The Times Of Amma family believes deeply in travel. We also highly recommend travelling with children as it brings a fresh perspective to travel.
Through 'Gypsy Moms' we aim to to feature Moms who enjoy travel, to inspire those readers who baulk at the idea of travelling with their children.
Today we speak to Pooja Sardana.
In her own words, Pooja is , 'Marketer by day and blogger by night, I am probably the only mommy crazy enough to take a 3 month old to Mexico, Cuba and US West Coast all in one trip, and haven’t stopped since. The family has been to over 50 countries so far. Of these, about 20 have been with our two kids. I also have a personal blog where I share all my travel stories.'
What does the word ‘travel’ mean to you?
Travel is all about the journey, unlike a vacation which is about the destination. I recently heard this brilliant piece which talked about how there is no end point to something like music or dance, the point is to dance. Travel is like that for me. Of course with kids, it can mean yelling screaming and kicking like at home, only now its on the move :)
What is your preferred style of travel?
The name says it all, I am the Backpacking Mama. While I would never say no to the occasional stay at the Intercontinental Madrid or Bora Bora, there is nothing liking living frugally in a new place to really get to experience it. Hotels are hotels inside and could be anywhere in the world.
Have you ever gone on a solo-trip? Could you describe it to us?
I spent about 6 weeks in London on a project many moons ago. So weekends were my travel time and I covered miles and miles on foot. London, Europe in general, is so beautiful to explore on foot. But being a young traveller, I filled my time with lots and lots and I found amazing little shops, performers and art. I will take a solo trip again, but this time I will go slower with emptier days and maybe find myself.
How has becoming a mother affected your love for travel, if at all?
The biggest advantage of becoming a mother is that it teaches you to prioritise ruthlessly. So while my love for travel hasn't diminished in the least bit, I have become ruthless about how much i carry along, about how much slower we should go (much slower), about how much luxury I should expose the kids to (none) while travelling. It is probably the best way I can teach them the many things that one takes for granted in our cozy homes.
Which has been your most memorable family vacation and why?
You know, it's not the whole holiday, but those lazy moments that are memorable about travel. The moment when we were too sleepy and too lazy but the 5 year old daughter insisted we wake up at 4 am to go watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat (well worth it); or the moment when after 4 days of travel we reached the resort at Bora Bora to see the really excited 4 year old and 1 year old peer over the glass bottom of the room to spot fish, or the moment when the excited 3 year old points out the toucan birds crossing over the amazon jungle to the husband and me.
What are your tips for travelling with kids?
There are about 20 and you can find them here.
But the one i would repeat a million times, is to relax. Travel is about discovery, it doesn't matter how well you or the kids are dressed, it doesn't matter if they eat a little more sweet than necessary. What matters is they see you explore and learn to explore themselves, they learn to be more independent.
Let go of the control and let life take over.
Which destination is next on your list?
Our next big trip is to the Yellowstone National Park in the US next year, and the rest of the year is peppered with Mauritius, Mumbai and Jaipur.
The Times Of Amma wishes Pooja a lifetime more of happy adventures and safe travels!
If you are a 'Gypsy Mom' or you know of a Mom who loves to travel, mail us here or get in touch with us via our Facebook page.