We love to interview inspirational travellers, so when Caz from ytravelblog.com agreed to talk to us we got really excited. As a travelling couple Caz and Craig have been on the road since 1997 visiting 35 countries and living in 5. Now they have a young daughter Kalyra and they are showing the world that you can travel with children. As one half of a travelling couple myself i find it great to see how they have built an amazing family life around travel.
So Caz, you can now claim you have seen the world, what has been your favourite travelling destination?
South East Asia for its relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches, exotic cultures, delicious foods, and warm and friendly people that live there. I love to go to SE Asia so I can get back in touch with simplicity and what is important in life.
Africa is also a favourite destination. There is no place like it. The continent is so beautiful, the people amazing and there is nothing quite like seeing wild animals in their natural habitat.
What has been your scariest moment while travelling?
One of my scariest moments was arriving in Dublin after forcing myself to leave London due to personal issues. I arrived alone, lonely and vulnerable with only enough money for a couple of nights stay in Dublin. I just wanted to crawl up in my hostel bed and never see the outside world again.
It wasn’t really scary as in an abrupt threat to my life, but it was in a more subtle version. I had to face my demons and fears and make a decision. Give up or find a way to move on. Thankfully, a strength I didn’t know I had rose to the surface and kicked my butt out of bed. I have never looked back.
That afternoon I found a job in a pub, the money came flowing in as did new friends and good times. It was a turning point of my life. Something that was once so fearful became my greatest inspiration and lesson.
What qualities do you feel you must have or skills you must learn to be able to travel as a couple?
I think teamwork is essential. You have to focus on your relationship being that of a team. That way you focus on working together to get to an eventual goal, you support one another, you communicate well, and you rely on each other’s strengths to help make your journey a success.
You are less likely to give up when you have a team member who relies on you.
The ability to laugh is also important. Laughter will make the great times greater and will help get you through the challenging moments.
As a travelling couple do you find it harder to buy presents for each other?
Yes. The more we travel the less stuff we want to own. I wrote a post on this called Less is More. I think we had so many celebrations on the travelling road that we have become used to not really buying presents for each other but making the day extra special. That could mean staying in a more upmarket accommodation, splurging on dinner or doing an special activity. These are the things that add more meaning to your life and relationship.
You also travel with your young child, are there any places you would advise not to take children?
I think this is a very personal choice as we all have different comfort levels and safety zones. I would never take my child to an area that was deemed unsafe due to war and conflict. Other than that I feel anywhere else would be fine. Some places will have greater challenges then others but you just have to work out a plan to work around that.
I think in Africa I would consider alternative road travel to what I have done previously. I don’t think my heart could stand the fear for my children. So it is really up to what each individual feels is appropriate for them. Never take your child somewhere that you feel will just give you a great amount of stress. It is not worth it, better to go to a destination you will enjoy more.
So what advice would you give to people who are apprehensive about travelling with children?
I would just think of travelling as living your day to day life in a different form. You can worry about everything that can go wrong and all the dangers that are out there, but really aren’t they there anyway when you are at home living a “normal” life.
Travel does not have to stop when you have children. It just usually takes on a different form. You learn to adapt to the new way of travel and the challenges that present themselves.
Rely on support and help from those who already travel with children. Think about all the great benefits you can get from travelling with your child. More quality family time, your child gets to explore the world around him/her for real rather than from a text book. Think of how the travels will help your child grow, mature, learn, and develop tolerance, understanding and awe about the world around them.
What things do you feel you have sacrificed in order to build a travelling lifestyle?
The sacrifices of a life of travel are many. Some might say you sacrifice a lot financially, but that depends on what your view is of rewards that money can buy you. You can either have materialistic things to show for it or you can have incredible memories. We don’t have anything tangible in our lives to lay claim to but we have a wealth of experiences and happy memories instead.
You also have to sacrifice time spent with family and friends and missing out on celebrations and special events with them. This gets easier to do the more you travel and the more you form new friendships and bonds with those around the world.
It doesn’t matter what goal you are trying to achieve or lifestyle you are trying to create, sacrifices will come with it. You just have to work out if the rewards are worth it for you.
Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
I would have to say that the person who inspires me the most in regards to travel is my brother Stilts. It was his travel stories that first inspired me to start in 97 and keep going. He has been travelling longer than me and is always on a new adventure. Whenever I need advice about what to do next, I phone him and he always sends me on the right path and gives me new destinations to think about.
A couple we met travelling through Laos who were with their 3 year old and 9 month old child actually inspired Craig and I to realize that our travels did not have to stop once we had kids. We will never forget that family and what they showed was possible for us.
If you could go back in time to before you left home, what would you tell yourself?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Chill out and relax when things go wrong on your travels. If you can’t do anything about it then why worry, and if you can, then why worry, as there is a solution.
I would tell myself to trust more in my own instincts. Always go by what your gut tells you. Don’t feel like you have to waste precious moments on those who really don’t love you and aren’t looking out for your best interests. If you really feel like your time is up in an area, then leave straight away- don’t waste time going past your use by date. And if you love an area so much don’t feel like you have to leave.
Save more, see more, do more.
How do you think travel has affected you as a person?
Travel has affected me in unlimited positive ways. I couldn’t imagine the direction my life could have gone in and the person I would have been if I had not travelled. I don’t think I would have liked her as much. She would have been small in her thoughts, opinionated, self-destructive, sad and lost.
Travel has taught me that there is so much beauty in our world and in everyone who lives it. It has taught me that life is so exciting and each day needs to be lived to the fullest.
It has taught me how to believe in myself and in others and that our greatest joys can come when we experience magical things with those we love, be it our lovers, our friends, or strangers.
Travel has made me happier, more at peace, friendlier, kinder, and more positive and tolerant.
Caz has a free ebook called “20 Lessons travel taught me about living an empowered life.”