Three months of family travel – the kids report!

In front of our AirBnB in Sofia, Bulgaria

A quarter of a year, three months, eights countries, and twenty-one temporary homes.  Time for an update.

You guys hear from me often enough.  Linds promises to do her own blog post again soon (she’s doing great).   We know you’re wondering how the boys are doing.  Well, here you go.  Unedited, unscripted.  Their words.

Writing in the sand in Gandia, Spain

Eli, 7

I like travelling becuze we get to try new foods.

And I also like going on preety much the other side of the wrould finding new expereinsis that we have never done before.we are learning more every day.we are finding things that we can learn and I am learning ballgairein right now.I can’t deside what my fairote part of this trip I would say that all of the parts were the best.I also loved the tours here.


Ben, 9

I am very happy with the way we’re traveling in Europe. We usually travel to a country close by, like from Czech Republic to Poland, instead of going to Japan from Czech Republic. It’s pretty fun to see changes in language like from Spanish letters to Bulgarian letters.

I’m 3 months in and I already feel like an expert traveler . I can say that I went to Iceland, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria and it’s pretty rare for someone to be able to say that.

I loved Iceland mostly because of the climbing but I do like all the geysers and waterfalls too. When we went to Iceland’s national park it was like a dream in reality, we got to climb 2 or 3 metre high cliffs and some really big rocks, we even got to jump over craters.

Another of my favourite places is Czech Republic I liked both Prague and Brno so don’t insult me that I didn’t choose one. Anyway I liked Prague because of a big square we would go to on the subway. It had almost everything! It had the world’s finest toy store, it had traditional dessert stands and it even had a few museums.

There’s so many good things about Brno that I won’t be able to say them all, but I’ll tell you about the birthday surprises which were a lot of fun. When we went caving in Punkva for Eli’s birthday we got to see stalactites and stalagmites, some were about a centimetre from touching each other. For Daddy’s birthday we went to Riverva water park where we slid down huge and twisty slides and then we ended up in deep water.

Lastly Gandia,Spain was awesome because all sorts of fun things were close by, there’s a beach, playgrounds, an arcade, you name it! We usually went to a park shaped like a pirate ship which was a lot of fun and sometimes we went to the beach and tried diving or jumping into the big waves. The owners of the apartment we stayed in went out for dinner with us twice and we got to try some traditional Spanish foods.

That’s one way I explain how I love traveling.

Jake takes in the Roman ruins in Sofia, Bulgaria

Jake, 11

We have been traveling for three months! Woo Hoo! These are Paragraphs about my favorite Places and favorite parts on our travels so far. I hope you enjoy.

My Favorite Places:

So far my favorite places are Dublin and Iceland. I really enjoyed Iceland because I was new to this traveling thing. In iceland I really enjoyed the secret lagoon, the geysirs, gullfoss falls and the landscape in general. Also our AirBNBs were really nice. I really, really liked Dublin as well. One of the reasons I really liked Dublin is because of the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus that we road every day to get to different places. I also learned a lot about Ireland’s history on it. Another highlight about Dublin was our hostel it was really nice their because we got to see a whole bunch of other travelers their which I thought was really cool! In our hostel we also got a free breakfast every morning which was pretty great. Those are my favorite places so far and I hope I will have more in the next three months or so.

My Favorite Part:

My favorite part of our travels so far is our sailing week in Mallorca. I loved it so much. I’ve never even been on a sailboat before that week. When I first got inside it was surprisingly big. I shared a cabin (room) with my older brother Owen. We went swimming with the fish pretty much every day which I thought was truly amazing. One day our captain, Johnathan wanted to show us what big waves were like so he took us into two metre high swells which was very fun and exiting. It didn’t seem to faze Eli though, he just sat in his cabin reading on his Kobo which I thought was pretty impressive. On the sailboat we ate very good meals like spaghetti, a tuna rice vegetable thing and lots of cheese, crackers and salami, yum! The sailboat week was so awesome that it made me want to get one!

