As an established head of merchandising, Soraya knows a thing or two about planning for the season ahead, but after the arrival of her daughter Jessica, she decided to leave the fashion retail world to experience a different kind of world, travelling with her family. Soraya, Rob and their daughter Jessica, packed up their home in Brighton to set off for new adventures, seeking out their perfect place to raise Jessica. They wanted somewhere which fitted their outdoor lifestyles and would provide Jessica with a different perspective, outside of her own space. We are excited to welcome our new family travel bloggers who will regularly share their ski tips, travel knowledge and family travel pursuits....
Why family travel, by Soraya.
Jessica being born didn't change our outlook , it just made us more determined than ever to find a new way of life that afforded us time together as a family and allowed us to do more of the things we loved, spending quality time together.
For Rob skiing is a huge part of his life and I love being near the sea, so we wanted to look for our perfect destination that was close enough to both, snowballs and sandcastles you could say!
We decided to hit the road and set off on a family travel adventure, in search of our dream, when Jessica turned three. A kind of pre school sabbatical. If we were going to make a permanent move it seemed fair to Jessica that we found our new home before she started school, so we had a year or so to explore. We also wanted to travel whilst she was still young, as this age is such an important time in building their foundations. We decided to explore further afield across Europe, still close enough to our friends and family in the UK, but somewhere that would provide Jessica with the perfect introduction to broadening her horizons.
We of course could have chosen to travel, staying in hotels or villa rentals, but we felt this would not give the real perspective of a country and it's culture and we really wanted to see the more remote places, get to know other families and not just be 'tourists'. So we took the fun (and harder some might say!) option and decided to buy a camper van and a few tents, not plan for once and see where the road would take us.
Camping Tourist! Where Will The Road Take Us?
Many thought we were brave, bold or just plain crazy leaving our careers, security and home in Brighton to go travelling with a 3 year old. They probably thought all three, but I can honestly say it was one of the most obvious and easy things we have ever decided to do in life. We have grown together and bonded as a family unit and although it sounds cliched travel has enriched all our souls.
Travelling as a family, with Jessica still so young, has certainly enhanced our experience. We had both previously backpacked in Asia and South America but this was something else. We made the leap into parenthood with a life change that would benefit us all.
We travelled through Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Switzerland and France to name a few. Everywhere we visited welcomed us with open arms and having Jessica with us broke down many barriers. We were positively embraced and Europe is so family orientated Jessica was spoilt wherever we went. She was bequeathed with gifts, free meals and entertainment so often that we started to joke it was like travelling with the Dalai Lama.Learning to Ride Italy Portofino Family Travel
A year on we have now settled in France and happily fulfilled our dream, now our days are filled with ski and surf and Jessica easily surpasses my French! It has not always been a smooth ride, but we now have the strongest family unit and an enriched life fulfilled with Snowballs and Sandcastles...
You can follow Soraya and her family and learn more about their relocation with a young child in tow, along with ski tips and relocation advice via our blog post and on our twitter, Facebook and instagram accounts.
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