Hi! I’m Victoria Westmacott. I’m British although I’ve been living abroad for over 10 years now. My husband works in the UN (UNICEF) and, together with our two children, we are posted all over the world. To date we’ve lived in USA (New York), Vietnam (Hanoi), India (Delhi), Panama (Panama City) and Ecuador (Quito).
My Family / Home.
Our children are, as they say, ‘third culture kids’. My daughter was born in Hanoi and my son in Delhi. Officially they are half British and half Spanish although they’ve lived in neither country. Their definition of home is wherever our family happens to be at that point in time (this often includes hotels, holiday apartments, and friends’ spare rooms!). ‘Home’ for me is becoming increasingly unclear as well although I’ve always felt a strong affiliation with southern Spain (where my husband is from), and of course I’ll always have a soft spot for the UK.
Prior to this nomadic life I worked in TV production. Starting as a runner, and then as a researcher, camera operator, Assistant Producer and Director for ‘Factual Entertainment’ shows such as Channel 4’s Grand Designs and BBC’s Living in the Sun. And prior to television I rode 5000 miles on horse and camel along the Silk Road, through Central Asia and China – an extraordinary experience that was, in every respect, transformational!
Family Travel Blogging
In 2010, while based in India, I co-founded globetotting.com, a website that began its life as a hotel review site for families in Delhi but that evolved into a family travel blog after moving to Panama in 2014 (around the same time that Katja – my blogging partner and good friend in Delhi – moved to Mexico). In the following three years we built a family travel blog together of which I’m very proud. On the flip side I found myself spending waaaay too many hours tied to a computer and, dare I say it, my life started to feel somewhat meaningless. Cue: a much-needed break! I found the perfect tonic in the wilds of Patagonia where I indulged in day-long treks and galloped with gauchos across the wide open pampa.
That trip helped put many things in perspective and was a turning point for me. I knew I was approaching the end of a chapter but rather than fight it as I had been doing, I realised it was time to accept it. A couple of months later I gave my notice to Katja. A new chapter beckoned – Ecuador!
It’s no secret that travel can change lives. The Hero’s Journey is not a new concept – a traveller ventures forth into the unknown, steps out of his/her comfort zone, encounters marvellous things and returns home with a fresh perspective on life – and yet, this formula was never something I paid much attention to. I had always associated it with solo travel and the likes of of Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed. But what about families? Could this model be applied to kids as well? While the benefits of family travel may be obvious, I was curious to know what, if any, scientific research had been done to support this claim. I found myself reading more and more about experiential learning and transformational travel. Before I knew it I got sucked back into the world of family travel with this new, and somewhat experimental blog. If, like me, you’re also curious to learn more, please keep in touch – you can find me on social media (links in header), sign up to my newsletter, or email me here.
The Art of Family Travel
You can find out more about Far-Flung Lands and it’s philosophy, #TheArtOfFamilyTravel here.