This month, for my blogger interview series, I am chatting to a great woman: Gabi, author of the travel blog The Tiny book.
I met Gabi online, if the verb ‘meet’ applies here, and she is one of those people I immediately grew fond of: she writes with great passion and sincerity and her travel posts always spark in me a dreamy state that makes me want to jump on a plane and reach her no matter where she is. I haven’t done that yet, but her latest trip to Greece definitely tempted me!
- Your name: Gabi Ancarola
- Your blog name: The Tiny Book
- What is your blog about? It’s basically a travel blog that widely covers travel with my family. It also includes solo travel posts and post related to tourism fairs, exhibitions etc. There’s a wide importance given to Greece, but it’s not only about that country
Tell us about your family: how many of you and how old are your children?
We are four: my husband, who is a photographer and works for the airport, me, writer, translator, and mom… my two kids, Filippo, 10, about to finish primary school so as to start a homeschooling adventure. Federico 6, fully homeschooled
Where is home and where are you right now?
Right now we are in Northern Italy, hoping to move on really soon.
How did you come up with the idea of a travel blog and when did you start writing?
I’ve always worked in the travel field, as a translator mostly. But I also travelled a lot all my life. I decided I needed to share some of my stories, which I already wrote in a paper notebook, and pictures as well. It was just a need and a growth moment I guess since I started caring less about other people’s opinions… (the biggest problem of any writer).
What is your favourite kind of travel: independent, all-inclusive resorts, cruise, a mix of all? What do you like about it?
I love independent travel, I cannot travel in a different way honestly. I enjoy the booking process, the itinerary decision, every part of travel organizing is exciting and it makes me think I could work more professionally on it some day.
How do you decide on a destination? If you have older kids: have you ever had an epic fight over where to go?
Instagram is a great influence lately, but mostly we are based on budget. We know how much money we have and we estimate how far or exotic that money can take us, then we plan accordingly. I’d say ticket prices are decisive, but of course, if a destination is not appealing, even if convenient, it gets crossed off the list. Epic fights have not started yet, and luckily kids seem curious about everything so far, so we hope it continues this way!
You visited many countries: do you have a favourite so far? And your kids?
I’ve loved almost all countries I visited since I normally travel open minded, open to trying and taste as much as possible. I have loved Turkey a lot, but I cannot deny my Greek love affair is really strong. I love Greece and I really live on the hunt for cheap tickets to any island or region of the country. Any excuse can put me on a flight to Athens…
Do you have a dream destination you haven’t managed to go to yet?
China… it’s too far and cheap air fares are in a not friendly weather season normally. Another dream I have is to travel to Mongolia… I’d love to take the Transiberian train from Pekin to Moscow one day. Yes, this is a huge desire I have.
Many people are afraid of travelling with children: safety concerns, fear of the holiday being a lot like hard work: what is your best advice to make a family holiday a success?
Just treat your kids as adults as much as possible. Of course, be aware of dangers, get vaccines, and do all you can to make them travel safe, but try them to notice as little as possible. Make the travel look natural, don’t complain about delays, weird food, be open, they shall imitate you.
What kind of packer are you: carry-on only or everything but the kitchen sink? Is there one item you never leave home, no matter where you go or how long for?
I’m mostly a carry on only that puts everything but the kitchen sink in the backpack. I never manage to leave that famous “extra space for souvenirs”… My souvenirs are small magnets for the fridge and pashminas I can wear on my way back… There is no item I always travel with. Well, in fact, there is, it is a fortune keyholder which I hold tight in case of heavy turbulence.
I am sure you have some great stories from your travels: share one with us
This is not a great story, it’s just the way my eldest son is… Him and his being picky with food makes us go insane, honestly. The first thing he did when I booked our first trip to Asia: he stopped loving rice. “No more rice for me, mom”… He adored rice in every form, he learnt we were heading to Thailand, and stopped eating it. When we landed there, the first thing he said –at the airport- was “Mmmm yummy, it smells like boiled rice”… “Hope is back” I thought! Do you think he ever tried a spoonful of rice during our stay? Never. Almost 6 months since our returning home have passed. Still not eating a grain of rice. You can read Gabi’s take on Thai food here
Last week we travelled to Morocco… and he loves kebab. He used to love it, I shall say. Arrived in the land of shawarma and kebab, never tried a single dish of it. “I’m tired of kebab mom”. This seems to be our karma. The little one instead, eats everything!
Make sure you follow Gabi’s blog and catch up with her on social media, here is how:
Of you likes this interview and want to meet more inspirational family travel bloggers, you can find more interviews here