.

She is very caring and compassionate and gets along with many different types of people.

Kalyra with new friends in Queensland

6.  What is the most important piece of advice you would give to parents who want to travel with their kids?

Be flexible and leave a lot of time in your schedule for rest and children time. Travellers shouldn’t be rigid with their plans anyway and even more so with children. You will be much slower with your travels and you will have to allow for time to play at parks, swim in kiddies pools and do all those fun things your children will love. The more they love their travels with you, the longer you can keep travelling for.

Spend time talking with your children about your travels before, during and after. Get them really excited about it and discuss with them what they saw, what they liked and didn’t like and then continue to share the memories together once the experience is over. You want your children to understand that you have created these amazing memories together which you will be able to share forever.

With my baby at Taronga Zoo

7.  Do you think about raising your kids in another country?  If so, where and why?

Absolutely! It’s of course not an easy decision and one that needs to be really well thought out, but we would love to give our children the opportunity to live in another country. We are open to consider any country, but really our heart is set on Thailand or the USA.

We like the lifestyles in both countries, we know our children can get a good education and, especially Thailand; we would love for her to grow up knowing and understanding a culture so different from her own.

8.  What are your specific hopes for your future travels?

We want to spend the next two years travelling before we think about traditional schooling for Kalyra and making a more permanent home base. This year we are hoping to visit Europe and attend the Olympic Games, as well as travelling through North America and Asia.

Once Kalyra goes to school then we will go on more short term holidays over the school breaks. Travel will always be in our life, we just have to find a way to balance it with family life.

9.  You are from Australia, a country I have not visited yet.  Where in your country would you suggest people visit and why?

Australia is so diverse and so big; this is a difficult question to answer. I think Western Australia is so unique and beautiful and untouched. You can visit unspoilt reefs and beaches, have experiences in the outback, visit ancient forests, explore wineries and so many other fascinating places. But the East Coast has all the well-known places like Sydney, Byron Bay, Melbourne and the Barrier Reef which are also worth seeing.

Hiking in Vietnam

10.  What is one way that you practice making a positive difference in the world while traveling?

Making sure that we spend time getting to know the local people and taking the time to understand their culture so that we may appreciate and celebrate it. I think this can only help bring about peace and compassion in our world, which can only bring positive differences. We each need to recognize how alike we really all are and that our experience here on Earth is enough to connect us in peace and friendship.

Thank you so much to Caz and Craig for doing this interview! You can find out more about them on their site, their Facebook page, and on Twitter.

Check out my first interview in this series, with Emiel of Act of Traveling.

15 Comments

  • Andrea says:

    This is so inspirational! John and I plan to try for a baby later on this year but we don’t want to give up our wanderlust. We plan to start out as expats in another country and then take the baby on smaller, closer journeys until the child is a bit older – I’m worried about taking a newborn on long-haul international flights – their poor little ears!

    • The ear thing is a worry, but you might have a bubs who it doesn’t effect. Both my girls were really pretty good with it. You just feed them or have them suck on a pacifier. And with a bit of luck they will sleep through it.

      You don’t have to give up that wanerlust. You can make it work with your children. It’s harder but really worth it.

  • Justin says:

    You can’t kill the travel bug!

    I’m am surrounded by traveling families everyday and I can’t express how feasible and rewarding family travel can be.

    “Be flexible and leave a lot of time in your schedule for rest and children time.” No kidding – that is THE key! Make it about the kids.

    Great interview and very motivating for a soon-to-be traveling dad like myself.

    Thanks guys!

    • Once bitten that is it. No turning back. You will have a ball when you travel with your children. It’s more challenging but very rewarding. Think of all the memories you will have to look back on together. Enjoy it!

  • Emiel says:

    Again a great story of a traveling family. It shows again how important travel is for our children. I so much recognize the slow travel part: when you travel with kids you slow down your pace. You realize you cannot run from one highlight to another. By slowing down you will value other things, smaller things. I think traveling with children improved the way we experience countries and cultures all together.
    Kids learn a lot from travel: responsibility, compassion, etc. Great read!

    • I have never thought of it before as you slow travel with your children is actually improving the way you experience cultures. So true. And I think children naturally attract so many people, especially the locals so you get to know them better.

      We went to Chinatown for dinner the other night in Sydney and so many Chinese came up to talk to us and gush over Savannah. It was such a lovely and sweet interaction.

  • Abby says:

    I agree that they do an impressive amount of traveling even without kids! I’ve also somehow never been to Australia… Great interview!

  • So true about peace and compassion for other cultures. If enough people travelled with their kids to other cultures I’d like to think we could have less chance of wars starting. I can’t imagine marching off to help bomb or invade a country that I’ve hosted visitors and exchange students from!!!

    • So true Tracey and I love that way of looking at it. Once you have spent time with other cultures and see that they really are your friends you could never want to inflict harm upon them. I would love it if all children could grow up knowing this

  • Cam says:

    Great interview! We’ve been following Craig and Caz since they were in North Carolina… has it really been 18 months already!?!
    We are bringing our 3-month old on his first trip next week, so we’ll see how all of us respond to travel as a young family 😉

    • I know the time goes so fast!! you will have such a great time travelling as a family. It makes it all just that little more special. He’ll be a natural at it!! Let us know how it goes and post lots of photos

  • Great interview with Caz and Craig! Really like them as a couple and what they do is really inspiring (despite their flaws as sports fans!). I can relate to them in many ways and you can tell how much they love traveling.

  • I grew up with semi-nomadic parents myself. We used to move house every 5 years, and a couple of times changed countries (between my Dad’s home turf, and my Mum’s). I think it’s this moving around that has given me such tolerance towards other cultures, and an insatiable thirst for adventure and travel and new experiences. I think your kids are gonna grow up very well-rounded and compassionate, kind, and generous because of it. Well done guys. Thanks for sharing Jenna, Caz, and Craig.

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