Welcome to the 5th edition of our Traveler Interview Series. Today we are featuring Family Travel Blogger Sarah Wright Wilson of The Wandering Rumpus. Sarah hails from kid-friendly Nashville, Tennessee and has traveled to over 20 countries. She shares some of her family travel tips and tricks with us. Check out her inspiring story below.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. NAMES, CHILDREN’S AGES, OCCUPATION/S. WHERE IS HOME?
Hi! We are a family of 5 living in Nashville.
I’m Sarah and I do freelance writing, editing and public relations work while running The Wandering Rumpus. I also love reading, taking pictures, finding hidden spots and street art in Nashville and walking our new pup, a giant 2-year old labradoodle wolfhound mix named Moses.
My husband Brad is my editor and IT guy, lol. He works with a local hospital company, loves to bake bread (he’s currently perfecting his sourdough recipe) and brew beer, play board games, bike ride & cook with our girls…and all 3 of them have them wrapped around their finger!
We have 3 girls, Grace is 12, Lila is 10 and June is 7.
We all love to travel!
WHEN DID YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL BEGIN?
I grew up in a family of 7. As a kid, my dad traveled a lot for work and occasionally one or several of us would join him. When I was in middle school, I read The Diary of Anne Frank and became obsessed with Anne Frank’s story and the events of World War II.
The summer after I read the book, my family went with my dad on a work trip and then spent several weeks traveling around Europe. The trip was chaotic and magical, exhausting and invigorating! Among other places, my dad took us to Amsterdam so that I could visit the Anne Frank House and Secret Annex.
I still remember the smell, the sound of the floorboards, the stairwell hidden behind the bookcase and the haunting feeling of walking where Anne had walked – learning more of her story and her legacy.
We also visited the Dachau concentration camp in Germany during that trip. The experience taught me the importance of travel as a real-life classroom – the significance of travel to not only see the world but as a way to open your mind and heart.
My parents continued to encourage and inspire me to travel and learn about other cultures, religions, stories, and struggles – whether across the ocean or across my backyard.
I hosted exchange students in high school, studied abroad in college and traveled every chance I got. I also grew a deep passion for travel and books and the ways in which the two can teach and be a catalyst for change.
WHAT IS THE FIRST TRIP YOU REMEMBER TAKING BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A FAMILY?
I remember taking beach trips as a kid and traveling to see family in our giant family van. But the first really memorable trip I remember was the aforementioned trip to Europe that was truly life-changing.
With my girls, we travel to see family a lot too but a big trip that really launched our travel with kids was when we went to France and Morocco with the girls. At the time, they were ages 2, 5 and 7 and it opened their worldview so much and reminded me of the importance of sharing travel with my kids.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED THUS FAR?
21, I think. Canada, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, Morocco, Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Monaco, Austria, Poland, Germany, Greece.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION YOU HAVE BEEN TO SO FAR? WHY?
This question is impossible, lol – everywhere I’ve traveled has been unique and special in its own way. I know it’s cliche but I love Paris – with kids or with just my husband. I adore the food, the art, the language, the history. Plus, my husband and I got engaged in Paris so it holds an extra special place in my travel life!
LET’S TALK FOOD. ANY MEMORABLE DINING EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE?
Last March we traveled to Mexico City with the girls. We ate so much amazing food (tacos, churros, pastries) but the most memorable experience was eating ants!
La Gruta is a charming restaurant located in a natural cave and has a prehispanic menu (at the end of the regular menu) where you can order foods from before the Spanish conquered the area. We decided to try the ants from this special menu. Giant ants were cooked tableside until crispy. We then ate them like popcorn and also spread them in homemade tortillas with fresh guacamole.
Admittedly, my oldest and youngest didn’t try them — but my husband, middle daughter and I indulged and have a great story to tell!
ANY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OR CHALLENGES DURING YOUR TRAVELS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
We learn more with every trip – how to pack better, what kind of accommodation we prefer (a place with a kitchen is golden with kids), how to balance activity with downtime with kids. We still make mistakes and It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED BLOGGING? WHY DID YOU BECOME A FAMILY TRAVEL BLOGGER?
I write at The Wandering Rumpus about family travel, kid-friendly Nashville and expanding your family worldview through experiences, books, food, travel, activism and more.
Readers can expect itineraries, kid-friendly activities and lots of local experiences. I love the idea of creating a global perspective in my kids and helping others to do the same through travel but also through experiencing and getting involved in our own communities.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TRAVEL?
I’ve learned that travel is not always easy but it teaches us that everyone on this planet is human. We are so closely connected and it is important to recognize that as we become and raise our own global citizens – to recognize our similarities and embrace our differences.
CAN YOU GIVE FAMILIES A FEW TIPS, TRICKS, AND HACKS WHEN TRAVELING?
- Try to get out of the most touristy locations and experience the locals. Sometimes this is through a local tour and sometimes it’s simply getting a local recommendation. With kids, visiting local parks and playgrounds is a fun and easy way to do this.
- If you love to travel, make it a priority. We put travel among our top 3 family priorities which helps us day-to-day – with budgeting, saving and planning travel as a family.
- We utilize credit airline miles for great flight deals.
- Always bring baby wipes – even if your kids are out of diapers – they help for cleaning hands, tables, spills, or as emergency toilet paper in a public restroom.
ZIPLINING OR BUNGEE JUMPING?
TEA OR COFFEE?
Coffee but I’m trying to drink more tea
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET SO FAR?
Definitely my husband, lol
DISNEY WORLD OR THE REAL WORLD?
WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU’VE HAD?
Banana nutella crepes in Paris
You can follow our journeys by connecting with us below
Thank You, Sarah, for taking time out to share some of your travel experiences and valuable family travel tips.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the Wilson Family as much as we did, and that you’ve been inspired to go On Travel Mode more often!
If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for one of our future editions, please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you have any questions you’d like us to pose to future interviewees we’d love to read them!