Holidays with Kids catches up with Helen Janneson Bense of Gypsylovinlight as she and her family chase the sun.
We chat with our cover stars, Gypsylovinlight, about a life of family travel.
Who is Gypsylovinlight?
We are a Finnish-american-australian family of four living in sunny Western Australia. We love the beach, travelling and spending our time exploring nature together.
I always had a vision of living an endless summer and travelling to warm, tropical destinations with my family. I never imagined that my blog would enable us to travel to so many amazing places and make our dreams a reality.
Where do you get your travel inspiration?
I’m inspired by nature, and I’m always looking to explore remote locations and off-the-beatenpath destinations. We are drawn to the ocean and inspired by the simple joys of watching a sunrise and sunset, or chasing schools of fish in the ocean.
Why is travelling as a family so important to you?
There is nothing more important than connection in our family. We value connection to each other, to ourselves and to nature. Travelling together, we are able to build precious memories through shared experience, and we are able to learn and form a stronger bond. Our love and care for the planet and for each other deepens the further we explore and learn about this magnificent world we live in. Travel is such a gift, and a valuable asset to building self-esteem, patience, tolerance and compassion. It’s something we may not be able to tangibly measure, but we can definitely feel the positive changes.
What unexpected things have happened to you when you’ve travelled as a family?
Once during a long-tail boat transfer in Thailand, we hit some seriously rough weather. It started out sunny and the turquoise waters were calm and glistening. We were so excited for our trip to another remote island within the Andaman Sea. Within minutes we were struck with the wildest, scariest weather out of nowhere. It soon formed into a monsoon that lasted our entire Thailand trip. At one stage the waves were so huge, I thought for sure I was going overboard. The skipper seemed confident, but it was definitely unexpected considering how lovely the weather had been before.
Then we have those amazing unexpected moments where we spot beautiful and rare wildlife like manta rays, turtles and sharks. During our recent stay at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, I woke up at sunrise to see two mantas feeding right in front of our villa.
What has been the most memorable experience you’ve had while travelling, and why?
On our recent trip to the Maldives, it was our first time taking the children on a sunset dolphin cruise. Watching their faces light up as they saw the dolphins jumping and spinning right beside the boat was so wonderful. It enhanced the experience for us a million fold to see how happy they were.
What is your advice for other families wanting to travel?
Do it! I know a lot of my friends hold back, worried about their children missing out on school. The world has so much to teach us. Our children are constantly learning through incredible experiences that can’t be taught in a classroom. The most important gift has been watching their confidence soar. The life skills they are acquiring are priceless.
What are your saving tips for families who would like to travel as often as you do?
We always hunt for good internet deals on flights and have joined many frequent flyer programs to utilise the perks. Do your research on your destinations and work out low and high season. Booking just on the cusp of these times can ensure you still get decent weather and a good price.
When we are home, we get back into our routines. We knuckle down, save and work as we prepare for the next trip. We don’t usually do too much or spend too much here at home; we utilise the down time and enjoy some quiet family home time together as we plan and envision where we want to visit next.