Meet the mother-daughter duo that left home to travel the world
At only 7 years old, Emmie has seen more of the world than most people could only dream about. From visiting an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia to kayaking in the Philippines, Emmie and her mom, Evie, have been globe-trotting for over a year, and aren't done yet. We chatted with Evie about their amaze travels...and how you can have a better relationship with your own mom. Read all about their adventurous life below:
Girls' Life: What inspired you to start traveling with your daughter?
Evie: I wanted to spend as much time with Emmie as I could—she was only 5 at the time and had started school and I hardly saw her as I was working long hours in a full time job in the city. There's a lot of responsibility being a solo parent, and it was difficult to juggle everything and be able to spend as much time together as I wanted and, because it's so expensive to live in Sydney, I couldn't work less and still afford our life. But I realized that if we traveled in Asia, I could afford to keep us going for a year or more with money I'd saved and we would be together which was the most important thing for me. We still live in our house when we go back to Sydney and we have an old caravan down the coast that we kept, so we still have strong connections to home.
GL: What's been your favorite memory on the journey so far?
Evie: Seeing Emmie's face when we do something amazing like camping on the Great Wall of China or swimming with turtles and caring for elephants. It makes my heart so happy because I can see how happy she is. She is also making friends with girls from all over the world and learning so much everyday. We are very fortunate to have these incredible times together.
GL: How has your traveling brought the two of you closer?
Evie: I'm so happy that I've been able to get to know Emmie better. I've gone from hardly seeing her to spending every hour together and we have a lovely bond now and are so close. It's been amazing to share such awesome adventures together. Of course, we have a normal relationship so there are still arguments but we have a much stronger relationship now.
GL: Do you have any advice for young girls who want better relationships with their moms but struggle to bond?
Evie: Spending family time together is so important and you can have fun as a family even by just doing little things together like jobs around the house. You can also find things you like doing together like playing cards, or maybe going for a walk after dinner. Make time to spend with your mom or dad where you don't have your phone or tablet with you so you can focus on your time with them and make some really special moments, no matter how small.
GL: What are the benefits of a "non-traditional" family life?
Evie: For us it's definitely having time together but it's also exposing Emmie to different cultures and experiences that is shaping the person she is. You don't need to travel like us to do that though, you can look around your neighborhood and learn more about the different communities that share your local area. Going to street festivals or cultural events or religious services and celebrations can teach us a lot about the world around us.
GL: As a single mom, what tips can you give girls who also live with single parents and feel different than their friends or who compare their family to other families?
Evie: Every family is unique and has their own ups and downs. Remember that what you see—especially on social media—is often not reality. You're not seeing the whole story. There is a saying I like to live by which is "comparison is the thief of joy." To me this means not comparing your family to any others, but being thankful for what you have. If I was to compare what me and Emmie have to some amazing traditional family, then I may feel like we're missing out so I am careful to focus on the wonderful things we have together. It's not easy at first but a change in perspective like this will change your life. Keeping a gratitude journal is also helpful, so you can write down everything you have to be happy about each day, no matter how small. I tell Emmie all the time that you are the leader in your life—plot your own course, don't follow someone else's. You don't have to live within the lines.
CLICK HERE to follow along with their adventures, plus score insider advice on how you can travel!
If you could travel the world with your mom, where would you want to go? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo credit: Instagram