The places we visited during our first two years on a world trip with kids

How much travel can we do with kids in 2 years? If you want to know how many we visited, click! #familytravel #longtermtravel #travelwithkids

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One YEAR TWO YEARS traveling with kids!!!
Can anyone believe it’s been two years a year now? Two nomadic freaking awesome yearS!

The places we visited on the North Island of New Zealand with kids

It was a year ago when we left our home in Auckland and spent 3 amazing weeks in Tongariro National Park. We had tons of first-timers there, like being nomadic, hiking, having very little. It was a great time adjusting to the new life. That was when we also found out that having hiking shoes is a good idea. Angelo also did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a famous trail up and down Tongariro mountain (in running shoes). We visited Taupo and Whangarei while there, both great places to be!

Two boys looking at the landscape with binoculars. Auckland is a great place to visit with kids - click for more!

The boys trying to spot Sky Tower on the binoculars. Can you find it there?

From Tongariro, we went back to Auckland and spent 2 weeks. We had a lot of paperwork, tidying up our storage, PO Box, shopping, and all. It was not the best time, but it was still good because we also took the time to see friends and eat all the nice and familiar food we could.

Mount Maunganui was the third stop. It’s a beautiful beach town in NZ, very worth the stop. From there, we visited Hobbiton for the delicious dinner at the Green Dragon Inn. It was one of the most expensive meals we’ve had, but well worth it!

The drive from Mount Maunganui to Wellington was long and tiring, but everyone handled it very well. We met our friends Tathi and Josieudes there. We had only a couple of days as we had our South Island trip booked!

If you want to spend some more money for a unique experience, the Evening Tour with Dinner Banquet at Hobbiton is a must! It is highly family friendly too! Click for more!

Dinner at the Green Dragon Inn, anyone? I’d do it in a blink!

 

South Island of New Zealand with kids

We used Interislander ferry to go to Picton and it was AWFUL. Major sea sickness that lasted for days. Seriously.

Luckily, we had a long stay in Pohara, Golden Bay. Such a beautiful place! Totaranui beach was our favorite place in the area and we’re planning a summertime visit soon.

Kaikoura is such an incredible place! That’s where we saw up-close wild fur seals and whales. It’s a super small town, but well worth the visit – we need to see it again, after the 2016 earthquake. They say a lot has changed!

Christchurch was a great surprise, we weren’t expecting the resilience we saw there. Such a beautiful and huge place! We didn’t see half of it. It definitely is one of the places we need to go back to.

two boys playing at the border between the sea and the sand at sunset. Totaranui Beach in Golden Bay (NZ) is the perfect beach! Click for more!

At Totaranui beach, in Golden Bay – so beautiful! It must be perfet during summer -can it be summer now?

On the other hand, Dunedin was one of the places we were expecting to love and ended up not enjoying at all. Part of it was due to the rainy weather all week, but we also had the outside toilet, the rats, and the lack of amenities. Not our best week, but we did see sea lions at the beach, that was one nice and sweet thing.

On the way to Omaui, we stopped by Moeraki Boulders. They’re actually a lot less impressive than we thought, but still pretty cool!
Omaui, though, was AWESOME. We had the prettiest house, had some wonderful weather, found great hikes and parks and playgrounds and went to the southernmost point of NZ (almost). The sky there is just incredible. The colors are from another world!

2 round boulders half sunk in the sand of the beach at Moeraki beach, in NZ, and 2 kids standing on one and 3 people sitting on the other. Moeraki is a wonder!

On some of the Moeraki Boulders – pretty cool. Huge dinosaur eggs, they are. Except that there are no dinosaurs. Sad face.

Then, because we’re not very impulsive, we decided to stop by Milford Sounds. OK, it’s pretty but the tide was low and NOT AT ALL what we were expecting. We did have a pretty fun kea experience on the way back, though!

Kingston was another great surprise, I loved it. A super small town, beautiful and we spent our days lake-front. So very awesome. We visited Queenstown and Arrowtown while we were there and, even though we did love Arrowtown, Queenstown isn’t one of our favorites.

We stopped by Wanaka on the way to the Glaciers and it deserves the glory: it’s stunning. We do need to stop by sometime there with a little more time.

Our glaciers time included a night in Whataroa and a week in Fox Glacier, but we also visited Franz Josef Glacier. It was a great experience, our first glacier experience. Albeit a bit disappointing (due to the distance to the actual glacier), we had fun, great hikes, and some beautiful sceneries.

The Franz Josef Glacier Walk in NZ's South Island is one of the prettiest we've done. It has moss covered rocks and boulders, waterfalls, and a glacier at the end. Love.

