Tracking Sharon – the family travel blogger

Travel is the best kind of addiction. The worst thing that can happen to a travel addict is ’empty pocket’. I came across a fellow travel addict and the best part is – she does not have to hide it from her family! They all travel together.
We all like those kinds of travel addicts, don’t we? So when I decided to track down Sharon, I discovered that the addiction can be tackled in the right way.

Sharon Gourlay loves exploring the world with her young kids in tow. She shares all the good, the bad and the (hopefully not too) ugly of family travel at Where’s Sharon? Family Travel Blog in the hope that she will inspire you to see the world too, regardless of your family situation.

1. Family trips and outings are always fun, but as a mother of two little kids, why didn’t you take a break from travelling? Didn’t you think it would be unsafe for the kids?

Initially, I did take a (short) break as I thought travelling would be too hard with little kids. Then I stumbled upon the many family travel blogs out there and realized many people travel successfully with young kids. When I thought about it further, I realised there was no good reason to stop travelling, so off we went and we haven’t regretted it once.

I do not think it is unsafe to travel with kids, but I do put more thought and planning into where we go and what we do when we get there. Mostly, however, I find that travelling with kids opens lots of doors. Many people around the world are very embracing of children and it gives us more interaction with the local population.

2. How do your kids take part in planning family trips? How will you (if ever) try to take that ‘travelling bug’ off your young ones?

At the moment, they are only 2 and 4 so they don’t do all that much planning. However, we sit together and check out websites and youtube videos of the places we are going and the things they can do and they tell me what they want to do most. I find it’s a great way to get them very excited. I certainly try to visit places I know they will love.

I hope they grow up loving travel as much as me and embracing other cultures and people. I want them to feel like global citizens not just Australians.

Sharon's kids in dominican republic
Sharon’s kids

3. What is the best part of travelling with family which you don’t find in solo travel?

I think it is definitely the local interaction as listed above. There is nothing like people showing love to your children to make you love a destination. I also love watching the world through their eyes and having an excuse to go to all the fun attractions rather than feeling like I have to hit all the museums.

4. What part of solo travel do you miss when you travel with your family?

The freedom to do what I want when I want. It is definitely limited a bit. I also miss going to night time attractions. We have to limit what we can do at night as they are just too grumpy if they go to bed late.

st augustine

5. What was your favourite moment when you first took out both your kids?

It was actually just arriving at Kuala Lumpur on our first international trip. I had been dreading flying long haul with a baby and toddler so much that it was part of the reason I had thought travel was impossible with young kids. The flight was fine though, and we even made it to our hotel on public transport after the overnight flight. I was on such a high that we have achieved that easily, everyone was happy and it really wasn’t the big deal I thought it would be. I knew there would be no stopping us after that!

6. Among all the places you have been to, which was the ‘safest’ for a family trip?

I guess staying at home in Australia would be the safest option, although the most boring. Otherwise Singapore. It was just soooo easy.

7. Having traveled much part of the world, what cuisine did you like the best? (Ohh you can just say ‘Indian’) 😛

Lol it actually is Indian! I love Indian food. Thankfully, there is great Indian in our home city of Melbourne and my mum actually has an Indian border who cooks great food for us too. Now that I have recently turned vegetarian I am enjoying it even more. I pretty much love all food in Asia though.

Sharon Taj Mahal
A customary photo in front of Taj Mahal!

8. Given time to travel solo, where would you like to plan your trip?

Trans Mongolian railway. It has been my number 1 bucket list item for years.

9. Expert advice for planning a ‘BIG TRIP

Try not to get overwhelmed, you do not need to plan everything in advance. Just make sure you have your first couple of plane tickets booked, any visas arranged and a bed for arrival and you will be fine!

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