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 Dona Xavier.
In her own words, Dona is an SAP Consultant by career, a happy homemaker by choice, a doting mom to her darling daughter, a Food and Travel blogger by Hobby. As a child she was not privy to frequent holidays and often the trips and travels were restricted to native towns and local tourist spots like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Bangalore, Goa. Staying in Europe, she has whole-heartedly unleashed the travel freak in her. She also blogs on food here.
What does the word ‘travel’ mean to you?
Travel is like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise mundane life. Every journey has a story to tell and becomes an integral part of us. It is undoubtedly the best way to discover a Land and its culture, to meet people, a great way to escape boredom, a wonderful culinary opportunity for a foodie like me, duty time for our fellow DSLR and a reason for the shopaholic in me to confess.
What is your preferred style of travel?
I would say I have not really had the opportunity to immerse myself in a true backpacking experience per se as of yet. It definitely tops my bucket list and I am looking forward to go backpacking with my girl squad soon!
As a family we mostly indulge in luxury travel. Every trip is meticulously planned out and every milestone is celebrated with panache. A romantic honeymoon in Paris, a luxury cruise for First anniversary, a candle light dinner under the twinkling skies overlooking the Dubai Marina to celebrate our new home, baby mooning in French Riviera, an exotic sojourn in Istanbul as a family are some of the most prized and cherished memories we have.
Have you ever gone on a solo-trip? Could you describe it to us?
My first Solo trip was to New Delhi. On pretext of Work and meeting clients, I pampered my gut and tummy with some yummy food at Hauz Khas, won a quick trip to India Gate, clicked umpteen pictures in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan till I exhausted the phone battery and rode the Metro train for the first time in my life !
How has becoming a mother affected your love for travel, if at all?
The only change that my little Rianna brought to our holidays is extra Luggage and a Stroller for me to pack.
Our little bunny has been globetrotting even before she turned a month old and has been (touchwood) a happy explorer. Babies, as we all know garner a lot of attention and is often the crowd puller. It was pretty appalling for us at first, but slowly we too started enjoying the attention. She befriends all dogs and cats that passes her way and amuses fellow travelers with her cute act, only to melt our hearts.
Which has been your most memorable family vacation and why?
Hands down it has to be Istanbul. The exoticism, the majestic sunset over the minarets, exquisite blend of both western and oriental world, culinary haven are a few highlights that are not unheard of. But what struck the chord with us was the ubiquitous love of Istanbul! The genuine warmth, generous hospitality and the unmatched affection the locals showered, not just to us but to everyone is perhaps something the present world is deprived of and calls for.
What are your tips for travelling with kids?'
I have this standard travel list saved in my notes that I religiously follow which covers everything from diapers to medicines to international travel insurance.
Short road trips are by and large taken when the baby enjoys her siesta so that a large portion of the drive is comfortable and does not disturb her routine. After all the last thing you want is a cranky child during the trip.
Western countries are very child friendly. So we travel light. We pick up baby food and diapers from the local supermarkets. But we carry lots of pocket friendly toys, books to keep the little bunny engaged and entertained.
Which destination is next on your list?
The city of Angels!! A month long vacation in the west coast has been on the cards for a while now and hopefully will roll out soon.
The Times Of Amma wishes Dona, 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 or Instagram account.