A big wave HELLO from all four of us at TraveLynn Family. The travelling team is made up of Jenny (Mum), Jason (Dad), Arthur (aged 4) and Ezra (aged 3).
Our story starts on a cold, rainy evening in Hull, UK. The music at the classy (ahem) LAs nightclub on Thursday Student Night was booming out cheesy 80s tunes as a third year Computer Science student (Jason) and first year Geography student (Jenny) locked eyes in a starry gaze. There may have been some drinking involved but little did they know at that point the incredible adventures that were to come their way.
Our first summer together in the year 2000 we decided we would go travelling but had no idea where. So we made a pact: we would visit the travel corner of our local Waterstones bookstore, pick a random guidebook off the shelves and book flights to wherever that destination turned out to be. The random guidebook’s front cover had a picture of an eagle about to take flight and three words: Malawi Lonely Planet. We packed a tent, jumped on a British Airways flight to Lilongwe and after a month exploring this immensely friendly and beautiful country, we were confirmed lifelong travel buddies and got married two years later.
We spent the next ten years exploring the globe at every available opportunity. When we weren’t actually travelling, we were saving and planning the next trip, be it a weekend exploring a new European city or a year long adventure to the other side of the world. In 2007 we quit our corporate jobs and travelled over land and sea from the UK to Sydney, Australia, without a single flight, culminating in a two-week voyage on a freighter from Singapore to Brisbane. After 5 years living down-under we embarked on another year long trip that took us via New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, India, Nepal and Southern Africa before returning to the UK just in time for our twelve-week pregnancy scan.
It seemed apt that we’d found out we were expecting whilst travelling; we were in Kruger National Park at the time and as I tried to aim my pee away from my hands and onto the pregnancy test, we already knew that having kids wasn’t going to stop us travelling. Waiting for the little line to appear which would confirm our hopes, we tried to take in the scene around us – the expansive grasslands, the elephants grazing below, the dusty African hues. We would bring our children back here one day (which we did in March 2018!)
Four years on, we’ve travelled as a family to 20 countries already and our dreams of continuing our travelling lifestyle with kids has become reality. We have just returned to the UK after spending a year living in India, where we took the many opportunities for further Asian travel, followed by a four month overland trip around Southern Africa. The gorgeous English countryside of the UK is now our home, and we’re already embarking and plotting lots of adventures in and around Europe!
Admittedly we’ve had to adapt the way we travel and ensure the boys’ needs and safety always come first. But independent, adventure travel with kids is indeed possible and we can honestly say it’s more fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable with them along for the ride. You may like to read our post: 10 reasons to travel with young kids.
Through our blog we hope to inspire other parents to travel with their kids by sharing our experiences and tips along the way. It’s certainly not without its challenges, but we’re creating family bonds and memories to last a lifetime and, just maybe, kick-starting their lust for global exploration.
Thanks for visiting us and happy reading,
Jenny, Jason, Arthur and Ezra.