Over the last 2 decades (when our 2 sons got to late teens) we‘ve been planning our own 1-2 month adventures to various parts of the world. By travelling independently whenever possible, we have been able to vacation longer and/or more often. If we do join up with an organised tour, it’s usually a small group/day tour, preferably led by local, experienced people. Of course the research required to find great experiences takes time and I’m fortunate that Tony really enjoys doing this now he’s retired. We’ve had some wonderful experiences and the main reason for writing this blog is to share ideas and inspiration with our family plus any interested friends – both old and new.
Our travels in many places have involved train travel eg. Europe, Japan, USA, Canada, China (wherever the train systems are fast and efficient) sometimes combined with road trips – our latest being the Garden Route in South Africa (my next post).
In places we’re not so familiar with, we often seek guidance from locals, including respected travel agents, to gain information on road/rail travel in their country – we did that before our past travels in South America and Turkey and our current travels in South Africa. We’ve met up with old friends and new – with those who have similar interests in lifelong learning about different places, people and cultures.
Connecting with teachers/schools…
Over the coming months, I’ll develop – “For Kids” – photos and text that could help children learn more about our world. After a 25+ year teaching career, I now volunteer regularly in schools, so we can also bring our long working/travelling experience to our blog – Tony is more skilled with the planning, directions and details. I do love choosing places to stay – whenever possible I find the interesting small hotels or B&Bs (occasionally AirBnB if we get a good recommendation from a friend). We just stayed at a fabulous place near the centre of Sydney…a great find and a blog post for another day.
Back to schools…The teachers where I now volunteer (between our travels) have also indicated an interest in having children follow our journeys via photos and a world map/globe. We also return home in the school holidays to look after our grandchildren and they always love our focus on food and involving them in some simple cooking – often inspired by our travels. So in the future, I’ll post more multicultural food related posts on the kids’ page – information that will be helpful to us and perhaps other parents, teachers, travellers and cooks who enjoy expanding their food/recipe repertoire like we do!
We’ll also post world/travel information that might be helpful to a range of people including our own friends and family and also other families with young children to older teens; from parents travelling with children to grey nomads; as well as teachers planning group excursions or their own vacations. We want to see independent travel (sometimes with a local guide or similar so we support local communities and small businesses) become more accessible/affordable for others too.
When planning most of the itinerary yourself you can make the most of your money (or “get more bang for buck” as one American couple suggested!)…it’s possible to stay at the top end/5+ star places (if that’s what you prefer) like some of the expensive tour companies do but negotiate a better room etc. Of course, this all takes a lot of extra research/time so for some (like us when we were busy with our careers) might be the best option. However, if you’re like us and enjoy reading blogs, doing the research etc it can be a very exciting and satisfying hobby!
Whatever way you decide to go, happy travels everyone!