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Guests’ Corner: Million Miler Mom

As part of the latest instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner (which I am so happy to resume), I chatted to family travel blogger, Kristina of Million Miler Mom.

Kristina – a family travel blogger at the lovely Million Miler Mom – first caught the travel bug during college when she studied abroad in Australia and South Africa.

She spent most of her twenties travelling around the globe, exploring all seven continents – an exciting prospect for any traveller!

Today, Kristina is fast approaching her Million Miler status as a traveller – something she hopes to rack up in 2021. This is, of course, the inspiration behind her still-new blog’s catchy name, Million Miler Mom. 

In 2010, she met her husband in Jordan and together, with their three children, they now call San Jose, California home.

Despite juggling a full-time job as an HR professional in the tech sector, marriage and motherhood, travel life for Kristina has done anything but slow down. In non-pandemic times, Kristina aims for a minimum of four trips a year, ensuring that her family joins in on all her exciting, family-friendly adventures. 

Kristina’s goal for her delightful blog is to encourage people (especially those with kids) to travel – so be sure to follow her for all her inspirational road trips, practical travel tips for travelling with kids and everyday insights into life as a working mom, too.

1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?

I actually had a blog (pre-kids) called Do It While You’re Young to inspire twenty-somethings to travel. I started that with a friend I met studying abroad in Australia.

I took a break from blogging when I got married (and had three kids) – but am excited to be back to show families that having kids doesn’t mean an end to travelling.

2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?

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Pre-kids, thrill seeker/adrenaline junkie for sure!

Now, I am a little more cautious and have slowed down the pace of our travels to allow time to appreciate the scenery, enjoy the culture and discover new cuisine.

3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.

1) Definitely Antarctica as one of them.

I went in 2005 and that completed my quest to visit all seven continents. It was so unique and such a memorable experience. One day, when my kids are much older, I want to do a family trip back there.

2) Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls was also super exciting.

It was one of those experiences where you kept talking yourself out of it – but I am so happy I went for it!

3) Most importantly, my 2010 trip to Jordan.

I randomly picked the trip with a few colleagues one day at lunch when we figured out that Petra was the only one of the New 7 Wonders I had not been to.

I booked a trip for a few months later and ended up meeting my now-husband on that trip!

4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?

As crazy as it sounds, New York City has been so eye-opening.

I was so preoccupied with international travel for so long that I overlooked many US places and never really understood the appeal of the big city.

I tagged onto my husband’s business trip in 2017 and had such a great time that I joined him again in 2018 (with our four-month-old son in tow).

In 2019, I took my oldest daughter for New York Fashion Week.

I was thrilled to make my annual pilgrimage again this fall – but, unfortunately, it won’t be happening.

5) Worst (local) travel experience?

I got really sick near Chitwan National Park and there was no hospital nearby. The local doctor had to come to my hotel and put me on an IV.

My group ended up proceeding forward and I stayed back and then eventually caught up with them in Kathmandu.

To make things worse, I had my ATM card declined in Nepal (worked fine in India…) so I had absolutely no cash to pay the doctor and had to borrow from people I had just met on my tour.

6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?

Topping my travel wishlist right now: Namibia, Maldives and Colombia.

7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?

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Many of my favourites these days are in the family travel genre, such as:

Club Bebe Voyage: An amazing community of like-minded parents. It reassures me that there are people out there like me who love to explore the world with kids.

Kid & Coe: It is basically the Airbnb for family-friendly accommodations. Think houses with playgrounds, all the baby gear and other kid amenities.

– Wikipedia: I know it is silly but I love searching an airport and then seeing the“Airlines & Destinations” section. It helps me plan multi-city itineraries seamlessly so I understand the most direct routes and which places I can easily explore.

I also love finding travellers who document their journeys on Instagram… Too many to name! I prefer those who focus on destination tips and amazing photography.

8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

After working from my dining room table for months, I would love a tropical beach holiday somewhere in the South Pacific or the Indian Ocean.

I like places where I can lounge around for one day but still be active and do excursions on another.

9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?

I live about an hour south of San Francisco, California.

If you do want to explore the city, skip the car and take public transport into the city. (Parking is expensive!)

Wear some sensible shoes for the hilly streets; don’t forget to layer for the many micro-climates; and get ready to discover all the personalities of the various neighborhoods.

10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?

California is huge! Many people think it is easy to cover the state – but I would recommend focusing on a particular region, unless you have like a month.

Between the beaches, sites like Yosemite National Park, the big cities and the wine regions – there is something for everyone.

If you do have to narrow down the list, consider California’s Central Coast (Monterey to Santa Barbara)… You won’t regret it!

To read about and see all of Kristina’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit her awesome blog or follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

Thank you very much, Kristina, for appearing in this guest travel interview. 🙂

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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