We chat to world traveller, international TV travel host, award-winning public speaker and Holidays with Kids’ newly appointed Kid Editor, 10-year-old Rafferty Laight.
You’ve already achieved a lot for such a young kid. How did you get started in travel?
My mum works in travel media so it’s always been part of my life, and it has become my passion, too. But she’s also taught me to be open to opportunities, even nerve-wracking ones like public speaking, and to believe in myself. I think so many of the cool things that have happened for me are because I’ve been open to them.
How did you start writing?
I love to read and I love storytelling and started writing for fun. I asked Mum if I could write for our blog and she said OK, as long as I was ready to learn to do it right. She makes suggestions on stuff like how to make a story flow better and adding detail, and makes me edit my copy until I get it right. She’s an awesome teacher.
You also have experience as a travel television presenter?
Yeah, for the past few years I’ve been working with Accorhotels in Asia as a host on their Welcome TV series. I’ve travelled all over Asia with them and learned a lot about the industry. It’s been epic and educational and I can’t thank the awesome people at Accorhotels enough for the opportunity.
What will your new position at Holidays with Kids entail?
I’ll be creating content that’s about kids, by kids and for kids and their families. Epic family holidays are about more than just what mums and dads want, so I’ll be writing stories and interviewing other kids to give them a voice.
So, what qualifies you to write and edit a travel magazine for kids?
I’ve travelled loads and over the past few years have written reviews and features, and interviewed a whole bunch of interesting people about travel. But my best qualification is that I am a kid and I understand what kids want.
How do you fit all this in around school?
School comes first and I get my homework out of the way before I do anything else. As for travel, our adventures are an awesome but unavoidable part of Mum’s job. But she makes sure my sister and I take as little time off school as possible and if we take days off, makes us do schoolwork anyway. There’s no escape.
So, what’s next for you?
World domination! Just kidding. But I would love my own food and travel show one day, like Adam Liaw or Luke Nguyen.
What do you say to other kids who want to chase their dreams at such a young age?
Go for it. My heroes are Richard Branson and JK Rowling because they’ve achieved so much despite knock-backs and failures. Plus, they’re just really good people. They prove that with a little determination, self-belief and kindness, anything is possible.