An Indian couple living in Auckland has become an inspiration for thousands of families after they travelled to 13 countries and 40 cities in six months with their two children.
Khadija Poonawala and Husain Rampurwala are residents of Auckland and set out to travel the world with their six-month-old infant baby Ozair and nine-year-old son Ammar.
The family in Jaisalmer, India
The biggest challenge for any family when it comes to travelling is making plans with school going children, let alone an infant baby. But this did not stop the young couple to go out and explore the world and tour some of the biggest cities across three continents.
Baby Ozair on Egypt Air
The couple considers themselves as avid travellers taking their inspiration from their sister and brother-in-law in Christchurch who too have been on the roads for the most of their 2016 and 2017.
Khadija Poonawala's sister in Copenhagen, from who she derives her inspiration to travel
Despite having a six-month-old baby and a school going child, the couple took this life-changing decision of making the most of their savings in New Zealand.
“We are not getting any younger and wanted to make the most of what we have and experience the world with our kids,” Ms Poonawala said.
With their in-laws in Sri Lanka
Ms Poonawala listed a number of challenges travelling to new places of which baby food was her most significant issue, that too when travelling with an infant.
“To overcome the challenge of feeding an infant, we fed him whatever we had besides tetra packed baby food. The baby now can eat almost everything we have,” she added.
With their parents in Moscow
The couple took a break from their jobs, which itself was quite a brave thing to do given the expenses one has to cover when travelling. The couple rented their Auckland home in mid-2017 and set out to explore the world.
The family went to Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Norway, Kuwait, UAE, Sweden, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Singapore and their hometown Pune in India.
The couple’s infant baby celebrated his first birthday in Singapore at Universal Studios exploring marine life and playing on the amusement rides in the studio.
The family’s most happy experience was navigating through different locations in different cities studying maps.
The family in Hyderabad
“It is important to experience the place you visit with every little information you have about the place. Be open to their food, activities, and look for the things the place offers,” Ms Poonawala’s husband Husain Rampurwala added.
“Children have a very sharp mind, and while travelling, they learn more than we do. Such travelling expeditions will be etched in their minds forever and can be the biggest learning and blessings of their lives,” she said.
The family used all modes of transport available at different locations including renting cars to drive between locations, ferries, buses, trains subways and so on.
The family in Copenhagen
“You will be amazed how much you learn when you are travelling, it gives you a new perspective on life and people around you,” Ms Poonawala said.
Of the many cities, these explorers visited their highlight moments were canals of Copenhagen in Denmark, pyramids of Egypt, London, Santorini in Greece and St Petersburg in Russia.
The last leg of their six-month travel was exploring India, which they consider as their top three holiday spots besides Russia and Singapore. The family visited their hometown in Pune and explored other Indian states such as Punjab (Amritsar), Hyderabad, Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan etc.
Some of the tips shared by the couple for travelling are:
- Carry a mountain buggy stroller, a small foldable chair and a portable cot for the baby
- Try to take rest when needed, to not to stress out oneself and the baby
- Make advance bookings and be at the boarding point ahead of time
- Make the most of public transport overseas
- Travel light
- Keep a travel journal and encourage your kids to write their experiences every day