Jolene & Andrzej of Wanderlust Storytellers live in Australia with their three girls. They are a whole family of wanderlusters, a family who loves to tell their stories, a family who wants to chase dreams! They are travelling the world and hoping to inspire and entice families to do the same.
We asked them a few questions on the secrets of family travel, future plans, and couples travel without the kids!
When was it that you knew you were hooked on travel?
Family holidays was a part of normal life for me as I grew up in South Africa, however it wasn’t until my first international trip that I realized that I wanted to travel more and ultimately see most of the world! The culture, stories, food, sites of China (the first country I visited) had me hooked on the desire of discovering how people live right across the world. Unfortunately, money held me back and I got stuck into a typical lifestyle of working a pretty routine job to earn just enough to get by from week to week.
This step towards creating a travel blog that is focused around travelling on a regular basis was a scary concept and a truly hard dream to chase, but ultimately one of the most rewarding things (besides having kids) that I think I could have done! Now my dreams of seeing the whole world has become a reality and life has suddenly got a vibe filled with utter excitement!
What’s the one unexpected thing you’ll never travel without?
Well, this one is a bit embarrassing to even mention. I remember visiting Rome and seeing tourist upon tourist posing with the ‘Selfie-Stick’ in front of all the gorgeous ruins. I also remember shaking my head and thinking they looked ridiculous!! I told Andrzej that I would never be caught alive with one of those ridiculous things in my hand. However, a few years later, after getting one for free and trying it out, it happens to be one of the pieces of camera equipment that ALWAYS travels alongside with us, no matter where we go. It is just so handy for grabbing shots of the whole family together, without annoying other people to take the photo for us!
How do you keep the peace when travelling as a family?
For us this is a balance of doing a little bit of what everyone wants to do. Allow the kids to choose some activities. We also travel with tablets and Kindles, and when the kids get tired or overwhelmed, we allow them some ‘time out’ in their own space to just slow down for a little while. Our eldest loves her technology, whilst Lily enjoys getting creative with crafts or colouring in. As adults, we usually enjoy just chatting on the patio, or maybe unwinding with a movie. This downtime, and time to separate to opposite corners of the apartment is a great trick to keeping everyone happy!
Where are you headed to next?
We are heading off to explore Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands in September. We just had a little baby girl, and this will be her first flight overseas! It is such a great destination for families travelling from Australia as you don’t have todeal with major jetlag issues, which is especially beneficial when you travel with kids.
How can parents make the most of a trip alone together?
I think it is important to enjoy the holiday without feeling guilty that you left the kids behind! We started off with shorter weekend escapes and slowly built up the length of our holidays as the kids got older and dealt better with us being away by ourselves. This is YOUR holiday and for a change you get to include items on your itinerary that YOU want to do. It is important to spoil yourself once in a while, and to allow time to recharge those batteries.