Meet the winner of Webjet Exclusives‘ Travel Blogger Challenge: Evie from Mumpack Travel!
In 2016, Evie and her daughter Emmie left behind their lives in Sydney to hit the road, and then spent the next 17 months travelling around Asia. One of the bucket list experiences Evie and Emmie ticked off during their travels was seeing the Angkor Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Check out some of Evie’s top things to do in Siem Reap with kids here. We also chatted to Evie to find out more about her travels, what destinations are still on her radar, and any tips she has for parents.
What is your favourite city?
Can I have three? Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Paris
What has been your favourite street food?
Pork soup and green mango salad in Bangkok
What is your favourite beach?
Taketomi-jima in Okinawa, Japan
What do you think is the most underrated travel destination?
What is one landmark that has been worth the hype?
The temples of Angkor
What is the one thing you’ve been surprised to learn when travelling full time with your daughter?
Just how easy it is! My only concern before we left was safety, and honestly, we felt perfectly comfortable all throughout Asia and I was comfortable letting Emmie run free. A lot of people ask me how I kept Emmie safe when we were travelling and it’s the same as at home – just be sensible, keep eyes on your kids and don’t take unnecessary risks.
What destinations or experiences are on your travel radar for the remainder of 2019 or 2020? Can you share any of the bucket list items you’re still yet to tick off?
We are travelling to Myanmar in July and to Spain in November. Next year we are hoping to travel for around six months, and are thinking either a van in Canada or Costa Rica and Belize. We’d love to visit Africa too, and see more of Australia. The only problem with exploring the world is that there is so much amazing-ness to see, and I can never get enough of it.
Are there any destinations or travel experiences you’re saving for when Emmie is older?
I’ve never saved anything because I think that even when kids are small, while they might not remember the experience, they will still be shaped by what they see and feel. We have a huge list of things we want to do, and Antarctica has been at the top of Emmie’s for ages – so she will probably be much older by the time we can afford that one!
Can you tell us about a time when things did not go to plan? What happened and what did you do?
It happens all the time! I make mistakes or we get sick or we just decide to change our plans. But it’s never a drama for us because we have the luxury of time to deal with it and move on. We have missed trains, turned up on the wrong date for hostel bookings, been ripped off, lost my wallet and cards, and fallen sick. But it’s all part of the adventure. We just stop and fix it and move on.
What is the most underrated item in your backpack that you can’t live without while on the road?
I think we could get by without just about everything in our backpack if it came down to it. I have a multi-charger that can charge multiple items at once, and that’s super handy. Probably my tweezers and probably ziplock bags which we re-use. They carry wet cossies or food or bits of Lego!
What top tips can you give parents embarking on extended holidays or travels with children?
Don’t doubt yourself; what you’re doing is going to be life-changing for your family. Take it easy and travel slow and know that everyone makes mistakes on the road, so go easy on yourself. Try to not get sucked into social media. Travel responsibly – please don’t visit orphanages and schools, don’t ride elephants and don’t take photos of kids in poverty. Support local businesses, guesthouses and restaurants as much as possible. From a practical perspective, make sure you have the best travel insurance and learn the signs of dehydration in kids. You’re going to have the best time!
How much of an itinerary do you plan before arriving in a destination? Or do you like to just see where the days take you?
I rarely plan, I like being free and not having deadlines when we travel. We’ve had some of our best experiences by bumbling along and falling into things. Generally we will book accommodation a day or so ahead and then work out what we will do with our days. But we always have experiences or activities we want to do, like finding bonfire sea glass in Okinawa or camping on the Great Wall of China. We just make our way there slowly.
Webjet Exclusives would also like to thank the other participants in the Travel Blogger Challenge: Aleney from Boy Eats World, Alan and Rosalind from Frequent Traveller, Megs from Travel Tales, Amanda from Adventures All Around, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age, Anthony from Fair Dinkum Traveller, Joyce from Tot: Hot or Not, Lisa from The Wandering Lens, Katie from The World on My Necklace, and Laura from This Island Life.
Feature image: Supplied.