Today’s featured traveler is Mary; the blogger behind The World is a Book. I am happy to highlight her wonderful website because she is constantly on the move with her family. Yes, she travels with her husband and two kids. Her example proves how travel and kids are not mutually exclusive. Mary and her husband have elected to travel even though they may need to adjust their activities and style a little bit (no excuses in here). So, here she gives us insightful tips on how she has accomplished to visit many countries with the little ones.
Hope you enjoy this special feature!!
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
*Where are you currently living? What is your current life project?* *Where have you been? Where do you want to go?* *When did you get the travel bug?* *How has travel changed your life?* *How would you inspire someone to travel? *
I currently live in San Diego, CA with my husband and two kids. I was born in the Philippines but grew up in Guam and moved to Los Angeles for college. I have been to four continents and over 30 countries and adding a few more this year. The top two in my bucket list are Bavaria, Germany and Argentina.
I got the travel bug when I was on a high school trip in10th grade. We flew from Guam to Washington, DC and visited seven states during that trip. I’ve always been fascinated with travel before that though. Living in a small island fueled my desire to see the world.
Travel has changed my life in so many ways and all for the better. It’s made me more adventurous, more observant, more tolerant and by testing my patience especially when traveling with kids. We want to inspire other families to travel by sharing our adventures and through our pictures. Traveling with kids is hard but certainly doable with planning and preparation. I would also love to share all the different places and stories of travelers I’ve met on the blogosphere. Reading all about these wonderful places I haven’t been to inspires me to keep traveling and will surely inspire someone else to travel.
What are the most underrated and overrated places you have visited?
My most underrated place would be Singapore. Many people’s Asian bucket list usually includes Hong Kong, Thailand, China or Japan. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Singapore is one of the most fascinating places to visit. It’s very cosmopolitan, clean and diverse.
The overrated one would have to be San Francisco. I really like the city but I always see it in the top city list of some kind. For some reason, I always disagree thinking of other more deserving places. I’m going to be getting emails from friends and family over this one.
What is your travel pet peeve?
It’s a toss-up between people who have no concept of lines and bad weather while sightseeing the outdoor sights. Although, the good thing about bad weather is it becomes museum quality time.
I love food. What is your favorite dish?
I only have to pick one? If I had to choose only one, it would have to be carne asada tacos with a lot of salsa and guacamole. I practically have one every week. After all, I live in Southern California so it’s hard to resist them.
Have you tried some exotic or weird foods (insects, organs or something like that)?
One of the Filipino delicacies I grew up on is pork organs cooked in pig’s blood – pork blood stew. I can’t be anywhere near it now. I’ve also tried kangaroo jerky while in Australia and conch fritters in the Caribbean. My husband is the more adventurous eater.
What travel moment has made you laugh like there is no tomorrow?
I wouldn’t call it the funniest travel moment but one that comes to mind was when my kids saw the Mannekin Pis statue in Brussels. It’s a little boy statue continuously peeing and dressed in different costumes. Their reaction, fascination with it, all the questions and sound effects regarding the statue were quite hilarious.
What travel resources do you use?
At the top of the list are travel blogs. I love reading people’s experiences more than guidebooks. Most of them are honest reviews and recommendations of places off the beaten path. It’s so helpful to read another family’s experience at the place we plan to travel. We love to cruise so my main resource when cruising is Cruise Critic especially the message boards. I use Trip Advisor for a lot of other things. I also like interacting with visitor bureaus since they are a wealth of information for places I’m visiting.
What is your blog about (and why you started to blog)?
My blog chronicles my family’s adventures as we cruise, visit national parks and travel the world. I also share tips, and lessons learned on saving time and money to places we’ve traveled.
I started the blog as a way to refresh our memories and as a virtual keepsake for my kids as they got older. We’ve also always loved taking pictures and writing little captions to accompany them in photobooks and sharing them. Blogs allowed me to do that at a bigger scale and I hope at the same time will help someone out there.
How can we found more about you and your upcoming projects?
You can find me at my blog (www.theworldisabook.com), or at Twitter (@worldbooktravel) or lurking at message boards in Trip Advisor or Cruise Critic. I am lining up more guest posts with other travel bloggers this year. My upcoming projects include improving my blog, promoting it more and continue to gain readers. I’m relatively new at this. It really is a work in progress and as full-time working mom, it’s hard to find the time between posting and promoting among the other duties.
How has traveling with kids change the way you travel?
We’ve learned to be a whole lot more flexible with our itineraries. We’ve also had to find more ways to save time and find the most convenient ways to sightsee and explore. We try to keep the whining at a minimum. It’s worked so far and our kids have become better travelers as they get older. We hope that by exposing them to different places and culture they’ll be more tolerant, more curious and aspire to be better citizens and grow up with a sense of exploration.
Kids need to be entertained and engaged. Our travel research now includes finding parks and playgrounds and family-friendly places to stay and eat at our destinations. My husband and I used to plan trips on a whim. Having school age kids, traveling now revolves around their school year and their activities. But, traveling with kids is such a delight and gives us a different and refreshing perspective of looking at everything. It’s been very interesting to see places through their eyes. We’ve learned to travel a bit more slowly and enjoy the simple things and most of all, to cherish the memories and time spent with our kids.
Thanks Mary for answering all my question. Wish many more travles in the future.