Interview Series: Traveling Mama Shauna!
I get emails from single parents often wondering how they could too, travel with children. As I do not have children, I decided to reach out to Shauna. We actually went to the same University and is quite active in the Nomadness Tribe!
As a single mother to one, she does her best and is successfully exposing her son Jordan to the world!
Check out this interview with Shauna on how this awesome mom is able to do it!
Hi Shauna! Tell the world about yourself!
I am a “nomad” in every sense of the word. I was born in Toronto, Canada to Trinidad parents and essentially went from having a pacifier to a passport in her hands.
From attending Carnival with her family to visiting friends in Beijing, Shauna has always has a passion for exploring other cultures.
I have visited Brazil, China, France and several countries in the African continent, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Nothing excites me more than an opportunity to have my passport stamped than having friends and family that are willing to join me!
While Wanderlust has led me to many different parts of the world, I am also a force professionally and academically. I hold two Masters degrees: an MBA from Florida A&M University and a Masters in Technology from Georgetown University and if that is not enough, I still have hopes of returning to the classroom to pursue a PhD. I currently serve a Vice Present in the Commercial Real Estate Banking Group for one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. (I also holds an Advance Professional Certificate in Socializing and never passes on an opportunity to fellowship and connect with my friends!)
Despite what many would consider a myriad of academic and professional accomplishments, is however, the most proud of my role as Mother. I am a single mother to Jordan, age 11, and seek every opportunity to expose him to other cultures and remind him that “not all those who wander are lost.”
When did you fall in love with world travel?
I fell in love with travel at a very early age! Every summer my mother would send me off to visit family members in some other part of the globe. As an adult, I can look back and be thankful for those experiences. I had passport stamps from Canada, England, Trinidad, Grenada and several other countries when many of my friends never had the opportunity to leave our block.
As a parent, why is it important for you to expose your child to world travel?
Travel changes social-cultural understandings. I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone looked like me; brown skin, brown eyes and brown thought. ‘Diversity,’ at that time was limited to complexion. My son has a very different dynamic in that he attends a school where only 3% of the population is black. As such, it is important for me to make sure he is as familiar with others cultures as he is of his own. Travel forces you to appreciate diversity and I truly believe that it better prepares you for life in a global society.
What is one of the greatest changes and/or outlooks that you have seen in yourself and child through travel?
That travel abroad is “for white people.” Seriously; when I grew up, white families were the only ones with summer getaways and trips to Italy. Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to meet families, of all hues, that are committed to travel and exposing their children to other cultures!
To be transparent, what has been one of the greatest challenges with world travel with children?
I think the greatest challenge is planning around the school year. Most families travel during Spring and Summer break. For that reason, it can be the most costly to travel at those times. I try to work around this by utilizing Teacher Planning days and three day weekends so that my son is able to travel without missing too many days of school.
In your opinion, what are some of the best countries to travel to with children?
I definitely think the best place, at least to start, is somewhere that you have family, friends or some ties to. I think it is makes it easier for children when they are connections in place. I have a lot of family in Canada and Trinidad so naturally, my son got his first passport stamps there.
One of the major challenges I hear from people who read my blog is that, “Traveling with kids is so . . so expensive. . .” Can you shatter the myth for us pretty please?
This is totally a myth! I bought my son’s ticket to Dubai for $218!! It would have cost us more to go to Disney World!
What is the greatest travel advice you can give to single parents who want to travel?
Just do it! There are several online groups including, ‘Wandering Moms’ and ‘Single Parents Who Travel!” that provide access to tips, deals and like minded individuals that are also interested in giving their kids the world!
Any budget advice for parents? What has allowed you to create so many experiences for your family?
I would definitely suggest following ‘The Flight Deal.’ Your travel dollars go a long way when you can find a ticket that would usually cost you $1,200 for $200.
If we want to follow your travels, where can we find you?
On Facebook! I am very active there!