Owen and some DNA at the Science Museum in Valencia, Spain

Owen, 12

I can’t believe it. We’ve been traveling for three months. You would think now I’ve gone to enough places to say which is my favourite. Right? Kind of, I have two, Valencia and Sofia.

Valencia, Spain. Valencia was great, there was so much to do but we had so little time. We were able to go to Gullivers Park, which was the biggest park I have ever gone to. It is a huge Gulliver from the story “Gulliver’s travels” turned into a park, where you can slide down his coat and climb up his hands. We were also able to go to their science centre as a late birthday present for me. That was great too.

Sofia, Bulgaria. Oddly enough I’m typing this in Sofia right now, sitting at a desk in the most quirky (at least for a Canadian) bedroom ever. There is so much unnoticed history here that makes me so happy that we did two walking tours, they are the two best tours I’ve ever been on. It is also a nice place in general. The food is great, which is a big plus one if you’re talking to me. I especially like the chicken with sauce and vegetable risotto.  

I think both of these cities are places that we have to come back to a one point for sure.

I love reading what the kids have to say about this full time travel thing – not just their thoughts but how they express them.  Funny that the things that are most memorable for them are often things I barely notice.  I wonder how they will remember these three months in a year or ten from now.


  1. It is truly wonderful to hear the boys’ experiences. As I was reading them, I could just hear their voices ringing with the excitement of it all!

  2. Sounds like all the boys are really enjoying their travel, the food and fun activities! Thanks for sharing your great stories 😊. I’m enjoying living vicariously through you 💕

  3. Eli: Totally you’re like on the other side of the world! If you were to draw a straight line right through the globe from where you are, what country or ocean would you be in?

    Ben: Changes in language lettering is really cool for sure. I think it’s neat to see Mandarin symbols. Are there any languages so far that you prefer the sound of?

    Jake: Swimming with the fish would have been really neat. How was the water visibility? Would the water conditions (like garbage and pollution) compare to say, Lake Ontario?

    Owen: When you’re visiting the different Science Museums, are you getting a sense of the different countries and their specialties? Like the USA is big into NASA but what about some of the smaller countries?

    Keep the adventures coming guys! It’s great to hear your experiences.

    1. Hi Mrs. Maves. I miss you!
      That was a fun and tricky question that you asked me.
      I didn’t know how to answer the question without a globe. I asked my dad for some help. We watched a video on Youtube ( It helped me understand and then we started doing latitude and longitude on a map and paper.
      Right now we are in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. If I drew a straight line through a globe I would be in the South Pacific Ocean, east of New Zealand.
      I also learned a new word while I was working on your question: antipode – the direct opposite side of something.
      Thanks for your great question! I am having a great time traveling!
      From, Eli

    2. The best language for me so far is Czech because it is very easy to learn like “dobre den” meaning good day and hello is pronounced “dough-bree-den”. I learned Czech using a great app called Duolingo. Each place we visit, we try to learn a bit of the language. My second favorite language other than English, is Bulgarian because the letters in Bulgarian sometimes are similar to pictures like the “b” looks kind of like a musical note. Sometimes we saw familiar titles that looked pretty funny. You should google McDonalds in Bulgarian. It looks really different. It still didn’t make us want to eat there.
      Thanks for the question Mrs. Maves and for following along with us.
      From, Ben

    3. I think the smaller countries, especially older ones, don’t have a specialty in an area of science. What they do have is history, and often in their history they have scientists that lived in their country long ago who changed the world that we live in today. For example, in the Valencia science centre they had exhibits on some famous Spanish scientists like Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who mapped the brain and won a nobel prize for it. I hope this answers your question. 🙂

    4. Pollution:
      Did you know in Lake Ontario there is one tonne of garbage per square km. And in the Mediterranean Sea there are 10.3 tonnes of garbage per square km. Most of the garbage in the Mediterranean comes from Spain.

      Even though the Mediterranean has 10 times as much garbage as Lake Ontario the Mediterranean is a lot clearer. Which is because of how slow the water is flowing into the Mediterranean. But because it’s so slow it has smaller fish.

