Today with have the pleasure to interview Talon that has been traveling with his kid Tigger for the last three years. An inspiring article for people that believe having a child means to stop exploring the world. Find out how they travel, where they go and how they fund their trips.
We are a father/son duo slowly traveling the world since 2011. We are both from the US. My son will turn 13 in August, and I am in my mid 40s.
When you started travelling and why?
I’ve been traveling since I was little, although I didn’t do serious international travel until my late 20s. After going to the Philippines on a medical mission, I decided I wanted to raise my son in different countries and cultures and to raise him as a global citizen. In 2011, we left the States and have been traveling continuously since then. So far we have been on 6 continents and in 24 countries, some of them multiple times.
What's your travel style?
We really mix things up. We’ve done backpacking but tend to be more flashpackers now. We occasionally couchsurf. Whenever possible we travel by train. We much prefer that method of travel. Early on we did a lot of buses, and now I try to avoid them whenever possible. They just aren’t as comfortable for me.
We also do a fair amount of housesitting which enables us to save money as well as live more like a local. Often that includes animal care, and we really like that as we miss having a pet.
How many continents and countries have you visited so far and what are your favourites?
Out of the 6 continents and 24 countries so far, I’d say Cuba, Morocco, Malaysia, Paris, Vietnam, Romania, and Czech are my favorites. Tigger, my son, especially liked Paris, Australia, Romania and Prague.
What was your longest journey?
Probably the 30 hours of bus travel going from Olon, Ecuador to Lima, Peru.
What's the aim of your travels? What are you looking for while travelling?
Our only real aim is just to absorb as much as we can of a place’s culture. We really like to hit the areas tourists don’t typically visit, spend time in local neighborhoods, eat where the locals eat, etc. We like to spend at least a week in a place so we can get a better feel of a place. When we really like a place, we stay longer. Since travel is our life, it’s a very different approach than someone is on a more time-limited holiday.
What's the best memory you keep from your travels?
Shark diving with my son in Honduras and taking him to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Eiffel Tower experience was so special because it was there that years previously I decided I was going to start the adoption process of a child when I returned to the US. So bringing him there felt like closing the circle.
And the worst one?
A bus ride from hell from Flores, Guatemala to La Ceiba, Honduras. It took almost 3 times the amount of time they told us it would, and our seats had tons of cockroaches. It was just absolutely miserable.
Tell us a funny situation you experienced.
One of the funniest things that has happened to me was a language mix-up. We were in Romania, and I had been picking up vocabulary. I proudly went to the train ticket window and asked for tickets for 1 adult and 1 child. She began laughing so hard she almost fell out of her chair and had to run out of the office. Later I found out from a Romanian friend I had asked for tickets for “1 adult with penises.”
What was the most important lesson you've learned while travelling?
Long-term travel has redefined what home is for us. It isn’t a structure or place. It’s where we are together. Hostel room, bedroom in a shared flat, hotel, our own apartment, it doesn’t matter. Wherever we are is home. That has been an incredibly valuable lesson for both of us. For my son, I would say the biggest thing he’s learned is that people really are pretty much the same wherever you go.
What’s the item in your luggage that you couldn't live without?
Right now I’m going to say my French press. Good coffee is valuable.
What's your average monthly budget and how do you fund your travels?
When we first began, we were averaging about $1000 per month total. Lately, it’ been more like $1300 per month. Most of our income comes through advertising on my blog. I also get a small amount from books I’ve written and published. When we’re some place with good diving, I sometimes work as a diving instructor.
While we don’t get paid to housesit, since we aren’t paying for lodging and have access to a full kitchen, it helps us to save up a lot of money. We lived on an oasis in Morocco for 2 months, and we managed to save over $2000.
Do you have any idea to make money for travelling that you could share with us?
You’re really only limited by your imagination. It sounds trite, but it’s true.
Do you plan to settle down first or later?
I’m not sure we’ll ever truly settle down. There’s just too much to explore and do. In Romania, we thought we’d stay for about 6 months or so, but after 2 months the travel bug had hit us firmly.
Of all the places you have been to, where would you like to live the most?
Such a tough one, but probably Paris or Prague.
If you think of yourself in 10 years, how do you imagine your life?
I can’t even begin to imagine. The last 3 years of travel have been almost unimaginable. 10 years from now? I have no clue.
A valuable advice for a long-term traveller at the beggining of his journey?
Go slow. So many people are in such a rush to see as many places as they can. I’d rather see fewer places but experience them more deeply. Go quickly and you’ll burn out quickly.
Talon is a single dad traveling the world slowly with his young son Tigger (a nickname) since 2011. He is an avid writer, author, photographer, and scuba instructor as well as a bagel addict. He shares their adventures as well as shares tips on travel on their blog at http://1dad1kid.com.You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram , and Google Plus.