Today’s featured travelers are a family of adventurers who blog at Gadsventure Family Travel! They are a fun-loving family of 6 out to travel the world and seek adventure in the 4 corners of the globe. Fresh from a big year of traveling around Australia, they are ready to take on South East Asia and Europe next. Kris, Brian, Jasper, Dash, Daisy and Mabel invite you to follow them on our international family gap year for 2019.
What inspired your love of travel – how did you get started?
When I was little, my Nan used to come home from all kinds of exotic destinations and bring her grandkids little kitschy souveniers. I would sit at her knee, thumbing through her freshly plastic bound photo album and flick through asking endless questions about where she had just been and beg for her to take me with her next time! She would bring back little kimono wearing dolls from Japan, or a terracotta warrior statue from China, some wooden clogs from Holland, or a little wooden Buddha from Thailand. These little trinkets gave me my first bite of the travel bug and for the next 10 years until I was old enough to go, all I did was yearn for and dream of travel!
Tell us about your favorite style of traveling…luxury or budget? Packing heavy or light? On the go or laid back?
After backpacking the world with my husband when we were first married, we learned the value of budget travel. The idea that you can travel long term in cheap countries for a fraction of the cost of a shorter vacation really was our thing then. Now we have 4 kids, and this ideology hasn’t changed a bit! We are about to head overseas for our most challenging and inspiring trip yet, 2 years overseas with all 4 kids in tow. They are aged 9, 7, 5 and 1 so for the first time, we will have to incorporate some school lessons into our trip. We figure we will have that much inspiration from travelling itself, that our lessons will be pretty fun and easy!
What’s your favorite travel story: the weirdest, or funniest, or most exciting, or most beautiful trip you’ve ever been on?
When we were just the 2 of us, we sort of got kidnapped in Morocco. We met these 2 young guys at a bar, they invited us back to their place, gave us some hash and henna tattoos. Then they invited us to their farm. So we rode on a rickety horse and cart miles out of town to this little commune, and got shown to our bedroom which was a lovely cool mud hut with no windows and only one door in and out. I started getting a little anxious when they offered us more hash but when I declined they said ‘get high before you die!!!’. I never really thought they would do away with us, but I never really relaxed either, and i did not sleep well that night. The next day, we decided that we should leave, rather than risk sleeping there another night. But they said the horse and cart couldn’t come back for 3 more days! So we grabbed our packs and started walking. It took us all day, but we weaved through farms and villages along the coast line and eventually made it back into town. The young Moroccans found us in a cafe the next day, they were all nice as pie, then they handed us a bill for our experience. We paid them the money and left town the next day. Moroccans invite you to their house all the time! I don’t really think they had it in for us, but we didn’t accept any more invitations after that.
What advice do you have specifically for family travelers?
For family travel, the most important thing that we have found is to make sure you don’t overdo it for the sake of the kids. You are better off doing less activities while keeping the children happy than trying to see absolutely everything. For our next trip we intend on staying one month in each place so we can really slow down and experience real life instead of being proper tourists. Because of our kids’ ages, we make sure they get some down time in the early afternoon too. They really need to flake out sometimes and can’t just pound the pavements all day long sightseeing. I also like to give them some input into what things we decide to do, this makes them feel like a valued part of our Gadsventure team!
What would you say to encourage someone who wants to travel but is afraid to because of cost, time, etc.?
I work as a palliative care nurse which means I look after people at the end of their lives. The people I meet in this line of work invariably all have the same message: do it while you can. You only get to live once. I am nearing 40 now, and we decided that while our kids are little, rather than working all the time and getting stressed out about money and paying massive interest to the bank, we want to be present with our kids right now. So that’s why we are doing our big gap year. It is more achievable than you think!
What are your top 3 tips for newbie or wanna-be travelers?
- Book a flight somewhere, and the rest will fall into place.
- If you want to travel long term, choose a profession that will enable you to work on the road. I’m a nurse and I did this precisely so I could work overseas but there is heaps of opportunity for online earning, hospitality, ski fields, writing, blogging and more.
- I’ve found some great hacks for finding cheap flight deals.
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