Young achiev­ers

Holiday with Kids - - In Touch -

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.

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