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.
Meet the amazing family behind “
ayearinacampervanwithtwoteenag erssnowwhiteandalab” (which is now the much easier “www.travelteachtalk.com“).
Could you tell us a little about your family.
We are a Scottish family of 5 who live in France. Mum and Dad, Jen and Neil, and three children, Adam 16, Matt 14, and Katie 10. We left our dog (sadly) behind along with our hens, Graeme the cockerel, sheep and stick insects to set off on a year’s travels in a campervan.
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
Why do you travel as a family?
Neil and I travelled before we had children. And then we got caught up in the hamster wheel of life. We jumped off to move to France. Time flies and we knew that any more traveling as a five had a very limited life-span. We wanted to see some of the same places we’d seen, through the eyes of our children, and find some new places together. We were asked by a newspaper if we were mad wanting to spend nearly a year with 2 teenagers and a 10 year old in a campervan. Not at all. Traveling with your children, and seeing them soak up new experiences as they train for a 10k run in Thessaloniki in Greece, or help paint a school on the edge of the Saharan desert is priceless.
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result of your travels?
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
We got a slap-in-the-face reminder that you have one life, and one life only, when I was 22 and Neil was 25. We were in a bad car accident after which I spent nearly three months in hospital. We had been driving round Australia at the time. 17000km went very well, then we were whacked in the rear by a truck on a dual carriageway. It’s a pretty powerful way to make you think “sod it, what are we waiting for” each time a decision in life crops up. And most of those decisions seem to be travel related. I really like the quote “it’s either a priority or it’s not” because that’s what it all boils down to.
How do you address education while you are traveling?
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
Very early on we realized that traveling is far more about the people you meet rather than the places. We didn’t feel like we were on holiday (we weren’t – I carried on working and studying, as an English teacher. My idea about the studying was to be a role model for the kids. I was awful. And forever in trouble from them for leaving homework assignments to the last minute). We volunteered on a farm, in a school, in an elephant sanctuary (although for that you actually pay) and travelled slowly, so that we could get to know people, rather than ticking off countries on a map. There are lots of people we are still in touch with, who made our year very special.
Can you share one of your family’s most memorable experiences?
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an ‘aha moment’
That’s harder. Everything was an aha moment. Learning how to season a tagine so that it didn’t crack on the fire, making a brilliant donkey poo fire when there was no wood, finding much-prized wifi from a signal on a moving bus in front of us and following the bus, remembering obscure ‘Q’ and ‘Z’ words trying to win at scrabble (a game we all got remarkably good at), right through to navigating a morning getting dressed and breakfasted in a 4mx2m box in total harmony. Is that the kind of thing you were meaning?