      My experience:
      I really enjoyed swimming off the boat because I could see through the water so clearly and you get so close to the fish. In Lake Ontario you can’t even get close to the fish. I thought swimming in the Mediterranean was super cool!

      Thank you Mrs. Maves for the question, I really enjoyed answering it.

    1. You’re welcome! I hope it shows how interesting it is to travel with the kids. They say “Wow!” at totally different things like ice cream and stray cats. Adds to the richness.

  4. So it sounds like you are loving these travels. I’m Lucas and I’m 11 and I’m going to do what you are doing next year. I’ve been watching your videos and it seems amazing that you are able to this wonderful trip. Since you sort of seem like kid traveling experts (which is awesome!) I wanted to know if you have any tips or tricks as a kid traveling. 🙏🏼 Thank you!

    1. Hi Lucas! We are so happy that you are reading our blog and watching our videos! I read your question to the boys just now. Here is what they have to say:
      Owen: I thought we would be exploring all the time but there is actually a lot of down time, so I would plan things to do. There are lots of great learning websites and apps, but it’s also good to have non-computer activities. An ereader (Kindle) is great, especially if you can download books from your library. Have you mastered the Rubik’s cube? – that’s a good one. Sketch pad. Your own camera.
      Jake: I would suggest bringing some kind of MP3 player (I like music). It’s also really great to be able to say “thank you” and other basic phrases wherever you go. DuoLingo is a great app to learn languages. And it’s fun too.
      Ben: Make sure you get your friends’ email addresses before you go. Google Hangouts is a good app to keep in touch. I love to build things, but we didn’t have room for my Lego so we have these little blocks called Plus Plus which are really fun and easy to pack.
      Eli: I love going to parks to play. It is a great place to meet other kids. You don’t even have to speak the same language to play with them. So my tip would be to visit as many parks as you can.

      Hope that helps, Lucas – thanks again for the comment. We are so excited for you!

      1. Thanks for the help guys. That helped a lot. I also thought it was going to be all adventures. Thanks for letting me know there is a lot of down time. Also I love music too so that is deffinetley a smart idea 💡. Thanks for letting me know about that website. I was worried about not seeing my friends for a while so that helps a ton! Also I’ve been starting Duolingo. I’m taking French classes and I already know a sentence or two. Parks are always fun no matter where they are. I’ve never been to park outside of the country so that will be super fun and would be a really good experience. Thanks again, I’m so excited 😆!

  5. This post brought tears to my eyes! It is so beautiful to hear how simple the experiences are that the boys love most. We think of world travel as something so grandiose, and yet the reasons the boys fell in love with certain places, are due to seeing the world through a lens of simplicity. I love that. Miss you guys!! xo

  6. Ok – I LOVE this post! It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to know your boys better and to see the adventure you are on through their eyes.
    First off – their writing is excellent! I know, because we have a 10 year old currently in Grade 5, so right between Ben and Jake’s age. One of the ways we get him to practice writing is to describe things we have been doing, whether on a trip or just everyday things at home.
    Although we haven’t traveled like you guys, we have also been amazed at what our kids remember from trips. What we consider mind-blowing experiences as adults can sometimes barely register on their kid-radar. When we ask them, for example, what they remember about our trip to Boston ~4 years ago, they both agree the most fun thing was playing freeze tag in this big square (see…even I don’t remember exactly where it was and it doesn’t actually matter) and running through the fountain there. And we remember it too because it was obvious they were so blissfully happy – an experience that cost nothing, but created lasting memories for all of us.

    1. Thanks, Jane. All parents think their own kids are amazing, but it’s always nice to hear compliments from other people 🙂 I never tire of reading the things the kids choose to write and how they write it. They seem to intuitively know there are points for style.

      That is a great story about freeze tag in Boston. Rings true for us. Knowing that it’s the little things the kids enjoy and appreciate the most takes a lot of pressure off. We don’t need to make grand plans for the kids to have a great, memorable time. And we certainly don’t need to spend a pile of money. In fact, we have successfully brainwashed the kids to be averse to expensive activities 🙂

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