For anyone who follows the travel blogging community, Caz and Craig from y travel blog are unsurprisingly one of the hardest working travel blogging couples out there. Between maintaining their own hugely successful travel blog, attending press trips, guest posting and contributing to other blogs they still have time to raise their two beautiful daughters. They’ve accomplished all this while they have lived, worked and traveled all over the world. Needless to say, they are a huge inspiration to me. They’re definitely living the dream- but not without hard work and determination.
In my inspirational traveler series I will be interviewing travelers, bloggers and dreamers who I personally look up to. Despite living crazy busy lives, Caz and Craig were more than happy to participate and managed to take the time to answer some questions- to which I am utterly grateful.
Ready? Set? Let’s chat with Caz and Craig!
Hey guys! Lets talk travel and inspiration right off the bat! Of all the places in the world you have lived and traveled is there one place or experience (or both) that stands out in your mind as being the most inspirational?
Camping through Africa for five months was one experience that stands out as the most inspirational and memorable.
We backpacked from Uganda down to South Africa and had so many amazing experiences with the local people and with the wild animals. Africa just gets under your skin.
You two have been living the ultimate dream- when was it that you decided to live a life less ordinary and how did people around you react to your decision?
I think I’ve always wanted to make my life less ordinary as I think that is what any of us came here to do really. I mean we all beat millions of other swimmers to win the right to life in the first place, so that makes us extraordinary by default. We somehow learn to forget that through fear and listening to other people who want to put us into boxes.
I learned not to listen to others.
I don’t think Craig and I ever set off after our marriage intending to be gone for five years. We decided that we would go and teach in Bangkok and then live in Dublin. Everything just seemed to evolve from then and we went with the flow. Travel just became our preferred lifestyle.
People reacted in different ways. There are a lot of people who have lived similar lives who understood and so encouraged. And then there were those who could not understand why we wanted to travel and so gave us a bit of resistance. You have to learn to shut them out. You cannot ever let someone else define your life for you.
What advice do you have to those who look to travel as an unconventional lifestyle?
Just do it. If you feel that travel is calling you then don’t listen to anyone else and make it your reality. Travel will change your life in so many positive ways; embrace the change and the growth.
Find those who have done what you want to do and allow them to inspire you and teach you how to do the same.
You have two beautiful daughters who have been traveling with you for their entire lives – how have your travels changed since having them? (or have they?)
They have changed quite a lot. We now have to travel a lot slower and we have to make sure that we involve a trip to the park or an activity that keeps the girls entertained and happy.
We no longer can do certain activities like climbing mountains or staying out until 3am. We also stay in different types of accommodation and are more careful with how we choose to get around. You do think about safety a lot more once you have children.
What do you try to teach your daughters about traveling and about the world around them?
I most want them to learn how to be flexible and adaptable, as this is the key to our survival and I think maintaining a sense of inner peace. I want them to understand that they have the power within themselves and the freedom to be who they want to be.
I also want to instill in them a natural curiosity about the world around them and to be in awe of it. I think this then opens their mind to be understanding, accepting, tolerant and grateful.
I think these things are the key to a content and purposeful life for themselves, yet at the same time helps to bring peace to the world. Be the change.
I think travel is the best way for them to learn these things, and it is so much fun as well!
Blogging and running a website while traveling can be quite a challenging combination, how do you manage to do the two so successfully, and still balance a family life?
I have realized through blogging for the last two years just how unproductive humans can be. We waste time on so much meaningless crap. We allow things to take up our mental energy and physical space that do not need our attention at all. We have simply become really good at using our time in the best way we can. And I still think I have a long way to go, I still waste a lot of time with procrastination and frustration.
Not only do we have a full blogging and travel schedule with y travel blog, but I also run Mojito Mother, which is growing quite steadily, and I write a thrice weekly column for Village Voices, and we do other work on the side. We can still do all this and have a healthy family life.
So I really believe that everyone can find the extra time to do the things they really really want to do. We are able to balance a lot of the family time with the travel which helps. We also have a lot of family around who can help mind the kids when we have pressing deadlines.
You just really have to get smart about your choices and find ways to make it work and to balance it out. I’d start first by ditching the TV and newspapers, especially any of that news stuff which will only tell you how bad the world is- such a lie!
Also once you have children you get used to existing on little sleep, so we have continued that trend with our blogging!!
At what point during your travels did you decide to take the next step and share with the world your experiences via y travel blog?
Far too late! We have been travelling the world since 97 so for us starting a blog in 2010 was way too late. We have too many stories to catch up on!
We decided to share our experiences because we felt that all the travel we had done and all we had learned was for nothing. We felt like we weren’t doing anything with it.
We were searching for ways to maintain our travel lifestyle and do what we loved without having to rely on jobs and work visas. After researching and seeing what others were doing with travel blogs we realized we could easily do the same. (except it’s not so easily!)
You can read about our blogging journey
You guys have such an incredible following, a lot of travel bloggers, myself included, look to you guys as inspiration. What advice do you have to those who are just starting out?
Be prepared for a long and challenging journey and stick with it. Make sure that you really want to do this and you love it. Have a bigger picture and make it more about providing value to others by way of inspiration and inspiration rather than it all just being about yourself.
We have had so many great opportunities happen to us and we spent a good 18 months thinking that nothing was going to happen and wanting to quit. I look at what is happening for us now and I am so glad we didn’t. You cannot be short sighted. You just never know what is ahead for you around the corner. It made me realise that the most important thing is to just keep going and learn from others how to improve and grow.
What was it like when people started telling you that you inspire them through your unconventional traveling lifestyle? What were your initial reactions?
Thank goodness it has all been worthwhile! Travel blogging has consumed so much of our life, it means so much to us to hear that we have made an impact on somebody and given them the inspiration and push they need to live their dream life.
It’s so exciting to know that we can share the world with others and inspire them to travel and live their best life. That is all we ever want for anyone and we love to support and encourage anybody who crosses our path, no matter what road they choose to walk. We’ve had the dream stealers and naysayers in our life so we understand how crippling this can be; we never want to be like this and so aspire to do the opposite.
And finally to stay in the theme of inspiration, who inspires you and why?
So so many people. Anyone who is living the life of their dreams. Anyone who is kind and helpful to others. We have met so many ordinary people doing this who have inspired us more than anyone.
Ghandi inspires me to be the change I wish to see in the world. Many other teachers similar to him, like Wayne Dyer, have inspired me to become the best I can be and to let my light shine so others can do the same.
Yossi Ghinsberg inspires me to be take control of my fears and to stand up for my dreams.
And Nelson Mandela inspires me to be forgiving and to understand that we can do so much more when we try to heal wounds by forgiving and unite by understanding.
A huge heartfelt thanks goes out to Caz and Craig for participating and providing their beautiful family photographs. Be sure to check out y travel blog, Mojito Mother and Village Voices. You can also catch them on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to drop them a line, they’re always great at getting back to you whether you’re asking for travel advice on a certain destination or just saying hi.
Till next time… Keep on following your dreams, whatever they may be.