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