Travel is one of life’s great eye-openers, teaching us about other cultures and many often unexpected things about ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to travel often as children, providing us with this insight at an early age. Others worry that, once a baby is on the way, that’s the end of their ability to travel often and enjoy themselves. As neither of your Talk Travel Asia co-hosts has children of their own, we’ve invited an expert to share her years on the road, traveling with children in Asia.

Alyson Long and family on the road in Asia (courtesy of Alyson Long)

Trevor: I was lucky to travel a lot as a kid. We would take off to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Hawaii, Venezuela –anywhere with a nice beach where we could forget about Vermont winters for a week or so. I can’t even remember a fraction of all those experiences but I know that it made a huge impression on me. I was exposed to so many different cultures and languages and foods, by the time I was an adult and jumped on a plane to Asia for my first time, I didn’t find such experiences as daunting because I did it so often as a kid. 

Scott: Similar to you, I remember traveling my entire life. It was mostly within Canada, not very far from where we lived for the first long while, but we did visit Disney World in Florida when I was about 3-4. Also did lots of camping in summer and went to the Costa del Sol in Spain when I was about 9 or 10. Then there was the family trip to LA and beyond that, I don’t think we really went international, but the value of travel impressed me.

(Courtesy of Alyson Long with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)

Trevor: Many years ago I wanted to develop travel guidebooks for children, like pocket guides that would come bundled with your normal guidebook that was written in kid-friendly language, had activities and information about destinations for kids, etc. I’ve always wanted to have kids so I thought this would be a great resource. Clearly too far ahead of the curve once again as the big travel publications ignored me and I’m still single with no kids! Nonetheless, I imagine such a resource would still be helpful, such as a website like the one our guest today has developed. 
Scott: My Dad traveled much of Europe when he was in the Air Force as a tuba player, so I heard of travel, my Mom went over there with him a number of times, and for some reason, my parents encouraged me to save up and travel for a year when I was 20-21. Not sure why they suggested that but that really, truly changed my life. And when I said I was going to move here to start a travel company they didn’t bat an eye. They are super cool and more worldly than their actual travels at the time.

Guest intro: Along with her husband and sons, Alyson Long is the main voice of the World Travel Family blog. Alyson is a travel blogger and published writer, including a popular book about why she loves homeschooling and is therefore also well known in alternative education circles. After gaining her degree in zoology and comparative physiology she went on to become a chief medical scientist in London hospitals before switching to blog creation, full-time motherhood and the combination of the two culminating in World Travel Family blog. There she shares her experiences traveling or backpacking with kids for over six years, mostly in South and Southeast Asia but has also written about travel to northern Asia, China, Tibet, Mongolia, and the Indian subcontinent. She joins us today from her home in Queensland, Australia.

Kayak tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos (courtesy of Alyson Long)

Questions for Alyson: 

  • Please share a bit of background: where are you from, where are you now, and what was your first travel experience in Asia?
  • When did you first travel with your children, where did you go, and what was that first experience like?
Photo courtesy of Alyson Long


Photo courtesy of Alyson Long

Theme Music by Jamie Ruben

Photo courtesy of Alyson Long
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