8 easy steps to saving enough money to drop everything and travel the world

We had already been saving money to take our sons (aged 9 and 11) on overseas family backpacking adventures.   But when we decided to drop everything and travel around Asia for a year, we had to turn our money saving efforts up a gear or three.  We ended up travelling around Asia and Australia for a year.  Below you’ll find the money saving ideas that worked for us. Read More

We’re going home

After travelling through nine countries over almost eleven months with our two kids, we are sitting in the dark on our 22nd and final flight of our year-long Asian backpacking family adventure, bound for Heathrow, London.  It’s 3.30am London time but 11.30am Sydney time.  My body is fully aware that it’s 11.30am.  We’ve had about four hours of uncomfortable, interrupted sleep and all four of us are wide awake.  The sun is shining outside but the cabin crew won’t let me open the blinds. Booo. Read More

Zebra Rock Mine and Campground is a fantastic family owned campsite, run by Australians Kim and Ruth with their daughter Opal.  It’s the only place in the world that you can see the unique 1.3 billion year old zebra rock in the ground, and the only working zebra rock mine.  Only a couple of miles down a red dirt track from the main road, you can go on wetland safaris on lake Argyle, experience the mine tour, chill out in the campground and eat incredible fish and chips.  And all while your kids spend hours getting mucky, hunting for rocks and polishing to their heart’s content.   What’s not to love?  Read More

Whether we were driving in Bruce or tramping through the outback, we got to have a pretty good look around the Kimberly. But it’s always good to get a different perspective on a place and, as budgetary concerns had been left in Asia, we grabbed the opportunities presented to try something new. Horses and helicopters aren’t traditional bedfellows, but they’re both spectacular ways to get around, and the 108 minutes we spent either in the saddle or in the air were some of the most memorable of the three weeks we had with Bruce. Read More

Everything I read about climbing Mount Kinabalu said it was hard. Really hard. Even the Book of Opinion (our Lonely Planet Guide Book) includes an amusing section about the pain, physical and emotional, you go through during the climb.  But how about climbing Mount Kinabalu with kids?

The internet told me that people from the age of seven to eighty years have climbed it, but that it’s probably best to wait till the age of at least ten. And it’s expensive too. Really expensive. So we’d discounted it as an option. But I still had a niggling feeling in the back of my mind. My irrational fear of regretting not doing something and my dislike of missing out on things was quietly gnawing away in my brain. Read More

Of all the crazy things we’ve done, drifting down the swollen, crocodile infested Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo in a little boat in the pouring rain, watching an orangutan building his nest thirty metres up in a jungle tree whilst hornbills circle above and pygmy elephants wander along the river bank has to be in our top five.  If you are planning Borneo adventure, a Kinabatangan river tour in this unique wildlife sanctuary with Mr Aji Expeditions is a must. Read More

The blurb on Bako National Park in Malaysian Borneo says it has bearded pigs, proboscis monkeys and winged lemurs. I didn’t really expect to see any of these things in the wild.  But I thought we’d have a lovely few days sleeping in a slightly damp hut and going for lovely walks. Bako was the first National Park in Sarawak, opened in 1957. It’s also one the smallest, but almost all the plant species on Borneo can be found here. And it’s only an hour on slightly dodgy Bus No.1 from downtown Kuching. Bargain. Read More

We’ve spent three days in Bako National Park, and it’s hard to imagine a more jurassic, a more alive, or a more astounding place in the world. As I write this, the tree canopy is swaying, signalling the early morning arrival of the local long-tailed macaque tribe on their breakfast foraging expedition, and the air is alive with the sound of a hundred different species of bird and insect getting busy with the day. I know that if I look hard enough, somewhere in the tree opposite there’s a perfectly disguised winged lemur folded up and pressed against the trunk, sleeping vertically after being up all night hunting. And a massive bearded pig has just strolled casually from underneath our house, he probably slept there last night. Read More