If you want to travel the world, you kind of have two options – be rich or work abroad. We took the second option (not by choice) and as a family we’ve had the pleasure of spending time in some of the coolest places in the world.
How many countries have you all been to and which two stand out?
We’ve been to 18 countries but only 13 of those have been together as a family. Top 2 is hard, we’ll give a top 3 – Singapore, Turkey and Bosnia. Bosnia was just a huge surprise because we were not expecting the country to be so beautiful. Just picturesque beauty. We knew Turkey would be amazing with all the history and food and Singapore was memorable because we stayed at the Marina Bay Sands and swam in the rooftop pool. That was for sure a bucket list experience.
Where have you been that was the most kid friendly?
To be honest, the first places that come to mind when we think kid friendly have been US destinations – Minnesota and Portland. Tons of things for kids to do in those cities. Portland has the best children’s museum we’ve ever been to and Minneapolis has the Crayola museum. Internationally, Dubai is pretty kid friendly just because it’s so safe and you will never run out of things to do in the Dubai Mall.
Have you ever wanted to go somewhere but you didn’t go because of the kids?
We’ve never not gone somewhere because of the kids. We generally feel like anywhere we go, the kids can come too. The only time we wouldn’t take them is if we’re trying to get away from them.
What country had the best food?
Turkey and Singapore again for the win! All of the grilled meats in Turkey are amazing! The desserts and the drinks you get in the street like sahlab – amazing! The food in Singapore is more exotic, I guess but we love that kind of stuff. You will basically find a cross between Chinese, Indian and Malay food there.
How do you do layovers with kids?
Tons of snacks, ipad, games, a change of clothing. Let them walk around through the airport, try not to reign them in as much because they’re already tired and anxious, especially if they don’t travel often.
Would you live in Dubai again?
Technically, we lived in Abu Dhabi, but yes! Those were some of the best years of our lives. We had more family time, life was not as stressful as here in America, we could afford luxuries we can’t afford here and close to other cool destinations.
Where would you recommend someone go for a great shopping experience?
Dubai for sure. People think Dubai is all high end stuff and there’s definitely plenty of that but there’s also traditional swap meet style shopping. Global Village is probably the single best shopping experience in the world.
Do you guys worry about safety when you travel with your little ones?
Definitely, but there are general precautions you take no matter where you are. But when we’re in a new country we try to keep them a little closer and shorten the leash. People in most countries are very kid friendly so you have to balance not insulting them with being safe and cautious.
When did you get the travel bug?
It’s funny, we actually randomly won a free trip when we lived in Abu Dhabi. Etihad gave us a flight to Germany and we had such a blast eating through the Christmas markets in Dusseldorf. Around the same time, some friends showed us around Lebanon and spoiled us. There was no going back after that.
What’s next on the bucket list?
We really want to go to Tanzania and do a safari. Azerbaijan and Portugal are also on the list.