Our next childhood family travel memories interview comes from Kylie from Between England and Iowa. Her childhood travels influenced much more than just her travel habits as an adult!
You can find more childhood family travel stories, as well as our family travel goal stories, here.
A bit about Kylie:
Kylie is a British expat living in the USA. She has a slight obsession with drone photography and adrenaline activities and writes about adventures in England, Iowa and everywhere in-between!
What kind of travel experiences did your family do growing up?
We had our own caravan which allowed us to take a lot of road trips all over the UK! We’d often go to Devon and Cornwall in the south west of England (around a 6-7 hour drive) to enjoy the beaches and coast line! I took my first overseas trip in 2000 when I was 11 years old where we had a one off all inclusive holiday to Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands!
How has your family travel experiences growing up affected where or how you travel now?
My family travel experiences shaped my whole travel ‘future’! The camping sites we stayed on often had children’s evening entertainment. As I got older, rather than going to the kids club to join in with the activities, I found myself watching the staff and wondering how I could do that as a job myself! My 15 year old self went up to one of the reps and asked what I needed to do to get a job like that. They said they took Travel and Tourism at college and that’s what I did! As I learnt more about the tourism industry and had the opportunity to travel to countries such as Kenya, I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug. In the summer of 2008, I ended up working the summer season as a camp counsellor in upstate New York, which was a big thing for a 19 year old Brit!
How has your family travel experiences growing up influenced your travel goals today?
I was fortunate enough to grow up having a 10-day to two-week trip every summer. So now summer = a summer holiday! I couldn’t imagine having a summer where I didn’t go away! As a family it was always something we’d look forward to. We’d be at work/school all year, so our summer travels were our chance to get away, relax, have fun and spend time together!
What are childhood travel memories stand out the most for you?
Ermm lets just say I was a pretty ‘adventurous’ kid…I’d often go running up big hills, climbing anything I could get near, I fell over in many streams, I would beg constantly to go swimming! I saw every place we went as a new playground that had to be explored. Nothing really changed as I got older, except the adventures got bigger (skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks etc). I recently went on a trip around the Midwest with my parents, I climbed on some rocks around a waterfall and my mum was shouting at me to ‘get down and come back’…I’m nearly 30! Definitely had a flashback to my childhood!
I’ve always loved photography too (thanks to my mum). I always used to travel with a little wind on 35mm film camera. I’d take pictures and then get excited about sending them off in the mail to be developed. When they’d come back I’d sit down and put the pictures in an album. I even kept journals of some of my trips, I’d have little weather charts where I’d draw a picture of what the weather was like and then write where we had been. It was often like “We got up, we went to the beach, I had fun. We had a barbeque and then I went to bed,” but it’s still memories!
Have you revisited as an adult any places that you first visited as a child? How was the experience different for you as an adult?
The one that stood out the most, was a return trip to Devon, UK and we revisited Watermouth Castle. There was a children’s ‘ride’ that I had gone on when I was a kid but on my return visit the same ride was ‘closed’ up and was part of the museum!! I couldn’t believe that something from my childhood was then old enough to be considered a museum piece! We also stayed at the same campground again and even though it had been years since I first visited, everything felt familiar in a strange way, I couldn’t quite work out what I could remember from my memory or from old family photos and home videos. Everything just kinda felt a lot smaller because of course I was bigger! We still had an awesome time (and I fell in a rock pool again…deja vu!)!
What would you tell people who are parents right now about how your experience of childhood travel has impacted your life?
I would tell parents that my childhood travel experiences 100% changed my life! It opened my eyes to the fact that not everywhere was exactly the same as my hometown surrounding. I got to see new places and experience new things. It gave me the opportunity to talk to different kids that grew up in different parts of the country. I also feel lucky to have grown up in a time when phones and the internet weren’t such a HUGE part of our lives (it’s probably also why I fell over in so many streams). It allowed us to really live in the moment. It gave us a practical hands on education.
Tell us more about your blog. Where can people find it, and how can they follow it on social media?
My blog is called Between England and Iowa (www.betweenenglandandiowa.com), and I cover topics such as life as an expat in the Midwest, the USA Green Card Visa process and my worldwide travels. I can also be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/betweenenglandandiowa), Twitter (www.twitter.com/englandandiowa), Instagram (www.instagram.com/englandandiowa) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/englandandiowa)!