This week’s childhood family travel memories interview is with Marianne from Mum on the Move. Her global childhood experiences have inspired her to continue traveling and living internationally with her own family.
You can find more childhood family travel stories, as well as our family travel goal stories, here.
A bit about Marianne:
I’m Marianne and I’m a British Expat currently living in Sydney with my family, including two kids aged 5 and 7. We moved to Sydney just a month ago and before that we lived in Singapore and Hong Kong for 11 years. I was born in Vanuatu and grew up in Papua New Guinea, and have also lived in Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica and Scotland – so I have been traveling all my life.
What kind of travel experiences did your family do growing up?
We lived in both Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea when I was growing up and a lot of our holidays were traveling back to the UK to visit family. My parents were very adventurous and would take us all over the world on our trips back home.
One trip they visited Tahiti, Mexico City, Florida, Dublin, England, Los Angeles and Honolulu – with a 7-month old baby, a 4-year old and a 7-year old. This was in the 1970s before internet, inflight entertainment or even Lonely Planet books. That’s impressive and a real inspiration to me.
How has your family travel experiences growing up affected where or how you travel now?
Growing up in the tropics I naturally gravitate towards to warm climates! We have spent most of our travels exploring Asia and ended up living there for 11 years.
My parents never had a lot of money but they always managed to save enough to go traveling and this has been really important in my own traveling history. These days we can afford to stay in nice hotels, but even when I couldn’t, that didn’t stop me traveling and wanting to see the world. I backpacked as a student and as time has gone on our traveling has become a bit more luxurious slowly but surely!
How has your family travel experiences growing up influenced your or your family’s travel goals today?
I love that my parents gave me such an exciting start to life. I grew up traveling and I believe my open mindedness and tolerance for other people’s beliefs and cultures stems from this. I hope that I am doing the same for my children and I try to introduce them to different cultures and local experiences whenever we travel.
What travel habits did your family have that you still do? What do you do differently?
My parents were real foodies and they always tried out all the local food wherever they went. This is definitely something that has rubbed off on me. I am obsessed with trying out local food when we travel!
The main difference with how we travel today all stems from the availability of travel resources these days. It’s easy to research everything before you go – where to stay, what to do, what to eat, where to eat. You can read blogs, guidebooks, get advice from other people online…
When we travelled as a family when I was little, my parents took advice from a travel agent and then worked it all out when they got there from asking locals, fellow travellers or just giving things a go. That’s a very different ball game.
What are childhood travel memories stand out the most for you?
When I was five years old my parents took us on a road trip around Australia. Three kids in the back of a hire car and off they went. I was only five but I remember the long straight roads, staying in different motels and some of the tourist attractions we visited. The smell of ginger still reminds me of the Ginger Factory in the sunshine coast!
What would you tell people who are parents right now about how your experience of childhood travel (or lack of experience) has impacted your life?
All experiences in childhood plant seeds in your mind, even if you don’t remember them years later. Travel truly opens your mind, and for little kids it can be so influential on their way of looking at the world and their fellow citizens.
Travel has made me much more adaptable in life and able to embrace change. This is so important in expat life as you are continually having to make new friends and adapt to different cultures, living arrangements and daily circumstances. I have also learned to not be scared of the unknown, to take risks, try to make the most of every situation and to ‘seize the day’.
Tell us more about your blog. Where can people find it, and how can they follow it on social media?
My blog is Mum on the Move, a family travel blog full of travel tips, destination information, product reviews, and hotel reviews. A lot of the destination information focuses on Asia and Australia travel, although we do sometimes wander further afield.
I am a strong believer that having kids doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying adventurous and cultural activities when you travel and this is reflected in the blog.
You can find it at www.mumonthemove.com
My social media accounts are: