Emiel of ActOfTraveling is from the Netherlands and has been traveling since 1994 when he went to Turkey with his wife, fast forward twenty years and he’s still traveling but this time as a family with his 2 kids. They’ve been to more than 20 countries in 4 continents – Europe, America, Asia and Africa – and love to experience different cultures.
When he’s not working as a Marketing Communication Manager, he spends time writing about traveling which is his favorite hobby. Plans for the future? A trip to Asia, for the sixth year in a row!
He’s answering our questions and sharing with us his experiences and thoughts.
1. How long have you been travelling?
20 years! Not full-time of course, but me and my wife went on our first trip back in 1994. That trip was to Turkey. From that day on we traveled extensively from Europe to Asia and South-America. The travel was put on hold temporarily when we got our two kids. But when the youngest was 4, we went on our very first family trip to Morocco. My blog is slowly becoming a travelogue full of inspiration for traveling families (and of course travelers without kids!).
2. Which one of you trips was the craziest one?
India! The two of us traveled to India back in 1998 (for the full treatment, including the infamous Delhi Belly). The country is crazy! Chaotic and dirty but so impressive and full of hidden layers. We really wanted to show the country to our children. So we went two years ago for a short trip of 10 days…. they could not believe that a country like that was for real. But it is!
3. What is the best advice you can give about traveling as a family?
Take it easy! From our first family trip we decided to take is slow. Not hurrying from one highlight to another, but to spend more days in one place than you would without having kids. We call it slow travel. And actually we love the concept of slow travel: it really makes you immerse in a different culture or a local community.
4. If you could travel back in time, where would you go? Why?
Japan 1996. I studied Japanese and spent a couple of months in the country working for a Japanese company. After those 3 months my wife (girlfriend at that time) came over for some serious backpacking. No email, no social media, no internet. Just us in a mysterious country. I would love to revisit that trip…
5. If you could pick only one song to listen while you travel, which one would it be?
No idea. I don’t carry any music while I travel. I just want to enjoy the sounds around me: sounds of the jungle, the crowded city, the chanting of monks…no Western style music for me while traveling!
6. What’s the most incredible thing you have ever experienced in one of your trips?
It becomes incredible when you return and realize what you have seen in your life while traveling the world. If I write down all the iconic landmarks and the wonders of the world we have seen….that’s what I believe is incredible!
Taj Mahal, Macchu Pichu, Golden Temple of Kyoto, Statue of Liberty NYC, Valley of the Kings Luxor/Egypt, Burj Khalifa Dubai (highest skyscraper in the world), Statue of Christ Rio de Janeiro, Ait Benhaddou Kasbah Morocco, Angkor Wat temples Cambodia, Blue Mosque Istanbul and all those other famous European cities like Rome, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona,… pretty amazing all together. It’s so incredible that we are able to travel and see all these beautiful places! That’s what we keep on reminding each other about.
7. What’s your most and least favorite destination? Why?
Asia is our most favorite destination. The ease of traveling with your kids, the wonderful food, the overall friendly people. We will travel to Asia again for the 6th consecutive year.
Least favorite? Cold countries! We don’t like to travel to somewhere chilly or cold…also because we travel light :)
8. What does make you feel more at home when you are travelling?
My wife and kids. When we travel with the four of us, we strengthen our family ties. We share with each other, we discover and have fun with each other. Being together with the family is like home whereever we travel.
9. What is your favorite hobby while you’re not travelling?
Writing about traveling! Really, my blog is my hobby. I have a dayjob as a marketing communications manager, but in the evening and weekends I just have to share my stories and experiences. My blog is my travel journal. I am so glad I started writing about travels almost 5 years ago.
10. Anything else you’d like to mention?
To all the families out there that are still a bit afraid to travel. Don’t be. It is much easier than you think. People are so happy when you travel to their country with your children; they respect that and everybody is willing to help. Crush those travel fears.
And to GoWithOh: keep on doing a great job!