Article by: Brenda Pomponio
Images by @5losttogether
A Canadian family with a lust and desire for travel has been wowed by the Australian Red Centre and is now on a journey back home to Canada but not before stopping off to explore parts of Asia and Europe. The travel bug has certain hit the family that call themselves “5 Lost Together” and I can just see how these five travelling humans love nothing more than being lost together as they immerse themselves into a life of experiences and creating memories.
Heartfelt Traveller – Dawn from 5 Lost Together
Tell me a bit about your family
We are a Canadian family of 5 living in Melbourne that is absolutely passionate about family travel. We believe there is no one right way to travel with kids and like to share our travels on our blog, 5 Lost Together. We seek out any opportunity to travel more together and have lived overseas twice, lived on a sailboat in the Bahamas, backpacked with kids and taken lots of conventional trips as well. We have been travelling internationally with our kids since they were little, but we are loving seeing destinations through their eyes now that they are older (6, 8 and 10 years old).
When did travel become a focus for you all?
When I was a teenager my parents took us out of school for a couple of years and we went sailing. This was the beginning of my wanderlust and planted the seed of travel in me. In our twenties, Paul and I got tired of trying to cram these epic trips into our annual leave time. We impulsively decided to take a break from our jobs and travel for 6 months. Once again, this showed us what was possible and furthered strengthened our wanderlust. Once we had kids, we continued to travel on annual leave. But it was an expat opportunity in Malaysia when the kids were babies that really opened the door to longer-term family travel. We are always trying to find that balance between travelling as much as we want to and providing the stability that our kids want.
You recently enjoyed a trip to the Northern Territory. Was there anything about that trip that surprised and delighted you all?
We are moving back to Canada in July and the trip to the NT was our last big Australian adventure. We almost didn’t do the trip because none of us felt a huge burning need to visit Uluru and we didn’t know about all of the other great things to do in the Red Centre. Wow, how wrong we were! It was an incredible trip. We drove from Melbourne to the Red Centre and it was amazing to see the terrain change and to be able to visit all the in-between places like Coober Pedy and the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Two things surprised me the most. The first was how impactful seeing Uluru was. We have all seen a million photos of Australia’s iconic rock, but seeing it in person is magic. It took my breath away every time I caught sight of it and there is so much more to it than just a rock. Secondly, our trip to the Red Centre allowed us to learn more about Indigenous culture and the present day challenges indigenous Australians face. We met with Aboriginal artists, learned about the traditions of the land and how people lived in the harsh environment of Central Australia. It was heart-breaking at times to see the effects of colonization, but it was also special to see the hope for the future and pride in cultural identity with the Indigenous Australians we met in the NT.
Where to next and how do you decide your travel itinerary?
After nearly two years in Melbourne, we are moving back to Canada with mixed feelings. Luckily we will spend July and August travelling which gives us the adventure to look forward to. We are returning to Malaysia where we have lived, visiting some islands and cultural sights in Indonesia and then heading to Greece, Italy and the UK. Our daughter is very interested in Greek mythology so that is driving the decision to go to Greece in August. Our kids are getting older now and they are getting more involved in our travel planning. We believe strongly in the educational value of travel and love when travel can bring history, geography or social studies to life.
We generally travel on a budget which often influences our travel itineraries. We look for countries where our money will go the furthest and are flexible to make use of deals.
What does being a Heartfelt Traveller mean to you?
For me, the key word is “traveller” since I think a traveller is so different from a tourist. When we travel we aim to not only see the beautiful sites and learn about a destination but to interact with local people, to find common ground, to experience.
Any advice you would give other fellow family travellers?
Involve the kids – it makes such a difference if they have some vested interest in the trip. Built some kid-friendly activities into your itinerary.
Slow down – kids need downtime; we find 3 nights in a destination is optimal.
It’s not all roses – social media shows us these amazing photos of families travelling with kids, but travel with kids can be hard. But it is worth it!
You can follow Dawn and her families journey on social media here:
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