The next couple of minutes I played charades with him, passionately acting out the five of us, and him, in the boat, going to Amalfi.
“Now?” he replied in a thick Italian accent.
“Si,” I nodded enthusiastically.
He disappeared, and within 10 minutes we were sailing across the crystal clear sea of the Amalfi Coast, our kids literally squealing with joy as salty sea water splashed in their faces.
Rachel and I pinched ourselves at the beauty in front of us, as our new Italian friend at the steering wheel beamed, “Welcome to life in Amalfi.”
So here is my first family travel tip; when you miss the bus, find a boat.
On February 1, my family and I packed up our home in Bellbrae and our retail store in East Geelong and squeezed our life into five suitcases with a one-way ticket around the world.
We often get asked how do we do it with three young children, a busy online business and a daughter in school.
The answer to that can’t be written in an Instagram post or a blog feature, but unravelled, in detail, over time.
Above: Exploring the streets of Xi Zhou Town, in northwestern Yunnan, China and the vibrant Shaxi Ancient Town.
So far we have travelled through Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China and are currently in Italy.
The amount of times things don’t go to plan; struggling with a language barrier where no one speaks English; or being the only Westerners in the village; or the GPS not being able to find your Airbnb address; or working out the currency exchange only to realise you paid four times as much as you should have.
It is in these moments that the spontaneity and adventure of travel kicks in.
When you’re in this flow, you quickly realise that nothing is a mistake; that the boat was the far better option; that being without GPS forces you to knock on someone’s door and witness the kindness of strangers and the true meaning of hospitality.
And when you are the only Westerner for miles you can sit back and truly be immersed in a culture so far from your own.
Showing our children the excitement that each day can hold, and teaching them about going with the flow, has been an absolute delight. You have to be willing to stay on the positive side and think creatively, as when you’re in a foreign country, it can seem easier to just head back to the hotel when things don’t go to plan.
We have this little saying, which often comes out over breakfast.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” and that is how we enter the day, because we never know what will come our way.
One thing people often said to us before we left was, “have a great holiday”.
For us, this isn’t a holiday, we are living our life very similar to how we lived at home, and that’s the key to making travel work with a family.
Above: Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali