Zac and me on the slow boat to Cat Ba island, with Halong Bay in the background.

Taking the slow boat to Cat Ba island, Vietnam.

We are a single-parent family from London, England, and this is the story of our long-term round the world trip.

Z and I have travelled since he was teeny-tiny. He took his first trip to Europe aged six months, and to Latin America at two. He rode an elephant at three, went to Africa aged five, and since he was small we’ve talked about taking time out to travel the world when he turned nine. Now, we’re finally doing it.

I’m in my mid-30s. Z is nine, and will turn ten in November 2010.

Z with long fringe.

Sir is growing his hair.

Z is a sunny soul, bright, inquisitive, thoughtful, relaxed and happy, with a close circle of friends and family he stays in touch with via Skype. He enjoys new experiences, drawing, reading, diving, swimming, nature, science, computer games and watermelon shakes. He has just decided that, instead of being an inventor, he is going to be a naturalist.

I’m a bit more of a livewire: my pace is faster than his. I’ve done jobs from working nightclub doors to acting, but writing is my main passion. For me this nomading lifestyle is a kind of delayed maternity leave, a chance to spend some focused time together, and discover new cultures, new places and new experiences as we do so.

To find out more about us, our rtw journey, and why we’re doing what we’re doing, you could check out the following posts:

Global Time = Quality Time
Unschooling. Or Learning As You Go.

35 Responses to “About”

  1. soultravelers3 March 27, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    Looks like you both are having a wonderful time! Thanks for visiting our blog and introducing yourselves!

    As you know, we have a 9 year old too ( a girl though, but a fall birthday ) and we have been on a non-stop, open ended world tour since she was 5…. way back in 2006 and 4 continents, 32 countries ago. 😉

    Hope we can meet somewhere along the way as it is always very special when RTW kids get together as they have much in common. Now that our little blondie is very fluent in Spanish, we will be heading to Asia this fall, so that she may immerse deeply in the language, literature & culture of her 3rd fluent language, Chinese. Maybe, then?

    Congrats on doing this as a single mother!! Good on you!

    • MummyT March 27, 2010 at 9:12 am #

      It would be great for the kids to meet, I think! Current plan is for us to be in Australia in July, however, then heading to LatAm in August, so Z and I can learn Spanish, although we shall see…

      Whereabouts in Asia are you planning to base yourself? It’s a wonderful place for children, I think. (Though, compared to the UK and northern Europe, most places in the world strike us as child-friendly!)

  2. jessiev April 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    YAY for you!! i am looking forward to following your journey.

  3. jessiev April 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    btw, we’d love to share your site on ours, wanderingeducators.com – email me? jessie at wanderingeducators dot com.

  4. Paolo Baluyot April 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    You’re a cool parent! I mean, travelling around the world with your child? That’s very unique. I wish my parents could take me in Europe or somewhere. *sigh.

    I’d follow your blog! 🙂

    • MummyT April 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

      Thank you so much…

  5. Feb Ruizo April 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Well done to both of you! You’re an inspiration to single mums in the world like myself who has recently joined the singles club. It’s been a daunting feeling to travel now with just my 11yr old daughter. I guess the trepidation will wear off once you’re enjoying the holidays!

    Will follow your blog and three cheers to you!

    • MummyT April 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

      Wow! Thank you so much… Have you been away yet? You will enjoy it, I swear…

  6. Tatiana May 10, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    What you are doing is great! It reminds me of how William Hearst traveled with his mother and how that shaped the rest of his life. Best of luck to you! I look forward to reading your stories!

  7. Carmen May 20, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Good for you for having the spirit of adventure to make this amazing journey! I look forward to reading more and getting to know you.
    I’m also traveling with a 9 year old as well as two teens as a single mom. (I’m married but my husband has stayed home so for daily life this year I”m a single mom). It’s a great experience and such an opportunity for bonding on a new level.

  8. scotttraveler June 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    if only my parents had taken me travelling… I’m making up for it – and will make up for it with my kids someday…

  9. MummyT June 10, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Totally do it with your kids… I can’t recommend it highly enough. But then you knew that, anyway…

  10. melanirae June 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I would LOVE to do something like this. What a great exp for the two for you. We try to take our girls as many places as we can afford. I hope they are bitten by the travel bug and continue with it through their lives.

    • MummyT June 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

      I do think you should try and do it. Sometimes life presents an opportunity, sometimes you really have to work to make it happen…

  11. sannekurz June 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    …a funny coincidence that just right today, where freshly pressed flooded your blog in to my view…I got a couchsurfing request from a family with two sons who are on their way home after travelling all around the world for a bit over a year now…

    • MummyT June 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

      I’ve been thinking about couchsurfing. Haven’t tried it yet, but definitely keen to do so…

  12. sannekurz June 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    MummyT – I subscribed to the new comments and I ABSOLUTELY ADMIRE that you indeed answer everybody! WOW!!

    • MummyT June 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      I do my damnedest!…

  13. marketingtomilk June 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    You are truly inspirational, and i’m looking forward to reading one of the most genuinely interesting blogs i’ve come across.
    Happy reading!


    • MummyT June 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

      Thank you, sweet lady…

  14. Jim Hagen June 27, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    I thought single mums were all living on a shoesstring and relying on welfare. How are you affording all this? And when does the kid go to school?

    • MummyT June 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      I don’t know why you thought that. I know plenty of working single mothers in the UK (where the government helps out with childcare costs for all working households with an income of under £58k): I had worked constantly since Z was born.

