Hi, I’m Kirsty.
And I am so happy you have stumbled on my little corner of the World at Travel with Meraki
I am a Yorkshire Lass by birth but have been lucky enough to call many other places home with a nomadic childhood living in various parts of the UK and Germany.
When I was 12 my family emigrated to Australia and the beautiful Central Coast of Australia has been home ever since.
Before my kids came along I had a mixed bag of jobs from family photography to customer relations for a cruise ship company.
Since becoming a mum I’ve wanted to spend as much time with them as I can because I know they grow up so quickly, and that’s when I discovered blogging!
I have had a slight ( okay, major ) obsession with photography since I got my first disposable camera as a 7-year-old and snapped my family at Stonehenge (complete with 80’s mullet hairstyles and short, shorts!).
Everyone who knows me knows I always have my camera in hand and take waaaaaaay too many photographs.
I love chasing light and will make everyone stop to check out an amazing sunset, rainbow or shimmering ocean ( Which drives my husband crazy on long road trips and adds hours to any adventure we have ).
Why I Travel
Those early years of moving have left me with a passion for travel and exploring the world.
Today I wander and explore as much as I can, collecting moments, making memories and sharing stories.
To me, life is about the experiences we have. It is about what my husband and I can give to our children, ourselves and others around this beautiful world rather than the possessions we collect.
I started dating my husband when I was 18. We were engaged three months later ( since becoming a parent I realise how much that must have freaked my own parents out), and we have now spent over half a lifetime exploring together.
From a year-long honeymoon traveling Europe to crazy adventures like my husband swimming the English Channel ( and me being violently seasick for the whole 11 hours on the boat next to him, oh that was a FUN adventure).
We have three children who have made us travel in a whole new way.
With only 34 months between all three of them ( yep, I was a crazy lady with three kids under three years old), they have challenged us, made us grow and sometimes made us question our sanity.
They have all traveled before they were a year old. With our eldest visiting Slovakia at 7 months old ( that first flight as a parent is one scary trip), our middle guy heading to England at 11 months and our first family of five trip was to Fiji with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 9-month-old!
Although these guys always feature in my photographs ( usually the backs of them anyway, as they run ahead exploring), I won’t share too much about them here.
When they are old enough to make their own choices I will let them decide if they want to share more.
Our Travel Style
Between us, we have experienced more than 40 amazing countries. Some of these we have lived in for a time, others we have traveled solo, on tours, with work, as a couple and with a family.
We make the most of our stunning home country while dreaming up our next big adventure.
There’s no trust fund or hugely paid jobs. We are just an average family that wants to make the most of this amazing world of ours.
Sometimes that means a local trip to explore somewhere new, sometimes it means a solo trip, or even a parents only retreat. Other times it includes jumping on a plane for 30+ hours with three kids in tow.
We don’t have a set travel style and love to experiment with where we stay, like cabins in Sequoia National park with no electricity and exploring Iceland in a campervan.
We encourage our children ( and ourselves) to try new things from sand dune quad biking to new foods.
Why I Started Travel With Meraki
Despite many people thinking Meraki is our last name ( which I kinda wish it was because that would be pretty cool).
Meraki is a Greek word. It’s one of those words that doesn’t really translate into English but the general meaning of Meraki is:
“ When you leave a piece of yourself, your soul, creativity, and love in what you do. To put a little bit of yourself into something”
I love it this Meraki quote as it sums up how I feel when I travel.
Our hope is that we can share our travel adventures with you while helping and inspiring you to make your own travel dreams a reality.
As my husband and I have grown we realised there are so many things you are expected to do. So many rules to follow the norm. It felt so restricting and dull so we decided that’s not how we are going to choose to live our lives. Our greatest wish is that we are teaching our children by example. We want them to live wild, full lives, doing what makes them light up. We want to teach them to be extraordinary.
We know you wish the same for yourself and if you have children, for them too.
Find out more about Travel With Meraki here.
Some Fun Facts About Us
My husband and I lived in a campervan for 3 months in the Scottish Highlands. The camper was so small my husband could lean on the roof and 5th gear meant the gear stick was under his leg while driving. We also managed to get this van stuck on a mountain, with dodgy brakes on the Isle of Skye. We had to be pushed to safety by two helpful Scotsmen who must still tell stories in the local pub about two crazy Aussies trying to three-point turn on a one lane mountain track, with a sheer drop in a campervan…(one of those Aussies may have been crying by this stage ;))
Our worst travel moment as a family may be when we all were very sick during a holiday. Trying to keep track of where small children are vomiting while not feeling too great yourself is not much fun, especially in an unfamiliar location.
Our family loves music! We listen to all types of music, love seeing live music and nearly everyone plays an instrument ( except me ), with piano, guitar, saxophone, clarinet, and flute.
I have absolutely no sense of direction. Which is not so helpful when you love to travel. Luckily my husband seems to have an inbuilt navigation system and has passed this neat genetic trick along to the kids.
A few years ago we helped raise over $45,000 for Cancer Council Australia as part of my husbands English Channel Swim
We have a 6th member of our family, our gorgeous Australian Shepherd.
My DNA through Ancestry shows my genetics as 89% Northern English and 11% Swedish. I am guessing the Swedish part is when the Vikings came over to Northern England around 1000 years ago. Seems like my family did not have the wandering gene like me and stayed in one area for a very long time.
We keep Bees and collect our own honey!
Destinations that are on our dream list
- Bhutan for myself
- Portugal for my husband
- Egypt or the Amazon for our eldest son
- Disneyworld for our middle son
- An African Safari for our daughter
The Countries we have been to so far
- Timor Leste
- Vatican City
- Chez Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland