family travel blog
Dislikes: Losing my drone
Dislikes: Loud noises
What is This Family Travel Blog all About?
Do you often feel like to throwing everything up in the air and running as fast as you can (well, maybe jogging) into a waiting adventure?
Do you love your family more than anything in the whole world and want to spend as much time as you can with them?
Do you find yourself asking is there something more to life than whatever it is you’re doing right now?
Do you wonder why you can’t be like the average person and live as society says you should, without always feeling like a rebel?
Are you glad that you’ll always be that rebel?
Do you get a bit of money and the first thing you think is ‘where could we go?’
Do you talk endlessly about what life could be like if you just did A, B or C?
I Know How You Feel.
I’m so glad that you found me. I’m Liz.
The founder and author of ‘It’s a Drama’. A blog about travel, adventure, family and wine (because there always has to be wine). It is a blog about how to brave changes- head on, how to jump into an adventure- big or small and live life to the fullest. How to travel the world, live differently, with some money or very little money. Whatever your age.
Meet my husband, Brian. That’s who I’ll be talking about when I say ‘we’ from now on. We have always been world travellers, adventurers and entrepreneurs. But most importantly we have always been optimists. Like any other couple, we have had loads of challenges, some personal, but mostly financial, yet we have always held true to our belief that if you really want to make something happen, then you’ll do so.
We have spent the last thirty years (gulp) chasing after one adventure after another. We have been accused of many things over the years. Being butterflies, of not being able to settle, of upsetting the apple cart. Lots. But guess what? We’d rather be butterflies than worms. How about you?
So Why Did You Start a Family Travel Blog?
I did it not only as a means to document what we are going to be doing and to keep myself sane (sometimes I can’t remember what happened last week let alone ten years ago!) But, to hopefully show you that just because you’re married with a mortgage and kids doesn’t mean that you can’t dive into the unknown.
We have a mortgage. We have two kids and three cats. Actually, we have a dog and five sheep too and as from November this year we are now officially unemployed.
We are throwing everything into the air once again and are about to take two teenagers around the world. Children can be a big game changer. You suddenly see them growing up so quickly before your eyes (that old woman in the supermarket was right you know!).
We could see our two children getting taller and taller, older and older. Had we listened to peoples advice we would have heard that now wasn’t the right time to take teenagers around the world. Now’s not a good time for your husband who is in his 50s, to leave his business and travel the world. You should be saving your money for university fees, not living it up around the globe. No, no and a big fat no!
No. We are living life as it was designed to be lived. To the full. Always looking for positive changes, because change brings adventure and adventure brings experience. And experiencing life to the fullest with my family is what I love!
Want to Join Me?
I really hope that you do.
This website won’t be selling you any courses or any Ebooks, I have neither the time, nor the inclination, and anyway, there are stacks of those around, this is one I’d recommend if that’s what you were after. What it will be selling to you is inspiration. Only this, of course, is free. I want you to know that if we can do it, you can do it. ‘It’ being whatever you choose.
‘It’. That little niggle that keeps whispering in your ear when you’re trying to wash the dishes. ‘It,’ that waits for a quiet moment and then asks, what if we did it this way? How about you change things in that way? Why don’t we travel the world?
That kind of ‘It’.
We are Liz, Brian, Sonny and Tessa. But you are talking to Liz. Brian’s probably fixing something, Sonny is either rehearsing for a play or is on snap chat and Tessa is in her room singing along to her phone.
I would love you to join me. Remember, I’m going around the world with two hormonal teenagers- I’ll need all the friends I can get. If you too are a butterfly and not a worm, pop your name and email into the box below. Drop me a comment, introduce yourself, ask me a question. Don’t be shy. Whenever I scour the internet I long for a friend to tell me the straight up truth about stuff. Do you drink red or white? I drink both. Grab yourself a glass and read on.
Our 30 Year Story Crammed into 1000 words.
World Travel Before Children.
Back in the late 80s when shoulder pads were a must and men wore eyeliner I met and fell in love with Brian.
We discovered that along with many other things, we shared a love of travel, adventure, good food and wine. While our friends were spending money on hotels and package holidays we preferred to put a cheap tent into the back of our beloved red Peugeot 205 and head off to some beautiful woods where we could camp, build a fire, cook camp food, drink wine and star gaze. All without being disturbed.
Meet Brian! Sorry about the quality but this was travel in the 1990’s! Waiting for it to go dark so we could star gaze.
We went all over Europe in our little car called Poo. (French for amazing) She took us from the tip of The Uk to the Greek island of Paros, all in one summer and usually on the dregs of her diesel tank. It was an amazing adventure. We spent three blissful months living under a tree in Greece, and it was while we were there we decided that rather than go back to the Uk and settle down like most of our friends, we would work our way around the world, funding our travels.
Driving home from Greece through Italy, we stopped for a few days in Verona, home to the famous Capulet house as mentioned in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliett. I sat and posed for a photo and Brian pulled out a little ring that he’d been stashing in his rucksack for the whole summer, and proposed to me! It was all very romantic, and of course, I cried. I always cry. You’ll learn that about me.
Our wonderful little car “poo” she took us all over Europe, usually on the dregs of the diesel in her tank.
The next ten years saw us frying fish and serving cocktails in Greek tavernas, tiling bathrooms and pouring wine in France, guiding people down ski slopes and then returning to a 5-star chalet to cook a gourmet meal for 10 guests in Whistler, Canada.
We had the time of our lives. We had no worries other than where to travel to next, and we had one adventure after the next. We weren’t wealthy, but we were time and freedom rich.
Now thats what you call a mobile home. She never once let us down driving thousands of miles across Europe.
