This week’s family travel goal interview is with Jenny from TraveLynn Family. Her family has embraced an ambitious goal by traveling extensively across Asia and Africa with two young boys in tow!
You can find more family travel goal stories here.
A bit about Jenny:
Jenny is a family travel blogger from the UK and is on a mission to dispel the myth that adventure has to wait till the kids are older. Her two boys (aged 3 and 4) have hiked to 3000m in the Nepalese Himalayas, meditated with monks in Thailand, ridden tuk-tuks across Sri Lanka and after a year living in India and a four month trip traversing Africa in a Land Rover, they have just returned to the UK.
Does your family have any travel goals? If so, what are they?
To do a ‘big adventure’ before our eldest starts primary school.
Why did your family choose these travel goals?
We knew that once our boys started school and were in the UK education system, affordable and long term travel would be a bit tricky. Travel in school holidays is very expensive and we love to explore intrepid off-the-beaten-track destinations that require longer than an Easter break. As parents, we also firmly believe that travel bonds a family and time spent together in these formative years before school are so important in shaping them into the people they become. Plus, we wanted to share with them our passion for travel and just maybe kick start their wanderlust!
Have you made progress toward your travel goals? How’s it going?
We have just returned to the UK after 15 months travelling across Asia and Africa. Our eldest is due to start school this September.
In all honesty, there was a time when we thought we were kidding ourselves; that our dream of travelling with our boys so young was absurd. So many people told us it was pointless as they wouldn’t remember a thing and unfair taking them away from a ‘normal’ childhood. But more to the point, we were really struggling to save the money to travel.
However, an opportunity arose through my husband’s work to move to Bangalore, India, for a year. Admittedly we were hesitant at first; we had travelled to India pre-kids and knew that it wouldn’t be easy. But the wanderlust seed within us made us jump at the opportunity and take on the challenge. Living in India meant that incredible destinations were on our doorstep and travel was much more affordable. So in that year we took every available opportunity to travel – Thailand, Nepal, Sri lanka, and of course, India.
Once the contract in India finished, we knew that we had 6 months before our eldest started school. Now was the time for that big extended trip and we booked flights to Johannesburg, rented a Land Rover Defender through friends living in South Africa, and travelled for almost 4 months through Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. It really was the trip of a lifetime.
What does your family love most about traveling?
Time. It’s the time to be on our own schedule, time not distracted by other commitments, time to just simply share day by day experiences together. Some of my fondest memories of our recent travels in Africa were watching the boys put on a ‘show’ in the evenings by the fire, or races into the sea after a long day on the road, or just snuggled in our tent together reading a book. It’s the time to actually stop and appreciate the little things.
What has been your family’s favorite trip so far? Why?
It has to be our recent trip to Africa. It’s the trip that we always dreamt of and that feeling of being off the beaten track on this well-trodden planet with our boys, was just magical. We created such incredible memories and no one can ever take that away from us.
If you had to give other families advice about traveling, what would you say?
Don’t wait. These early years flash by so quickly in a sleep-deprived blur. Do something amazing that will create everlasting memories. Just travel slow, always have snacks handy, and take lots of photos.
Tell us about the name of your blog, TraveLynn Family. What does the name tell us about your family travel approach?
Well Lynn is our surname and it worked well with incorporating it into ‘Traveling Family’ as that is what we are. Although we like to think that we are a bit different to your usual family who travels. We like to push the boundaries of family travel and show that adventure can still be had with young kids in tow.
Tell us more about your blog. Where can people find it, and how can they follow you on social media?
If you want to learn more about how your family can create and reach their travel goals, you can subscribe here for my free e-book, Creating and Achieving Your Family’s Travel Bucket List: