Contributor Spotlight: Severine Brichard
International travel is no easy feat, especially with three kids under the age of seven in tow! In this Contributor Spotlight, Severine Brichard tells us what it’s like to move from country to country with her family of five, and why she believes it’s important for kids to travel the world.
SHE IS A MOM TO...
a six-year-old girl, a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old boy
AND LIVES IN...
TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
I’m a marketing expert and work in a Fortune 500 company. I’m French, my husband Ken is Irish, and we have three multinational children – Leonore, age 6; Thaddeus, 5; and Balthazar, 2.
We currently live in Shanghai, having moved countries three times since our three kids were born. Our daughter was born in Dublin, the boys were born in Amsterdam, and our youngest was only a few weeks old when we relocated to Shanghai!
I believe in curiosity and relativity - being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and taking a different perspective. I can’t think of a greater gift for my children.
WOW, QUITE THE YOUNG WORLD TRAVELERS! HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY'S TRAVEL STYLE?
Short and sweet! We have a long list of destinations that we cram into every possible long weekend and school holiday – especially since we moved to China. I am the Chief Travel Officer, and I do tons of research on blogs and Instagram beforehand.
It helps to make sure we choose the right location and accommodation to stay in. Doing so allows us to make the most of our time and not waste time “commuting.” With little ones, it also means we can work around nap schedules and go back out in the evening. I always have a rough outline of places to visit … [but] we play it by ear once we arrive at our destination.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE THAT YOU'VE HAD WITH YOUR KIDS?
Hiking and the kids on ponies in Iceland!
Nothing pleases me more than hearing my son ask whether we are going to get up in the middle of the night to go to the airport for an adventure.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORY FROM YOUR OWN CHILDHOOD?
Horseback riding treks in Auvergne in central France … [just] the awe and freedom from being on a horse in nature. My first backpacking trip was going around Ireland with my sister at ages 18 and 16, respectively. My mum was terrified, but my dad let us go, conscious of the benefit of such a formative experience.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR KIDS?
I believe in curiosity and relativity – being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and taking a different perspective. I can’t think of a greater gift for my children … Our youngest had visited 10 countries by his first birthday (and we are not digital nomads!). Nothing pleases me more than hearing my son ask whether we are going to get up in the middle of the night to go to the airport for an adventure (truth be told, red-eye flights are never fun, though!).
WHAT'S ONE NUGGET OF ADVICE THAT YOU HAVE FOR OTHER PARENTS TRAVELING WITH KIDS?
Pack light! You can always get laundry done if you run out of clothes. [And] bring minimal toys, as the kids will be so absorbed by their new environment, they won’t need distractions.