Families on the Move
We have been blessed to connect with many amazing families online, all of whom have adapted a travel lifestyle in one form or another. We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to them here and highlight the positive aspects travel has had on their families. Welcome our interview series called Families on the Move. Miro & I are honored to a part of this global community we consider our extended family.
Family travel offers so many benefits. We hope you enjoy this interview and inspire you and your family to incorporate travel into your lives. From Europe to Asia and South America to Australia, family friendly travel options are countless. Remember there are always great options for where to stay, simply check out the offering from big hotel chains like Accor’s hotels throughout Australia.
Meet the Family Behind the blog Free Range Explorers
Francesca – 43, likes being outdoors, reading, engaging in obscure conversations on the meaning of life
Martin – 50, practices kundalini yoga, trying to live a yogi life style. Photography is a great passion along with drawing, playing the guitar badly and give him a mountain to climb, loves that.
Reuben – 5, loves playing Lego Batman on the computer, drawing and making things
Isaac – 3, loves anything from the Ocean especially sharks and whales
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
Francesca and the boys are in Hertfordshire and Martin is in Leicester (both in the UK), Francesca has always travelled (on and off) throughout her life (she hitchhiked trough Europe with a friend when she was 19! As well as spending time in north Africa and India) as a family we have also always travelled, only in Europe though. The boys both went to Italy to see family when they were 2 months old! We have bases in the UK as well as a camper van and friends and family in France and Italy to visit.
Why do you travel as a family?
We wouldn’t dream of not taking the boys! I remember one evening in London and the boys were being looked after by a friend, we felt so bad at them missing out on London after dark that we went back to the hotel and took them all out for a meal!
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result your travels?
We have to be really united and be able to work together 24/7. The minute a power struggle arises it doesn’t work. And then there’s the obvious benefit of seeing and experiencing things we would not have seen staying at home. We really believe that travel opens the mind and feeds the soul.
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
It’s not so much incorporated, more like we are drifting into it, call it an accident or following a calling, connecting to your true self and a human instinct to learn, love and share experience with other like minded people. And a terrible wanderlust that could not be ignored!
How do you address education while you are traveling?
Martin: I don’t, I leave it all up to Fran. Not true, for me I like to find experiences, the best example of that would be seeing a sign on the road and see what’s there. Like the time we found the blacks smith and wool mill and the boys spent hours learning about the art of black smithing and the industrial revolution. I am a big believer that we should not separate learning into little boxes and compartments, it is something that is part of life.
Fran: The children are autonomous learners (in the US I think this would be considered Radical Unschooling) so their learning happens spontaneously, they do have a lot of resources to dip into if they need them and as we spend time at home as well as traveling we can swap books and materials around. An example: We went to a big interactive science museum recently (on the way back from camping) which had some animation stations, Reuben really became engrossed with this and wanted to use his Lego characters to make his own film, with the wireless connection in the hotel we downloaded and app for his iPad which allows him to make his own animated movies, he has learnt to use the software by himself, needs to be able to do some simple reading and synchronize the film with sounds and music. We are home right now and he has build a small Lego city and is busy making more animation. Isaac is in love with anything from the Ocean, we have taken him to aquariums and sea-life rescue centers all around the country, he has books and apps he uses regularly and a much better knowledge at 3 than we have!
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
We still haven’t taken the boys outside Europe although there is a trip to India planned. We try not to feel like tourists and we prefer to support small establishments so we can have some connection with the local people. We have tried volunteering as a family and plan to do more in future.
Can you share one of your family’s most memorable experiences?
Probably Martin’s 50th birthday, on a stunning beach in south Devon, perfect weather, all our extended family happy together, eating cake from plastic plates and drinking champagne while sitting on the sand, and the Kentucky camper van parked nearby.
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an “aha moment”.
It happens every time we park or arrive somewhere new, but to pick one: when we arrived at the beach for Martin’s 50th birthday, it was so beautiful that we both had the same thought: “Why are we living in Leicester if we could see this every day of our lives?”
Martin: For me it was the wool mill, I had that moment when I finally could see how this could work.
We were planning on taking the camper van from England down to the south of Italy in September, but we have a lot of other projects on the go at the moment (house building work, an online business to launch) so we shall see, if we don’t go with the Kentucky the boys have asked to go to Rome by train again like we did in January, they loved the “sleepy” train!!
Web Site: www.freerangeexplorers.co.uk