Travel Stories Week 40
What's your favourite place you have visited?
My favourite place in the world, over 15 years of travelling has been Bolivia. I love the friendliness of the people, and the astounding scenery here. From the almost infinite Salar de Uyuni, to the cramped conditions of the silver mines of Potosi, Bolivia is spectacular. There are mountain ranges to explore, and the altitude is literally breathtaking. Trek across the Isla del Sol in the middle of Lake Titicaca, or head deep into the jungle in a dug out canoe. Eat the freshest made banana bread in Rurrenbaque, or a ‘miner’s breakfast’ of steak, eggs, rice and beans. Where else in the world but La Paz can you buy an alpaca foetus from an actual witches market? Every direction you look in Bolivia, you feel like you are in a postcard. It is colourful, and vibrant with festivals and market places galore. The native tribal people speak Spanish as their second language, so we found it much easier to communicate with them, both in our own halting Spanish.
What’s the best thing you have seen while travelling?
This is such a hard question. I could answer it so many ways, but they all sound so cliche. Like seeing the sunrise over the Taj Mahal and the beautiful domes change colour from pink to orange to white. Or hiking to Macchu Picchu to check off my biggest childhood dream and seeing that picture postcard perfect scene in real life. How about bursting into tears as I got my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon? These are all the best things.
But now I travel with my children. So instead of seeing these big ticket items on my own, I get to see my children’s reactions to these new experiences and that has become the best thing. Watching their faces light up as our plane lands in a new country and we learn about the history and culture of a new place. Tasting new exotic foods, and hearing people talk in strange languages. The awe on their faces is so tangible. Travelling with children has definitely made our travel richer and is now the best thing I have seen.
What’s your best travel story?
We were in Varanasi, India around 10 years ago. This place was certainly an eye-opening experience like no other. This was before we had kids, by the way. We were exploring the funeral ghats on the river, and stood next to a funeral pyre where a body was being cremated. We paid a guide a small amount of money, and he told us all about the process of cremating Hindus on the banks of the Ganges, in order to break the cycle of reincarnation. He told us they shave the hair off the bodies, then wrap them in cloth and dip them in the river 3 times. It takes 3 hours for a body to be burnt. While he was explaining all this to us, the attendant was stoking the fire, and a flaming skull rolled off the pyre and over to us. At this precise moment, something incredible happened. One of the rarest creatures in the world, a freshwater Ganges Dolphin leaped completely out the river beside us, and then splashed back down and disappeared. My husband and I were already absolutely in awe to be privy to such an amazing moment with the burning of a body. But then we were blown away after seeing such a special sight as this. As I write this now, it sounds so unbelievable. But it was definitely real, and two of us saw it. It is something I will never forget!
Tell us about your blog
We are a family of 6 from Australia who have sold everything to travel the world with our 4 children who are aged between 2 and 9. Currently in Thailand, we are enjoying the pace of slow family travel and we are documenting our journey, including specific tips for travelling with toddlers, worldschooling, and finding accommodation with a large family. We also have a YouTube channel where we share fun videos of us on the road, using our DJi drone and GoPro7.
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