If there’s a prettier walk than the Franz Josef Glacier walk, I’d love to do it. It’s so beautiful in all its entirety!

Blenheim was the last stop in our South Island road trip, and we loved it. The weather was beautiful every day, the house was one of the best we’ve had so far, there were great walks, beautiful beaches, oh it was one lovely closure to our road trip.

We crossed the Marlborough Sounds with Bluebird on the way back to the North Island and it was – again – horrible. Seasickness is a curse.

Back to the North Island, but just for a little while…

We had one night in Wellington before heading to Rotorua. We had some massive road works right in front of the house we’d be staying and it wasn’t the best week. Its sulphuric smell had the kids complaining all the time. While there, we had our first geyser experience at Te Puia and we even visited The Buried Village. Great learning week.

One of the places everyone needs to visit in New Zealand is Wellington, the capital. Click for more!

I love this sign in Wellington, NZ. It captures the city’s spirit so well! We love windy-Wellington!

Auckland was also a stop, this time longer, and we spent our days right in the heart of it. It was a great time, we got to tourist our own hometown, have all the Burger Fuel we missed while we were in the South Island. Great time.

A month in Japan with kids

And we had our first international travel in this trip, straight into Japan. We visited Tokyo, Osaka, and Suzuka. It was such an amazing month there and the kids can’t stop talking about going back. There was a little of everything, from temples to glorious food, to the beach, to high tech robots dancing, to Godzilla, Pokémons, Hello Kitty, Disney Sea and Universal Studios (with a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and some creepy zombies).

A beans stall in Asakusa, Japan. Look at how colorful and pretty even the bean stall are there...

One of the food stalls (this one was only beans) in Asakusa, Japan. Beans are used widely – but they are used in sweets too…

A lazy stay in Brazil

Brazil was our third country and we spent a long time there because we have family and friends. We ate a lot, spent lots and lots of time with the people we love, visited Salvador and Ilha Comprida, but the rest of our days was spent between Mogi das Cruzes (from where we went to São Paulo) and Itanhaém, a coastal town where my uncle has a house that he let us use. We spent Christmas and New Years there. It was an awesome – but long – time.

Pelourinho is one of the most beautiful villages in Brazil. It's also where Michael Jackson filmed one of his videos. Must visit! Click for more!

I love this photo of Coral petting a stray cat in Pelourinho, Bahia, Brazil. Coral was 4 and she already loved cats. We stopped more to play with the cats than we did to take photos. #real-life

Uruguay is perfect for families!

Uruguay was the first country we had never visited before and it was awesome. Montevideo is one of the best places I’ve visited and it’s now in my heart. Colonia del Sacramento is also great, such a beautiful little town! Highly deserves to be a Unesco World Heritage Site. It was very expensive, though, so we had to cut down on our day trips. I can’t really wait to go back and see all that we missed.

A very busy street lined with stalls and colonial houses in Montevideo, Uruguay. This street fair happens every weekend and it's endless!

This street fair was incredible. It’s called Tristán Narvajo, in Montevideo, Uruguay and it was ENDLESS!

Beautiful Chile…

Chile was our fifth country and it’s new to the blog so I’ll keep it short. Santiago is pretty cool, with some incredibly beautiful spots, but the people seem to always be in a hurry + there’s the smog. Viña del Mar is a beautiful beach town BUT most of the beaches aren’t safe for swimming, the food isn’t good, and there was a fire in the forest that kept us locked inside the house. We visited Valparaíso, which is super colorful and nice but we weren’t in the mood for it so didn’t enjoy much.

Santiago de Chile is one of the most beautiful cities we've visited - and it also has part of the Andes. But it's heavily smoggy and we found it difficult.

Wandering around Cerro San Cristóbal, in Santiago, Chile. If you want pretty views of the city, this is the place to be. Unfortunately, if you’re not there right after a day with heavy rain, you won’t be able to see much due to the smog

Lovely Bolivia! Horrible altitude…

And Bolivia! That’s our last stop in our first year! We spent most of our days in La Paz, but we also visited the incredible Salar de Uyuni (or Uyuni Salt Flats) and Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku). We spent most of our days sick due to altitude sickness, a cold, a concussion… They were eventful days but all I can say is that it’s beautiful!

4 kids walking on the salt flats in Bolivia. The white floor is reflecting the clouds. The dreamiest place in the whole world!

Uyuni Salt Flats: this is what walking on the clouds looks like. And it’s spiky and painful. Totally worth it, though.

 

The end of the first year

In total, we visited 6 countries during the first year (counting NZ because we did travel a lot there before going abroad), mostly in South America.

Had some hospital visits (1 for Melissa, 2 for Angelo, 1 for Thais – that’s me) – accidents happen, and so do ailments. Make sure you have a travel insurance and you’ll be fine!

