This week’s guest post comes from Tristan travel blogger behind The World Is Quite Big. He explains ‘Hello! I’m Tristan, my wife is Charlotte. We have two kids who are ace! They come most places with us and I’m hoping it will make them better people when they are older! Not that I think they won’t be nice or anything. It’s just that travel broadens the mind and that, doesn’t it? We have been travelling around Europe mainly, for the last 2 years. We have now been to over 50% of the countries, and hope to do the rest at some point! When the kids are a little bit older, we will go further afield, not that traveling long distances phases them at the moment. They were one and three when we started this adventure, and I know they loved (almost) every minute.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
I’m Tristan, and I live in the Midlands, but Originally from a small village in the South Wales valleys so I still sound a bit Welsh.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I’m a part-time traveller, with my family. As I’m a nurse, I work irregular shift patterns. My wife will find gaps in my work rota, and book flights wherever and whenever she can! This has changed a bit recently as my daughter is now in full-time school, so it has been limited to weekends and half term time. Normal protocol is Skyscanner and Airbnb. She will book the flights, I will have to do everything else! Accommodation, things to do, places to go and see, transport, and learn the language!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Savings from working. I work full time, and my wife works part-time in the evenings and does overtime around my shifts. Both kids are in full-time education, so childcare is not really an issue, which I know takes a big chunk out of some people’s wages.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
My favourite place was Copenhagen. It was a mix of a lovely AirBnB, warm-hearted people, a friendly city, and loads of cool things to do there. It was really child-friendly, and a mix of all this together made me really fall in love with it! There is more on my blog about it too!
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Not because it was horrible, but just by default as everywhere else has been ok really! Timisoara in Romania. Not really a tourist or holiday destination. Probably like someone from Norway visiting Luton or Stoke for a holiday. Some nice sights, but I wouldn’t go back. Luxembourg City was also quite boring, as was Vaduz in Liechtenstein!
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
USA coast to coast driving holiday is top of my list. I’ve seen a website where they’ve plotted a map where you visit all the key sites in all the states (except for Alaska and Hawaii) on an 89-day driving trip! That is THE goal, which I think would take a little bit of saving to do!
Istanbul is also on the list, just because it seems so different to a lot of cities, with the clash of cultures and sitting on the European/Middle East border if that’s a thing.
Galapagos Island is up there too. So much wildlife and that.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
I know it’s featured on guest posts before, and don’t want to sound boring or repetitive but, a mobile phone charging thingy. I do rely on Google Maps when away as it means not having to carry a map or book around, and also can search for things really quickly, like food or supermarkets etc. iPhone batteries don’t last long, so being able to top it up is a lifesaver.
Things to distract the kids. Whether it’s some toys or games for the plane or a bit of food or snacks, there is always room in the bag for those. The kids have always been really good on our travels, but tiredness and boredom can be an issue when you’re 3 and having to wait in a queue to see the Vatican or whatever.
If the wife and I are lucky to travel without the kids, we take as many books as we think we can read! The luxury of reading a book on holiday is something I didn’t think was a luxury before having kids! That time is priceless.
8. What makes you happy and why?
Being in a different country, and experiencing new things as a family. Even though the kids are only 5 and 3, I genuinely believe that they have had a helping start to life by doing all this travelling. Teaching them new words, showing them other cultures, going to places that they would normally only see in a book or iPad, really gives them a confidence which I hope will stay with them forever. Also, taking pictures of things that make me laugh.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging for about 2 months! My wife bought me a travel journal a couple of years ago. I would write down things like where we went, what we did etc. This was mainly to show the kids when they were older. They were 1 and 3 when we started travelling, so would have no idea that they went to these places, apart from seeing the pictures and that. I wanted somewhere to keep all our memories. Seeing more and more travel blogs on twitter and that had planted that seed in my head. Realising that this little A5 book probably wouldn’t make it another 15 years or whatever, where the kids would probably never see it as it would be battered or lost, I thought about starting an internet site, just to keep things in one safe place. I took advice from a number of blogs, and most said that if you are going to start a blog, then do it properly. Most don’t start out as a ‘business’ but many evolve into it. I looked at a number of platforms and learnt pretty quickly about web hosting and domain names and all that comes with a blog. I’m still very early stages and still have a lot of learning to do, but seeing how successful some are, is really exciting! I still have no desire to turn mine into a business or anything, but would like others to read it just to give them a little inspiration or ideas of places they may not have thought about going to. I’ve certainly seen blogs and thought ‘ooh I’m defo going to go there’!
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
There isn’t really anything unique about mine. Most things have been done before-travelling with family, on a budget, using Skyscanner and Airbnb. One thing you won’t see on mine is words and phrases like ‘wanderlust’ or ‘off the beaten track’ and that. We go to places that look fun or make us happy. We mix culture with history, but also find jolly things to look at. In Rome, we will go to the Colosseum, but we’ll also find a cat cafe. Or in Slovenia, we’ll go to Lake Bled, but also find a hotel with an indoor climbing wall. People that read my blog say I wrote like I talk, which I know isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it helps me tell a story, which I think is really important.
From ESLT – thank you, Tristan, for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels ?