“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
I am a true lover of my children and of world travel. I live to travel and explore the world. So when there is an opportunity to connect with a fellow wanderlust tribe member and nomadic mom, I’m all for it. Now when you add in the fact that she’s done so many things that I’ve only wished to do and experienced things that I’ve dreamed of, I absolutely had to share her with you all. Recently, I had a friend tag me in a post about a mom whose children were creating an travel magazine exclusively for kids. I was absolutely shocked and amazed because it was such a terrific idea and a great way to introduce your children to entrepreneurship as well as further explore their love of world travel. I had to connect with this lady and figure out the secret to her successful ability to communicate entrepreneurship to her children and the importance of world travel. Join me as we get to know more about Nomadic Mama of 3 and the upcoming Go Places Jr. Travel Magazine.
Who is Christina Benton?
Christina Benton is Nomadic Mama of 3 who is a traveller. I am a nomad, a wanderer, a dreamer, and a doer. Through both tragic events and an amazing turn of events I have actually been able to realize my dreams, a huge part of which is traveling and writing.
By day I am a forensic anthropologist and teach at a local university. However, by night I am building my publishing company, Janco Publishing, that I just launched in January 2016. In addition, I just started my first travel magazine, GO Places magazine. So I am currently in the process of growing those as well as continuing to build a brand for Nomadic Mama of 3.
My most important title however is mommy. I am the world schooling mom to three wonderful Jr Nomads. A 13 yr old son, a 10 yr old daughter and a 6yr old son. My kids are my travel companions. It’s because of them, because of my desire to show them the world that I made the decision to start actually traveling the world.
When did you first travel out of the country and how was that experience?
My first trip out of the country was four years ago when my kids, my then husband, and I moved to Kingston, Jamaica when I won a Fulbright Scholar award. That trip was truly amazing and life changing. I had always wanted to travel internationally but that move abroad sparked a desire in me to travel that I never knew existed. Travel became my passion from that moment on.
How long have you been traveling with your children?
I have traveled with my children since my oldest was a baby although it was all domestic travel. My academic and professional career demanded the travel and my family was in a position to travel with me. My then husband’s job also demanded a lot of travel and the baby was in a position to travel with him as well so we did a lot of travel. Our first international travel experience was four years ago when we moved to Jamaica.
What foreign countries have you visited together as a family?
We have visited Jamaica, Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, and England.
Why do you believe that parents should experience international travel with their children?
I have many reasons I could state that discuss the benefits of travel but I truly believe the reason for everyone is always personal. So I will answer this question based on me and my kids. Traveling with my kids while they are young is everything. It is extremely important to me. It is worth the many sacrifices that I’ve had to make in order to achieve it. I grew up in a household where my parents might have wanted to show me the world but they couldn’t and they didn’t. I’ve had a pretty successful career but if I would’ve known what my global possibilities were I feel like I could’ve been even more dynamic. Recognizing that I want to introduce my kids to the world, I want them to see what their options are globally and figure out how they can make a global impact. I want them to know that the world is at their fingertips and it’s theirs to explore. I want it to help them nurture and grow. So traveling with my children is very very very important to me.
I personally have been a nomad all my life I just didn’t know what to call it. I have wanted to be a writer and world traveler for as long as I remember; but I was born to a family that was not into traveling. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t have the resources or the desire to travel the world. It was generational. They just didn’t grow up with that as an option. I’m not sure where it came from in me… I honestly just think I was born with a travel gene. As a little girl, I would sit and look at globes and maps and try to imagine what each place was like. Again, while I had the urge to travel I grew up thinking that it wasn’t an option. It wasn’t until I went to college where I met people who traveled so extensively that it became apparent that travel is accessible to everyone. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I knew travel could and should be a big part of my life. I took advantage of travel opportunities through my research and at work. I traveled quite a bit domestically; and it wasn’t until I was divorced that I realized that trekking the globe was not only a dream of mine that I could actually fulfill but that I could make it a way of life for my kids and I.
The most rewarding part of traveling with my kids is experiencing new things together. I know that might sound trivial but it’s kind of like when you have a little baby and they’re experiencing the world for the first time touching grass for the first time, tasting ice cream for the first time and you get to relive it again through them. Well traveling with my children is kind of like that when I get to really live through my kid’s first experiences and then a lot of times we’re experiencing our firsts together. It’s even more powerful and amazing to be able to experience a first with the people that I love the most. But on a personal level the most rewarding part has been the gratitude that my children display. I have a high schooler, a middle school and elementary school age child. They are typical kids; they don’t always get along, I have to tell them to clean up after themselves… typical kids. But on our most recent trip each of them individually at some point came to me and thanked me for taking them on the trip and thanked me for showing them the world. Their appreciation for these experiences I didn’t have as a child meant everything to me. That made all the trials and struggles that go along with travel all worth it.
Why should children visit other countries?
I asked my kids this question and this is their collective response:
Kids should visit other countries so that they can get out of their comfort zone and see how other people in the world live. It may determine what they want to be when they grow up and where they want to live. It is also fun and gives kids a chance to bond with their family.
Are you preparing your children to be travelpreneurs?
I am absolutely preparing my children to be travelpreneurs by both traveling with them and introducing them to the world and by incorporating them into my own endeavors as a travelpreneur. If nothing else, I want them to have an understanding of how we live in a global economy and are all interconnected to one another. I want them to know at an early age that the world is theirs and they can set global goals and aspirations instead of only thinking about their immediate environment.
How did the idea for a kids travel magazine come about?
The idea for the magazine came about as I sat and toiled on my own magazine, GO Places Magazine. Day in and day out the kids sat and watched me put together this creative work. They offered feedback and ideas and eventually decided that they would like to try their hand at their own magazine. They would do what mommy is doing but better. I fully supported this idea and told them I would fully support their efforts. They began planning their project, soliciting help, and writing pieces for their first issue. They setup donation portals and wrote presentations to present to potential investors (grandparents, family, and friends). They put in 100% into the project and we are all excited that we are nearing the finish line of the inaugural issue of GO Places Magazine Junior.
Why is it important for kids to see & hear from other kids who travel the world?
Again, I asked my kids their thoughts on this question and here is their collective response: It is important for kids to see and hear about other kids who travel the world because they may not even know that they like traveling and then they hear about other kids stories which might sound fun to them and inspire them to start traveling. In addition, kids may discover that they have something in common with other traveling kids and be able to relate to them in unique ways.
What are you looking to accomplish with Kids Travel Mag?
The kids answered: We are hoping to inspire more kids to travel and the end goal is to give the kids that already travel a source of entertainment, advice, and travel stories from their peers. Whether they are sitting on a couch at home or flying on a plane our magazine will be a fun experience for kids of all ages.
How can we help support making this dream of Kids Travel Magazine a reality?
We would love for everyone to spread the word about this magazine. The kids are working extremely hard on the project and would love the support of the community through subscriptions, purchasing the magazine, and participating in it’s interactive activities. The kids would also love for other traveling kids to submit their stories to the magazine. These stories can include stories of their own travels, ideas, interviews, etc. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the Journey: Nomadic Mama of 3
Click here to learn how to get paid traveling the world.
Have you been inspired?
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