Time for a Change.
As I approached my 30s, my biological timex started to sound like a massive grandfather clock. I began to dream of having a family and settling down. We were also keen to start our own business. We had found ourselves to be very popular hosts amongst our Canadian Chalet Company guests and so decided to return to England and try our hand at running a cafe. With the meagre savings that we had, we bought a cheap little greasy spoon in the historic city of Bath and over the next four years transformed it into a beautiful, chic cafe.
The money was good, although the hours were incredibly long and we found that if we wanted to travel it was usually an expensive city break to Paris or Venice. Not really our style, but, hey.
Welcome our Children. Sonny and Tessa!
Welcome our children, Sonny and Tessa! If you are to be part of this family then you must enjoy camping and lighting fires!
In 2001, our first baby was born. A little boy, Sonny. A few years later in 2004, Tessa our daughter joined the party. Because I wanted to spend every hour I could with my babies, we sold the cafe and Brian started a property development company. That’s a posh name for buying an old run down house and making it beautiful. This was before the 2007 crash when everyone was able to get big mortgages. Brian did all of the major work as he is a multi talented tradesman and I would often take the kids round to whichever house it was we were doing up and let them play in the garden while I quickly slapped a coat of emulsion onto the walls or lay some turf!
Travel with a Family:
Having this kind of business meant that we had lots of time to travel with our young family. We took advantage of this freedom, taking the family back to explore Canada and America. One year, we imported an American 5th wheel (it’s like a gigantic caravan that hitches onto the back of a truck), and we drove it around most of Europe. It wasn’t a patch on our old girl poo but all the same, we had a wonderful, if not very different, time.
Big enough for you? We struggled to get it through the tiny streets of Europe. All I kept thinking was ‘I wish we were in Poo’…
By 2008 we were very much encased into family life. We lived in a beautiful house in an expensive city. As you can imagine, this brought with it a hefty mortgage and very high bills. I had to go and get a job ( I started another cafe), and Brian was working all the hours under the sun in his own heating business. We realised that we were living to work, not working to live. We felt trapped by school restrictions and financial pressure. Living in Bath felt claustrophobic. We longed for the days of freedom and adventure, of space. Of making do with what we had, rather than needing more and more to make us happy.
Time to emigrate to the other side of the world!
We would sit, night after night, scanning the internet for places to emigrate to. We love wilderness and walking. We needed space and somewhere that the property would be cheaper. Somewhere our children would be able to walk home from the shops without me having a heart attack. We wanted seasons. We wanted good wine.
We emigrated to New Zealand.
Think of the reward! Some days will be really hard. Living the dream in New Zealand isn’t always easy, but mostly it is!
We have been here for eight years now, and we love it. Of course, no country is perfect, but in my humble opinion, I think New Zealand comes pretty close. You will probably want to read more about my views on emigrating in this post.
What Did You Do When You Got There?
The past eight years have been so exciting for us. Brian started his own business. He is a plumber/electrician and gas fitter by trade and so built a fantastic company with a friend installing European heating systems into the cold kiwi houses.
We took the kids out of school a year after getting here, and have homeschooled them ever since. Because of Brians income and lower house prices, we have managed to live on just one wage. Homeschooling is indeed living differently. It hasn’t all been a breeze and can be very challenging, I wouldn’t say I was a natural but… 7 years later, and the kids are still living (just!) It has been immensely rewarding and has given us the freedom to go where and when we want to. We have travelled throughout New Zealand extensively, but we still have so many hidden places within this country that we haven’t yet touched upon. People ask why we homeschooled and the honest answer is that we just love spending time with my kids and were willing to make that happen at whatever cost. If you’re interested in homeschooling or, like me, you’re just nosy, hop over to this post and have a read.
So What Changes and Travel Plans Are You making Next?
Which brings us to 2018. You know us by now (or at least you must be getting the picture about us!) You will be aware that we don’t stay settled for very long before we start to feel the itch of starting a new adventure, start looking for a change of scenery, a challenge.
We are currently planning our family backpacking trip around the world. We will leave in November 2017. We want to travel to as many different countries as our money will allow. Find places off the beaten track, that are waiting to be discovered. Discover new cultures. Spend time with the local people. Push ourselves out of the comfort zone. Live differently. I’ll admit, the two teenagers were a little reluctant for all of about three minutes, and then, when they found out that there might be wifi, there was no stopping their enthusiasm.
If Not Now Then When?
I love the saying if not now then when? There is never the perfect time to do anything. There is just time. Sometimes, you have to listen to your heart and just take the leap.
I know everything won’t be a bed of roses, of course, it won’t. We are travelling with two hormonal, gadget loving teenagers. But as long as we can experience different things, smell the different air, make memories, be together as the TEAM that I know we are, then I know we will have the time of our lives.
Remember, the reason I started this travel blog was to not only document our world travels but to hopefully show you, that no matter what age you are, family or not, you can do whatever it is you want to do.
If we can do it, anyone can do it.
Just a few little pushes and you’ll be on your way. And once you get rolling, there will be no stopping that butterfly in you!
If you’d like to receive my free checklist, tips on how to decide whether now is the right time to make that change in your life, pop your email in the box below and subscribe. I’ll send you my trusty list. It’s something I swear by when I’m deciding whether or not to take a leap.I promise not to spam you and remember, if you get sick of me going on and on, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Ok then, I’ll stop rabbitting on now. Hopefully, you will now feel as though you know a little more about us.
If you are now ready to start living the life you want to live by doing things differently then head straight over to our START HERE page and away you go!
See you soon,
Dislikes: Losing my drone
Dislikes: Loud noises