It’s time for another #RealMomsWhoTravel Interview. Please meet Cath from Passports and Adventures. Cath is an Irish expat who now lives in Portugal with her husband and son. She is a family travel blogger and, through her blog, inspires more families to travel by showing them that you can find education and adventure through cultural travel. As a family they love travelling and have started working their way through their family travel bucket list.
If you are new to this series, it is where I interview other parents (not just moms) who travel with their families. It’s for all moms who enjoy travelling and want to share their adventures, tips and advice on travelling with kids. You can check out some of the other posts in the series below. If you’d like to get involved please follow the link at the end of this post.
The Mum Behind The Blog
Welcome to Cath from Passports and Adventures.
Please share a bit about who you are, your family dynamics and where in the world you are?
Hi, I’m Cath, an Irish expat now living in Portugal after 15 years in the UK. I’ve been married to my hubby for 9 years now and we’re together 19 years. We have one son who is five and who attends Portuguese kindergarten. As a result, he is fluent in Portuguese and is the reason my hubby and I
speak Portuguese like a 5-year-old. I am taking lessons, but boy is it a hard language to learn.
We came to Portugal when my parents retired here so we could be close to family and so I would have a support network whenever hubby is working away. He’s an IT contractor so mostly works from home with some international travel. After 15 years in the UK away from family, who were all still in Ireland, it’s been nice having them so close and having our son spend time with his grandparents.
Before moving to Portugal, I worked as a scientist and we travelled as often as my annual leave would allow. Now that we are not tied to it (I no longer work), we can pretty much travel whenever we want, especially since our son has another year to go before he starts formal school. My parents
have been kind enough to look after our dog when we’re away, although we are looking into kennels to ease the pressure off them. Once he crossed the rainbow bridge to doggie heaven, we plan to take off travelling around the world before our son starts secondary/high school.
The Blog Inspiration
I write the blog, Passports and Adventures, which started life as the parenting blog, BattleMum before I rebranded last year after changing focus to family travel. I felt the original name did not give any clue as to the niche of the blog. Now I write about our travels, create guides for families thinking of visiting where we have, and I share hints and tips about travelling with young kids from our experiences.
Our son has done over 50,000 nautical miles in his 5 years, so I’d like to think we know a thing or two about travelling with young kids.
What was your best family holiday to date?
Our best family holiday to date has to be our two-week USA road trip in August/September 2017. We had always wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park and after rewatching the BBC three-part documentary on the park, we decided to risk it and booked our flights, car hire and accommodation.
We flew from Portugal to Heathrow and then on to Portland, Oregon. From there we had over 800 miles to drive to reach Yellowstone. We broke up the drive there by stopping overnight and then drove the last 600 miles in one day. People thought we were mad to attempt it with a three-year-old
but he loved it.
If you need any tips or advice on doing a long road trip with kids, click on the picture below.
We ticked off most of Yellowstone Bucket List, including seeing Old Faithful geyser, driving the Yellowstone Loop, seeing three waterfalls and we even had dinner with the cowboys of Yellowstone. Anyone who says Yellowstone with kids, especially young kids, doesn’t know what they are talking
about. We made the most of our jet lag and got into the park early to beat the crowds at places like the Upper and Lower Falls of Yellowstone and also Grand Prismatic Spring. There was plenty of bison and our son loved looking out of his binoculars to see what he could spot. We spent four magical days at Yellowstone and would go back in a heartbeat.
After Yellowstone we drove back to Portland, stopping in Missoula for a few days before ending our trip in Portland where we discovered some of the best things to do in Portland with kids. By far, it has been the best family holiday we’ve had to date, and it really gave us a passion for road trips.
Watching a herd of bison in Yellowstone with our son.
What are your top 3 bucket list destinations for future family travel?
Our top three bucket list destinations would have to be Japan, Canada and Mongolia.
My Dad has always wanted to visit Mongolia and we’d love to go for the Naadam festivals in July to see the horse riding, colourful displays and wrestling. Oh, and to see the huge Genghis Khan statue.
We’d also love to road trip around the National Parks in the west of Canada. Friends of our visited the likes of Banff and Jasper on their honeymoon and their pictures just look stunning.
And of course, Japan. It’s a fascinating country with so much to see and do. Temples, geishas, food and much more. Plus we could take our son to ninja training school.
What is your number one piece of advice for travelling with kids based on your experience.
Relax, as hard as it sounds, relax. Accept that not everything is going to go to plan where kids are concerned and at least if it does, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Kids will pick up on your emotions, so if you are stressed, worried or angry, your kids may start acting up. Relaxed parents = relaxed kids.
Thanks for being a part of my #RealMomsWho Travel series, Cath. I look forward to following your adventures. Your advice on relaxing and going with the flow is definitely one that I need to remember.