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 World Travel Family
I’m Alyson, I’m the mum, I’m 46, I can’t believe I got that old already. I am Welsh and I used to be a scientist before we moved to Australia so that I could be a full time mum.
James is the dad, he’s Australian and only 35, which makes me a cougar. He is an executive chef at a big five star resort for the next six weeks, after that he’s free. I found him in the Nile in 2000.
We lived together in London for eight years, both boys were born there, home births. I highly recommend them!
D is my eldest, he’s 8 and he loves reading. He wants to be an astronaut.
Boo is my baby, he’s 6 and alternates between ridiculously cute and bad tempered. He’ll grow out of it. They are both crazy about building things with lego or minecraft.
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
We have been living in Port Douglas, a beautiful resort town in Far North Queensland, for almost 6 years.
We are leaving to travel full time, indefinitely, in about nine weeks. We have always travelled as much as possible, I met James through travelling and we’ve squeezed in as much as we can since the boys arrived. They have already been to five continents and we’ve had great fun showing them the world.
Why do you travel as a family?
I travel because I want to learn, see for myself, experience the world. I want to give that kind of education to my children.
Another powerful motivator is James’s perpetual absence, as a chef, his hours are terrible and unpredictable. We need to reconnect as a family, urgently. Life has become ridiculous in recent years.
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result your travels?
Being together, getting to know each other, opening our minds, a wealth of experiences.
One of the things that drew me to James was his capability in any situation. Put him anywhere in the world, he’ll deal with it and look after me, whether I need looking after or not. I want him to be able to be like that again.
I want the children to see the world and all the people of the world as equal but different. I don’t like the way some children believe their family’s way is the only way.
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
We’ve always travelled so we didn’t really need much inspiration, once we realised that school wasn’t necessary, long term travel became possible.
I met a lady travel writer in Cairns two years ago; we were staying at a hotel while James competed in an Iron Man event. She was travelling the world with her two boys and we had a chat. I haven’t been able to read much of her work as it was a pay-to-read blog for The Guardian UK. Maybe she put the spark back in my head, made me realise that it was what we truly wanted. It was only after I started blogging that I found the world of family travel blogs, I never knew it existed!
How do you address education while you are traveling?
Mostly the boys are unschooled, but I try to get them to write diaries or stories, anything really, and maybe do some maths online. I am not a total unschooler or a radical unschooler, I know the curriculum and tend to engineer situations so that all bases are covered. It’s actually very easy to do, most of the curriculum is there to be ignored, it’s just stuff you pick up through life. For reporting reasons in Australia I write my own curriculum, it’s far broader than the state version.
D is a big reader; I provide books that he enjoys. Boo will be reading for pleasure soon, I hope. I talk a lot, about everything, particularly science. The boys just soak it up and have these amazing little light bulb moments every now and then. We show them as much as we can, give them as many experiences and opportunities as possible.
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
I always say I’m in the business of raising global citizens. I want their home to be the world, not just one town or country, I want them to accept that all ways of doing things are valid and deserve their respect. I don’t want them to be afraid of the different or feel trapped by a home town.
There is a danger to this sort of lifestyle, once you start moving it’s very hard to stop, I haven’t been able to, maybe it’s a bad thing, maybe not.
Can you share one of your family’s most memorable experiences?
I asked the boys recently what their best travel memory was. They said it was me, swinging my handbag round my head and yelling “Get away from my baby!” like some demented banshee at those evil monkeys in Ubud. Kids don’t remember the bits you think they will remember!
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an “aha moment”.
Educationally, Ubud was where I woke up. D was in school then, I had to take his sight words with us and get him to memorise them. He didn’t want to and neither did I. What is the point of memorising things for a test, when the child will forget it all within a week? So we were both suffering for no reason when we should have been enjoying our family time and experiencing Bali. I knew what he was like, I knew it was pointless. Sight words went out of the window and within weeks I had him out of school. He is an incredible reader now, he adores books. My younger child has never had to learn a sight word or a spelling list and guess what?
He can read.
We leave for Malaysia soon, then we just keep going until one or all of us have had enough.
Countries that are most certainly on our itinerary are Burma and Jordan (I’ve never been to either), Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, my favourites, plus most of South East Asia.
web site : World Travel Family