It’s easy to think that plunging into the world of having kids is a solid “Sayonara” to careless travelling and a firm “Hola!” to minimal sleep and crappy nappies. Whilst life certainly changes somewhat dramatically, there are many young parents are sticking two fingers up to ‘the norm’ and are adapting their nomadic lives to maintain a heavy dose of escapism. One such amazing family are The Morris’s (aka The Blonde Nomads)…
Introduce us to your gang!
We are The Blonde Nomads – Rob, Tracy, Marli (3) and Ziggy (1).
Tell us about your current trip/trips?
This year we have been lucky to have visited Heron Island to capture the turtle hatching season. We have also just returned from The Cook Islands and are on our way to Hamilton Island at the end of the month!! Between trips we return to our home base on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We have also enjoyed a few road trips this year and usually camp along the way.
Why did you decide to take this alternative path? What influenced and inspired you?
We find life in Sydney is hectic and fast paced. We love to escape the hustle and bustle regularly to connect as a family, recharge and get back to nature. Time is precious, especially when you have little ones so we try to embrace the concept of slowing down, living simply and unplugging from modern technologies. We love to immerse ourself in nature and teach our kids with a hands on approach to living and to appreciate mother nature.
What’s been the most rewarding part of this decision?
The quality time and amazing moments we have shared together is something money can’t buy. Exploring new destinations and teaching our kids about nature hands on and seeing their happy faces as they take it all in is amazing.
How do you fund your travels when you’re on the road?
We have a generous social media following which has lead to us working as digital influencers for some amazing brands, holiday destinations and resorts. Between these adventures we head back home and Rob works as a carpenter/builder and Tracy has the occasional photography shoot or marketing job between minding our ‘mini blondies’ full time. If we take a longer trip we also rent out our house.
What are your plans for the future? Are you going to travel the world with your family until your kids flee the nest? Or are they going to enter a more mainstream educational path?
We are in two minds with how we will school the kids at this stage. We would love to find a happy balance between our travel and adventures as well as some ‘normal’ stability and schooling. … Watch this space!!
Nature Deficit Disorder for kids is becoming more prevalent in this age of technology. Is this a factor in your life choices for your kids?
It is something we are very aware of and as a family we ‘switch off’ and head outside as much as we can. Having the kids playing outside all day, bare foot and dirty is something we love to see and encourage. In saying that, we also know that in this modern tech savvy world our kids will need to know how to use a computer too, so we aim for a happy balance.
Whats the most difficult thing about travelling with kids compared to without?
The main element of travelling with such young kids is how much stuff we need to bring along with us and the loss of spontaneity that we had with solo travel or travelling just as a couple. Before we started a family we travelled a lot, within Australia and overseas and we would fit so much into our day, getting the most out of our time at each destination. Now, we need to plan our adventures and choose actives the kids can be apart of, slow down, pack some snacks, and fit in day sleeps! In doing this the kids have also taught us the magic of slow travel how to see the world through their eyes. Taking a walk to the beach is now not just about getting to the beach but also what we also see along the way – we now stop to watch a spider spin its web, collect flowers and look for fairies!!
At times it is also hard to capture images for our clients if the kids are not coming to the party… we have to be realistic with what we can expect of them. Sunset is a tricky time for example as it is ‘witching hour’ for the kids as they are tried and hungry so we bring along some food and try and make it fun.
Your favourite place so far?
For an indulgent destination – Heron Island! It is a nature lovers paradise. We can’t get enough of it.
For a simple camping/family friendly location – Hat Head National Park and Lennox Head/Byron Shire are both favourites for us.
What’s the funniest memory so far on the road?
When travelling with kids there is never a dull moment so we share some funny times each day. One night when the kids were in bed during our caravan road trip Tracy was happily reading her book around the fire when a HUGE mud crab came walking past her toes… originally thinking it was a pesky possum trying to steal her chocolate she ignored it then let out a loud scream when she realised what it was!!! That followed by laughter as we were shocked to see a mud crab so far away from water!! Rob caught the female Muddie and took her safely back to the water.
Whats the one piece of advice you’d give to other families looking to travel with young kids?
Do it. Start with small simple trips close to home to test out the waters. If you want to travel more and work less sometimes you need a lifestyle change to go without certain luxuries to enjoy/afford the time together. We have shared some tips about travelling with kids on our blog that could be helpful too!