We’re the Coopers – Stu, Lizzie, Dan, Ben and Sam
We’ve always admired people who are happy with the status quo. Many people we’ve met in life, are truly content living in their own space with the safety, familiarity and routine that this brings. As a family we’re the total opposite – we love to travel, explore, experience, learn, create and find opportunities to grow and contribute. Have we always been like this? We haven’t. There was a time when the status quo felt comforting to us too, but time and experience, both personal and professional, have led us to where we are today – nomads at our heart with an appreciation that we have only one life so let’s live it.
Family travel is a gift, an opportunity. We see our kids grow, gain confidence and be enriched through the experience of meeting new people, understanding different cultures, sampling new foods, being pushed outside their comfort zone and developing an understanding, an appreciation, of those simple things.
Travelling with kids can be awesome but also frustrating and expensive. We remember those leisurely days as a couple, sipping a chilled beer whilst reading a novel or taking in the in-flight movie without interruptions and recurrent toilet visits. Making it though the airport without one of the kids mutilating another passenger’s feet with their Trunkie (for those of you without kids a ride on suitcase), navigating long haul flights, travelling with a large family without breaking the bank and seeking out the best balance of activity to cater for us all has become a skill. We’ve learnt the hard way, we want to make it easier for you (although the hard way often has a lot of laughs attached (OK and tears!)).
We look in awe at families selling everything for a life on the road. For the time being, as with most families, our current adventures fit around work and school commitments, although taking some time out to do some extended travel is very much on a radar in the coming years.
Both born and brought up in the UK, we (Stu & Lizzie) met and quickly realised that life wouldn’t be quite the same unless we experienced it together. Travel was a joint passion from the start. Now with 3 small ones in toe, Sam, our youngest, has notched up more air miles in 4 years than Stu did in his first 25 – his first 3 birthdays were each celebrated in different countries.
After 5 years of should we, shouldn’t we, in 2016 we packed up our house in the UK, watched everything disappear in a 20ft shipping container wondering if we’d ever see it again (have you seen the number of containers those ships hold?!) and moved just over 10,000 miles to Australia, a country that we fell in love with 12 years before whilst backpacking.
Our downtime is now spent exploring the vast country we now call home, as well as jetting off on overseas adventures. We’re often asked by family and friends for advice on travel or things to do which is where the idea for this blog was born.
We would call ourselves middle of the road travellers. We wouldn’t choose a $1 per night dorm bed but similarly from experience we don’t get much from staying in luxury resorts shut off from the outside world (although sometimes the odd couple of nights is nice!). We usually choose to stay in places with character and personality, somewhere where we can be comfortable but also feel engaged with the local area, it’s often nice to have the option to self cater. We rarely take tours, believing that finding our own way often adds to the adventure and so we can take things at our own pace. We rarely wing it though so be it a day out, a weekend or a month long trip we spend hours pouring over the available information – we find having a framework means we cover all the bases.
This blog isn’t all about travel, although you can probably tell it is one of our passions, it’s about living life to the full through experiences, however big or small they might be. From the outset we’ve decided that our focus is not about churning out countless posts, but sharing things we’ve done that you and your family might also enjoy, make your planning a little easier, help you to learn from our mistakes, spark your ideas and show you what’s out there. Some things you might find useful, some things you wont, that’s life.
We’re early on in writing up the travelling we’ve done, so why not sign up to your newsletter so we can see when something new appears. We’re still creating and finding our feet in the blogging world. Like life, it’s a work in progress.
The photos on the website are our own taken on our visits. Remember that every great adventure starts with a dream – dream away.
Finding your way around the site
We’ve tried to make things easy to dip in and dip out of depending upon what you are looking for.
The blog section contains our latest posts separated into broad subject areas.
In the destinations section you’ll find our posts categorised by location so if you’re planning to visit a particular area you can check in for things that might be of use. We aim to provide you with both a feel for the destination as well as advice on how to get the best out it.