We don’t need to travel too far or burn a hole in our wallets to have an adventure with kids. If you live in Melbourne, Australia and you have young kids there are lots of adventures to be had just in our back yards. I have discovered some free/low cost activities that we can do with our young kids to keep their adventurous spirits high, their minds active and have fun filled family days for some good old quality time spending.
Here are my top 5 suggestions for a family adventure on a budget in and around Melbourne….
Caribbean Gardens- Free train rides during their “Babes to Kids” Market held on the first and third Friday of every month, is a great hit with toddlers and younger kids. Free train rides take place between 9.am-11am during the Babes to kids Market days. Continue reading →
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We are an ordinary family of four with an extraordinary passion for travel. We currently live in Australia but we dream of bigger travel plans. I (Shani) started this blog to record our travel stories near and far including our future travel plans. Please pardon my blog writing style since I have not been very good at writing throughout school, this blog was born purely through my burning desire to record my travels and the travel experiences I have gathered through time and not because of my writing talent…. This Blog will be an online scrap book or a journal where we can share our adventures with family and friends.
A Little Bit About Us
I met my husband Raj during University as we started our Engineering degree back in 1997. No it was not love at first sight, it was a friendship that blossomed into love (it worked better for us:)). I always loved travel and convinced Raj to do a bit of travelling within New Zealand and make the move to Australia in 2004. We got Married and traveled a bit more within Australia and Europe before we decided to have a baby in 2009. When our little girl Anisha was 6 months we did our first overseas trip with her. Since then and another baby boy later we have done many more short distance trips as well as another Europe trip with our kids. I really want to travel the world with our kids and live a different life filled with adventure.
Get To Know Us…
Shani (Mum/the blogger)
I am the person behind this blog. Travel has been one of my passions for as long as I can remember. As a child I would love planning trips with my dad and being the one to guide with maps whenever we traveled. I was born in Sri Lanka, moved to New Zealand with my family back in 1994. Where I completed a Bachelor and masters of Chemical and Materials Engineering. I always questioned this typical dream where we study get a degree, work, climb the co-operate ladder, build a house settle down have kids and wait till retirement to enjoy your travel dreams. I have been going against the grain so to speak since becoming a mother. Coming from a Sri Lankan family, doing things out of “norm” is not accepted. My mum will say “well you have to work while you can” and I say well you also have to do the things you want while you can.
No one knows what happens tomorrow, and our lives are so uncertain and short. So why wait?? Approaching my mid to thirties, a panic set in as I realised that there is so much i wanted to do and I have always been waiting for the right time to do it. My decision to not go back to 9-5 work, and opting for an alternate life style where I could be flexible for my kids by starting my own handmade jewellery business and later a cafe was slowly taking its toll on me. Managing a cafe demanded a lot of my time which took away our freedom to travel. I started the cafe nearly two years ago, it was a fun project at the time, even though it demanded a lot of my time. I turned the business around and now it is at a stage where the day to day process runs without me. The problem is the cafe still requires us (Raj and I) to be present 7 days a week to make sure things run smoothly. This feeling of being trapped/stuck… nearly drove me into a state of depression where I felt my I was been suffocated living this life that belonged to someone else. Never before have I realised how badly I wanted to travel and see more of the world, and share it with my family. Traveling with the family is such an amazing experience, where togetherness of family grows exponentially and I feel it is the only way I want to experience my life. being able to travel freely feels like THE most important thing for me right now.
So My mission is to start living that dream of travel since my kids are both young and well ahead in their learning, we can open their eyes to see the wider world. Apart form travel other things I love and enjoy doing are, photography, making jewelry (my other business Kookki Designs), going through old things particularly books (love Op Shops), trying delicious food (always open to try new cuisines) or spending time learning things on the world wide web (love researching things).
I asked Raj to say a few things ….
I was born in Fiji to Sri Lankan parents and moved to New Zealand in 1989 where i completed all my schooling and higher tertiary studies. I met Shani in 1997 while at University completing my Engineering degree and we have been together since 1998. When growing up, I was fortunate enough to travel to a number of countries including Germany, England, USA and a number of Asian countries. As a result of this early exposure to travelling, during my early adulthood, I did not have a major desire to travel. I was happy with that regular dream “find a good job, a house, and settle down with the wife and kids” until I met Shani, she dragged the travel bug into my system.
I now look forward to our travels with kids, which tend to be slightly bit far apart compared to when we were both working with no kids. We are looking to improve on this and find creative ways to see the world.
Anisha (Daugter/little princess)
Anisha is 5, she just started school this year. She is a very reserved, quiet yet sensible little girl, who also shares my love of travel and a bit of adventure. She is a keen observer, and my precious little partner in crime when it comes to travel. She and I often read about the fun facts of the world, I bought her a little kids Atlas where they have lost of facts about countires, when she was 3 that was one of her favourite books she would sit and happily flip through pages quietly, asking me to read about different countries she was interested in.
When asked where she would like to travel to, she would say Malaysia and Hamilton Island. So far she has been to France, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and lots of places in Australia.
Like many girls at her age she loves drawing, dressing up as a princess (Elsa from Frozen is her favourite at the moment) taking photos and playing with her little brother.
Callum (Son/the cheeky one)
Callum is 3 and he just loves to copy his sister and cousin brother, but I am not sure if he fully understands the travel stuff, but he loves to go to play grounds where ever we go. He is an inquisitive fella, who has a lot of “why” and “what does it mean” questions. He is very independent, and loves to figure things out by himself. Also a lot more social than his sister, he is not shy to say hello to people he meets when out and about. He is also the cheeky one in the family, joking around and trying any trick he can think of to get what he wants.
He is also quite keen on sports (like his dad) loves his cricket, soccer, or just playing with a ball. He started holding a cricket bat and playing before he could walk properly. He loves playing with his sister, to the point he doe not want her to go to school. They are the best of friends (most times).
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