We started learning Spanish (not easy, so I guess we’ll be learning until we die), tried a lot of different food, saw many different places, used so many different transportation methods, dealt with a huge number of problems (like rats, outside toilets, health problems, accidents, roadblocks, and so much more!).

A wooden sign saying This is the End, in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. Colonia is incredibly beautiful BUT it's tiny. A weekend getaway, for sure!

This is the end of this post! – Nah, just of the first year!

We also learned what we actually need, so we dumped a lot of stuff on the way, and bought some others. If you want to know how we pack, click here!

And then, came Peru

Peru was the first country of our second year traveling and it was perfect! Delicious food in every single place, amazing chocolate, and, of course, Machu Picchu!

If you’re a history geek or a foodie, Peru is your country, friends. Cusco, Lima, and all the Sacred Valley are filled with the most amazing ruins and it’s sure to satisfy everyone’s History needs.

A white llama walking over a rocky fence in Machu Picchu, Peru. Machu Picchu isn't just ruins. It's llamas. I wouldn't need another reason to visit it.

Hi, I’m llama and I’m going to check your bag for delicious – I mean dangerous goods. If you could open it, please.

Colombia, incredible Colombia!

If you’re looking for a country to satisfy every single person in your family, then Colombia it is! It has the greatest beaches of Rosario Islands, in Cartagena; the perfect spring weather all year round of the stunning Medellin, and you can also have the cool weather that only the altitude can provide in Bogota.

Colombia was our favorite country in South America – don’t miss it!

El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

I can’t. Just by looking at this photo of Medellin, I want to go back. Someone take me back there.

 

Canada, oh, Canada

There would be no other place in North America we’d rather visit than Canada. Unfortunately, we had only 2 months and since it’s such an enormous country, we could only see a small fraction of it.

We were able to visit Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City and we loved them all!

The best of Canada, though, is the food. And the people. And the landscape. Oh, it’s everything!

OK, it’s Niagara Falls, if you ask my kids.

Niagara Falls, in Canada. It's one massive waterfall - a true wonder. We visited with the kids! Click for more!

It was a lot of fun. And it’s super impressive. And free! Could it be better? No, it couldn’t.

Costa Rica, Central America!

Costa Rica was our very first time in Central America and it was very… different. Very expensive, a lot more tourists than locals, US$ as the currency, and… cold showers.

But it’s lovely. So lovely! We didn’t see that much wildlife anywhere else in the world! Lots of different lizards, fishes, monkeys, sloths, frogs, and huge, beautiful spiders! Even tiny bats!

We knew we’d love Manuel Antonio and Punta Uva, but we didn’t know we’d love San Jose just as much! It was fun.

Arrecifes beach was our favorite spot in Punta Uva . I mean, look at it.

Arrecifes beach in all its glory! Our little piece of heaven, right there! Costa Rica was our first encounter with the Caribbean Sea and now we don’t want anything else.

Beautiful and extremely affordable Nicaragua

We loved Nicaragua. It has volcanos, it’s hot all year round, it has turtles, and it’s just super affordable. Maybe we were just excited to be able to eat out paying less than $50 for the whole family or having a cotton candy for $0.10, but we were happy.

We absolutely loved Nicaragua!

Walking in Leon, Nicaragua, during the wet season, brought some rewarding moments with skies like those.

It rained almost every day while we were there. Sometimes, we were lucky enough to see the sky as dramatic as this.

 

New Zealand again

We had a few things to do at home, so we decided to pay a visit to NZ and tourist a bit. We managed to go around Auckland and, this time, we spent some time in Wanaka!

Oh, did I ever tell you we managed to see the lupin flowers by Lake Tekapo? It was a dream.

The lupins around Lake Tekapo, the blue waters, and the small church make the place a perfect destination for photographers!

There was a lot of flowers, but it wasn’t nearly half of what I’d expected. But, in the end, it was all a matter of finding the right angle.

And off to Japan!

Because flights to Japan from NZ are awfully cheap, we had to pay a visit, of course. This time, we spent over 2 months divided within Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Nagoya.

And we splurged and had a lovely 3 days stay at the Tokyo Disney Resorts!

We loved it! We love Japan, that’s the truth.

A path beside a lake with wintery plants and a family walking on it. The path to the house from My Neighbor Totoro is just as lovely!

People think Japan is all high-tech buildings and neon signs, but trust me, it’s not. It’s a lot of green and nature and beauty.

A quick stop in Abu Dhabi…

Well, after nearly 3 months in the cold Japanese winter, I needed warmth so we stopped in Abu Dhabi for 3 days and it was just the perfect stop-over!

