This week’s childhood family travel memories interview is with Alison from Five Family Adventurers. Her childhood memories of world travel and mom-and-pop eateries have shaped how her family travels today.
You can find more childhood family travel stories, as well as our family travel goal stories, here.
A bit about Alison:
I am a lover of travel and have been traveling since a young age. I am a mother of 3, wife and owner a big-boned chocolate lab. I love to cook and enjoy sitting around the table with my family, home-cooked meals discussing life. When not working, I am daydreaming of my next family adventure. I have also been sucked into loving the Baltimore Orioles from my family who have become ultimate fans.
What kind of travel experiences did your family do growing up?
Growing up I did a lot of road trips and local US travel with my family. When I was entering middle school, we started venturing out to the Caribbean and beyond the US boundaries. As I aged, we went further, Europe, Italy, Mexico. I was also fortunate enough to travel as far as China when I was in high-school with a group trip. It was truly a life changing experience.
How has your family travel experiences growing up affected where or how you travel now?
I looked forward to traveling with my family when I was young, even if it was just to our local beach. I couldn’t wait to have that travel experience and intimacy with my immediate family. Knowing that it would be just the four of us together was a great feeling. Getting to experience new adventures, food, locations only with them was the best. It helped create such wonderful memories and were happy times.
How has your family travel experiences growing up influenced your or your family’s travel goals today?
First and foremost, I knew I could only marry someone that had the same travel goals and like experiences I had. So I did. Now as I travel, I recognize that it doesn’t have to be the most luxurious or perfect travel, but it does have to be together as a family. Growing up I remember the family bonding our travels created, so to me, this is what I strive for. Bonding time together. Whether we go camping 2 hours away for a weekend or travel halfway around the world, I want to make sure we create memories and have our own family time. I also want to introduce our kids to new cultures, foods and experiences. I want them to laugh at the time the tent wouldn’t go up and the rains started coming down or when we all popped deep fried silkworms into our mouths as we were about to enter a silkworm factory in Cambodia. I loved learning about new cultures as a kid and wanted to pass this love down to my kids.
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What travel habits did your family have that you still do? What do you do differently?
When I was a kid and we traveled as a family, we would always try the local foods. Search out small mom and pop restaurants. It was important was to try something new whether or not we liked it. Now that we have our own family, we do the same. We always have our kids try local foods, street foods, search out the mom and pop restaurants as opposed to the chains. Sometimes our kids love it sometimes not so much, but at least they can say they tried it.
I started traveling with my parents when I was a baby. We have taken our kids traveling since they were babies. We only get a short time with them, so we have made it our mission to take them everywhere with us no matter what the age.
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?
We still go to the beach that I went to as a baby, kid, adolescent and young adult. Now I get to take my kids there and watch them enjoy the same simple pleasures I did as a kid. It is a small beach town where they can ride their bikes to town, go to the local ice-cream store and stroll the beach without parents following them. They have the same freedoms I had as a kid and I love it.
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 family travel is the most important thing they can do with their kids, no matter the age. For me, traveling as a young kid with my family made us stronger as a family. It also helped me adapt to new situations and opened my world to new cultures and ideas. I was way more accepting of others and much more independent.
Tell us more about your blog. Where can people find it, and how can they follow it on social media?
I was inspired to start a family travel blog because I hated hearing parents not wanting to travel with their young kids. They always have a laundry list of excuses why they are going to wait to travel with their kids. Makes me crazy. Of course once these families start traveling with their kids, they recognize the rewards only to realize their time is short and they should’ve traveled with them at a much younger age.
I started my blog a little less than a year ago and devoted it writing about family travel. I share our experiences and give ideas of what to do as a family in different locations as well as tips on travel. I have fun with it and look forward to writing more.