2018-09-11 - This month, we chat with the Miljian family about life on the road with two young children and find out how they make it work.
Julien (French) and Miki (Italian) are travel journalists, content editors and founders of Likemiljian.com. More than 300 days ago, they sold most of their possessions and started travelling around the globe with their two children — Teo (3 years) and Lia (1 year). Their itinerary so far has taken them to Dubai, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, Japan, South Korea, California, Mexico, Cuba and New York.
30 flights, 8 trains, 10 buses, 5 cars, 4 bikes and infinite taxis later, their journey is far from over (Sri Lanka, India and Nepal are next up on their agenda). We caught up with them to find out more about their adventure of a lifetime.
Many would say it is brave to leave your home and hit the road. Do you consider yourself brave people?
Not at all. We just saved some money for the first few months of our travels and continued with our freelance work. Right now, we can say that all of our income is from our work as travel journalists and content creators. We work hard every day and it’s non-stop — that’s part of the deal, but we are incredibly happy to do it.
There is bravery in every kind of life. Some people love living in the place they were born and others feel the need to find their place on this planet. For us it was the second option! The only question to ask yourself is “what brings me the most in my life?” If what you’re doing is bringing you positive vibes, that’s fantastic! In our case, we are happiest when we are all together — waking up, having lunch and dreaming together… and we found the solution to make it happen.
You’ve visited so many amazing places. Do you have a favorite destination?
We have one place that stole our hearts: Vietnam and all the Vietnamese people we met there. After that, Bali, Indonesia is paradise; Mexico for the whole experience the country offered; and Singapore for being the most kid-friendly megalopolis in the world!
Have you seen any changes in Teo and Lia since you embarked on this journey? How easily did they adapt to life on the road?
They’ve changed completely. Lia was 10 months old and Teo was two years old when we started this trip. Lia started walking for the first time in Bali and Teo started talking in English, Japanese and other languages as we passed through different countries.
The children have experienced incredible moments and hard times, but they have always been patient. And when they cry, we go eat an ice cream and things quickly get fixed ;-). The only thing a child wants is to have happy parents who share happy moments with them. We do the best we can to give them that.
When you were in Japan, you shared an anecdote of spending a day in the local launderette. What are the less glamorous parts of traveling with kids?
Glamour is a word that belongs to our past life. Laundry is part of our everyday life and every time we move to another location (every 4-7 days) we have to deal with a new supermarket or find a new way to have our clothes cleaned. What is normal when you have a house, a place and a neighborhood you know, is no longer a part of our daily life, but this is what makes it so exciting! Every day is a new day and a new adventure!
The less glamorous moments are things like arriving at an unsuitable apartment late at night and having to find a solution quickly because two little children are counting on you. You can get lost in an unfriendly location and sometimes it can hard to find something good for them to eat. There are thousands of unglamorous aspects but millions of fascinating ones too.
What would be your top five tips for traveling with kids?
This is our current top five tips list (but we could renew it every day!):
1. Be relaxed. Be cool. Your kids are the mirror of who you are.
2. Share moments with them. Travel hand in hand with your kids.
3. Watch the world through their eyes. It will transform you into a better person.
4. Prepare a little bag full of toys, books, crayons and snacks (and basic medicine just in case). It will be your best friend during the trip.
5. Plan one activity for your kids and one for you. It is the best way to let them participate in your trip.
Is it possible to ‘travel light’ with kids?
Yes, it is definitely possible. We just have two big items of luggage, one backpack for electronic devices, one little kid-sized backpack and one Bugaboo Bee 5 stroller (it’s the perfect travel stroller, great for every type of adventure and flexible). The only way to travel light is to select your outfits carefully and not take too many unnecessary things. If needed, you will always be able to find the perfects clothes that are suitable for the local weather at your destination… believe us!
Follow the family’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook and on their blog.