From Europe to Asia or vice-versa, this is a must! Don’t miss it!

It had camels, desert, dunes, beaches, a Mosque and huge malls!

The desert in Abu Dhabi is full of dunes, camels, and it's the most amazing thing! Wear comfortable clothes because it's filled with exercise!

Look at it. Just look. I’d go back in a second. Without a blink. Beautiful thing, the desert!

 

And there was Scotland

If Coral (5) could rename Scotland, it’d be Harry Potter Land. She couldn’t get enough of how much it looked like Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade.

We loved it! Even though we had to spend a few days closed in the house due to the snow in Edinburgh, and it rained almost every day, we absolutely loved it!

We visited all the Harry Potter sites we could and we also visited some other touristic sites, including Loch Ness and Glasgow and oh so many castles!

University of Glasgow, Scotland, and its stunning building. Even the kids loved visiting it. Click for more!

OK, call me a nerd, I don’t care. I felt like I was in Hogwarts. LOVE IT. University of Hogwarts, I mean Glasgow.

And Northern Ireland

No place surprised me more than Northern Ireland. I absolutely adored it, I could live there. If it didn’t rain so much.

Giant’s Causeway was my favorite place in the world (OK, along with the Salt Flats in Bolivia) and visiting Winterfell was also pretty cool. It may seem like a small uninteresting country, but it’s not! Must go!

The perfectly laid rocks at Giants Causeway, in Northern Ireland, are a sight to behold! They're so much fun and beauty! Click for more!

Just take a closer look at the rocks. Aren’t they amazing, astounding, astonishing, and just perfect? They are. Now tell me, do you believe the nature or the giant theory?

And New Zealand, I mean Ireland

Ireland was also a surprise because we felt at home. It was so New Zealand-y that we felt just fine. It rained around 70% of our stay and that was not fun and it was so ridiculously expensive! But it was worth a visit – we loved it!

Too bad we were there at the wrong time of the year. A month later (that means from May to October) and we could’ve visited Michael Skellig, aka Luke’s village of Star Wars.

The Cliffs of Moher are, definitely, breathtaking. Just like Machu Picchu, the first time you see it is magical! Click for more!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Cliffs of Moher! They were a lot more impressive than any photos we could’ve ever seen, so I don’t even want to give you an idea. But try to find the bunch of people near the Castle. Whatdo you mean ‘what castle?’?

 

And there came the third year… and it was LONDON!

This was the whole purpose of our UK visit, to be really honest. We had the tickets to go see The Cursed Child (the Harry Potter play) and we just couldn’t miss it!

So London was AWESOME! It’s London because we didn’t go anywhere else in England. We were satisfied with London – so much to see and do! It’s impossible to get enough of it!

Even though it did rain quite a bit, it was amazing!

(links coming soon…)

The Cursed Child and Platform 9 3/4 done! We’re truly enjoying London! It’s not even that cold anymore – we managed to go out not wearing our down jackets yesterday!!! ———— The Cursed Child e a Plataforma 9 3/4 feitas! A gente está se divertindo em Londres. Nem está tão frio mais! Ontem conseguimos sair sem a jaqueta de frio!!! ————- Obrigada, @moduque_br ! Thanks @familytravellife ! . . . #worldtripdiaries #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #travelphoto #travelphotography #travelpic #worldcaptures #travelfamily #familytravel #travelwithkids #kidstravel #instatravel #instapassport #travelgram #traveltheworld #worldtravel #iphonephoto #iphonephotography #iphonepic #uk #england #inglaterra #reinounido #london #londres #thecursedchild #harrypotter

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To finish the UK, we visited Wales – and we loved it!

Wales is another very neglected country in the UK. Neglected by tourists, I mean. It’s a beautiful place, filled with incredible sites, landscapes, beautiful people, castles, and just… love.

It’s very UK-y and it’s a bit more affordable than England or Scotland, so visit it!

The last stop on this trips is… Hong Kong!

Not yet done, not yet gone, so I’m gonna keep it brief: it’s a promise to the kids: Hong Kong Disney. I will update this post when we’ve gone!

Hong Kong is done and the post is live! Click here to see it!

So this is basically it! This is how much we did (or will do) in a bit over 2 years of travel with 4 kids in tow! Ah, it was fun!

We’re on Instagram too, sharing all our photos! Follow us there!

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4 replies
  1. Tatiana Saito
    Tatiana Saito says:

    Gente, eu adorei muitíssimo Valparaíso! Não sei como vocês puderam deixar passar! Mas voltem pra visitar o Chile em uma época mais propícia!

    Reply

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  1. […] been on the road for a year now and these last months were a bit strange. I got sick, we all had some degree of travel burnout, […]

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