      The cost of longterm round the world travel is less than the cost of rent or mortgage on a two-bedroom flat in London, where we’re from. We’re living well on $50 a day at the moment. So… sold out my share of the house. Travelling for two years, digital nomad working a little during the second year. Get a far cheaper base in Spain so we can continue to nomad, I can work (but less than I had to in London) and he can go to school and become bilingual, while being in relatively easy reach of UK family and friends.

      I wrote a bit about this here: http://travelswithanineyearold.com/2010/06/10/quality-time-family-rtw-travel-single-parent-single-mum-single-mother-round-the-world-quality-tim/

      As regards what we’re doing with formal education. I wrote about this here: http://travelswithanineyearold.com/2010/05/23/homeschooling_unschooling_travelling_family_rtw_education_learning/

      His attainment level’s actually very high. He’s nine. So just finishing Year 4. He tests out on maths to at least the top of Year 6, can read Dickens, the Guardian and the FT, writes very well, knows a lot of science, loads of history, highly computer literate (administers his own laptop, etc, just learning to touchtype) and is talented at art. He’s learning a huge amount as we travel and the homeschooling coordinator in our borough is happy with what we’re doing.

      My mother, who’s a head, will be bringing out papers for the exams kids do at the end of Y6 so we’ll have a better handle on where he’s at in terms of conventional education.

  15. marketingtomilk June 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I don’t know any “conventional” mums that have thought things through so thoroughly and made such informed, long term decisions. you are teaching us not to judge based on cultural norms, which is a very difficult thing to do mind you. Would be interested to know what your mums first reactions were.


    • MummyT June 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

      Wayull… She was all up for travelling. They’d thought about doing something similar with me and my brother, but hadn’t done it. That said, they do miss him. And me, i guess, too.

      Education wasn’t particularly an issue, because he’s a very able child.

      She brought out a GCSE maths book last time she came out, having talked to one of her staff. Which Z coped with, but wasn’t inspired by, so we sort of dropped that as being more hassle than it’s worth. She also sent out E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, which has gone much better.

      The real transformation that she appreciates educationally is how happily he will settle down and write. He’s a left-hander. Started writing very young. And because current policy is not to “teach” writing until age six or seven, he’d been making letters in his own “special” way for three-plus years by the time teachers started doing the handwriting thing. So he absolutely loathed putting pen to paper and wouldn’t finish anything. Now he’ll write on his laptop happy as Larry…

      • marketingtomilk June 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

        my eldest (4) is also left handed and i’ve discussed with his pre school whether i need to watch out for anything, for which i’ve got blank stares as if i’m crazy. but i’m sure it does make a difference…..

      • MummyT July 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

        It makes a massive difference. I know the blank stare thing all too well, so I rather wussed out on the whole left-handed writing thing until his script was completely shafted. There are great resources at the Left-Handed Shop (http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/). Basics are: sit them on the left of the table with space, not a wall, by them so they don’t bang writing/drawing arms with right-handers (or bang them on the wall). Most left-handers write better with the paper held at an angle, which minimises smudge. However, unless you sit down with the teacher, they’ll get told not to do it… With things like tying shoelaces, you need to demonstrate by facing them, rather than side by side, so they can mirror. There are chunky pencils etc. which help as well.

  16. angiosperms June 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm #


    I just found this blog and immediately loved it! I have always been dreaming to travel the world sometime after college and making some money (which will be in seven plus years!). Your entries inspire me to really make it happen.

    Happy traveling! I will be looking forward to more posts!


    • MummyT July 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      Thank you very much… Don’t let career etc. get in the way of your dream…

  17. thekhalerias July 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Amazing blog! Z is absolutely witty, what an awesome experience and lucky kid.
    Going to link you on our travel blog, hope you don’t mind.
    Best of luck and safe travels!
    The Khalerias

  18. keeley October 22, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    Heyo can I just say I praise you for living life to the max! I am off to Brazil/Argentina in Jan as part of a 6 month trip (later heading to NZ/OZ/Thailand) and I see you were in south america when Z was smaller.

    My son is nearly 2 and I would just love a lil insight into how you found that part of the world…x

  19. 1Dad1Kid December 11, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Nice to find your blog. I’m a single dad taking his 9-year-old on a RTW trip beginning in June.

    • MummyT December 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

      Congratulations, and thanks for stopping by! He will love it…

  20. michael January 2, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Love the idea,T. What happens when he’s 10? What happens when he needs to break the umbilical cord?

    You’ve made it as the firstPetronella Pan.

    …and by the way, your son looks like an under-age Daniel Craig, so keep him away from James Bond movies and Bollinger for the time being.

    • MummyT January 2, 2011 at 5:28 am #

      Michael! Hello! Well, first up he’s ten already (since November), so there’s a lesson in blog titling for you…

      How funny you think he looks like Daniel Craig. I think he looks like his father. Who doesn’t, as far as I’m aware, look like Daniel Craig.

      Umbilical cord? He has quite a bit of independence, actually — running round islands with other kids unattended, plus structured shopping missions in random cities (you want that fizzy pop? here’s the money, go round the corner and buy it, just as one would in London). But, hell, as a teenager, he needs to be dating. ergo, in school, as far as i’m concerned and certainly so far as his dad is. So probably a move to sunny Spain.

      How’s you? x

      Yours are older, no?

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