As part of this special instalment in Guests’ Corner, a local and international travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to Our Travelling Family, a close-knit family of travellers, volunteering their way around our world!
The Binedell family is a passionate and vivacious volunteering family, currently travelling their way around the world. Karen and Warren (both originally from South Africa) are bringing up their three children – Sebastian, Aiden and Ella – with a sense of purpose, appreciation for the world around us – and above all, with heartfelt respect for the people and creatures who call it home.
Their story (so far):
To date, their journey as a family has taken them from their home base in the UK to Central Portugal, where they sought an escape the frenetic pace of city life in London…
For a while, the slower pace of Portugal seemed like a true treat, particularly as the Portuguese people hold dear some inspirational life values (like a love for family, friends and the community, and enjoying and living life to the full) and accepted them instantly…
But, even with their own cafe and bar, the business side of things wasn’t easy or financially viable in such a naturally relaxed country.
So, the Binedell family sold all their material possessions (barring the bare essentials, of course) and decided to buy a six-berth caravan. With this, they plan to travel the world with their three children, two cats and their dog…
What happens next…
If it sounds like the beginnings of some epic travel adventure – that’s because it is! The plan now is to explore the globe, volunteering, and helping people and communities as they go, however they can…
They are saving every spare penny, and setting their sights on Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America and lastly, the US and Canada – or, at this stage, however far and wide their budget will take them!
Until February 2019, England will be home… but, from there on, there’s no knowing just yet where this exciting and admirable road will lead!
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
Karen: I basically started travel blogging as a way to keep the family informed about our travel/plans without having to update everyone individually.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?
As there are five of us, I think we pretty much cover all of the above…The boys are all thrill seekers and can’t wait to bungee jump, parachute, cliff jump etc. I’m more of a nature lover/culture vulture and could spend hours absorbing the architecture, museums and sites of natural beauty.
All five of us love our food and one of the highlights of travelling is sampling traditional dishes in different countries, cities and villages.
3) Which are your most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1. Paris, France (Ella): Our visit to Paris without the boys!
We met my sister (and Marie Claire deputy editor) Lynette, for a whirlwind trip to the capital of France. We visited all the sites: Eiffel Tower, The Seine, The Louvre, Notre Dame – and, as Ella puts it, “Went to fancy restaurants with delicious steak!”
2. Bermuda (Warren): He felt our visit to Bermuda was worth mentioning. Although rather pricey as a holiday destination the natural beauty of the island is second to none (or none that we’ve visited yet!). We snorkeled in the crystal clear waters, marvelled at the tropical fish, swam through shipwrecks and enjoyed some truly amazing seafood.
3. Central Portugal: This one is probably top of our list as we fell in love with the people, the culture and the country and decided to spend 18 months there… for us, it’s central Portugal.
Far removed from city life, where rushing (for any reason) is simply not done; where traditional family values still stand; where the sun shines for nine months of the year; and where people might not be rich in the traditional sense of the word, but are rather wealthy in ways we can only hope to be: in health and happiness.
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why? (Please provide your home country’s name too.)
Warren and I are both originally from South Africa… but, as a family, London is home. The most eye-opening experiences for us were visiting places we’d only ever seen on television or in books… The Thames, the performance artists along Embankment, the West End Shows, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Buckingham and Windsor Palace to name but a few.
It was also interesting to note how there is very little divide between cultures and classes.
5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?
Booking our first family ‘summer’ holiday in Cornwall: We had three children under 4, chose to opt for accommodation without a television/DVD player etc, as we planned to spend our days at the beach. Only for it to pour with rain for the entire time we were there… Never count on summer when living in the UK!
6) Your top five travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
If we could travel anywhere right now, it would be back to Central Portugal.
A week after leaving last year, Portugal experienced some of its worst wildfires to date. There was a huge loss of life and property. We would love to be able to go back and help our friends and family attempt to rebuild what was lost.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
London: Always pack an umbrella… even if it’s the middle of summer!
For those keen to contact Our Travelling Family with regards to volunteer projects or to work with them, please see their Work with Us page.
To read about and see all of Our Travelling Family’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit their amazing blog. Or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much to Karen, Warren, Sebastian, Aiden and Ella, for appearing in this special guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!
Author: Tamlyn Amber 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.