COUNTRY 31: Morocco, Land of Colors and Much Mor 

“He who hunts for ostrich, will find ostrich.” – Moroccan Proverb


Oh yes, our family is hunting! Hunting hard for our life’s passions fueled by our yearning to be world educated by its unparalleled beauty, diverse culture and history! 

Hunt ostrich, find ostrich. Can’t be more appropriate for our family’s ideals on setting family goals and traveling! Set goals, its necessary! 

Our Country 31/ 100 Countries Travelled Together as Family is Morocco. Also, the second African country after our adventure in Ethiopia, Land of Origins. We’ll update this blog as we go on exploring this wonderful country. 

We visited Casablanca, Morocco’s biggest and capital city,  last March 2017 with only the parents for some travel hacking attempt. That attempt is not as successful as we have imagined. However, it turned out very romantic. It’s just us, though. We can’t state that it’s because it’s “Casablanca” but partly because traveling parents neeeds to be alone every now and then. So we said to ourselves, “we may have travelled Paris with kids, but we have Casablanca. ” Awesome, memorable couple traveling days! 

Travel date mixed with travel hacking in Casablanca! Can you tell we’re stoked and overjoyed?! (March 2017)

But what do we know?! Few months after, kids enjoyed Casablanca with us. Lots of gratitude, no complains. To explore the largest mosque in the country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with our global children couldn’t be more perfect. 
  

Family selfie portrait I Hassan II Mosque (October 2017)
Kids jumping for joy (October 2017)

Worth noting a brief description of Hassan II Mosque from Wikipedia 

The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II (Arabic: مسجد الحسن الثاني‎‎; colloquially the “Casablanca Hajj”)is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca.The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.




We just can’t wait to see more of Morocco 🇲🇦 for some serious “ostrich hunting.” 



Type of Family Travelers We Know and Want to Be! 

“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

Since  our family started our family adventures based on our family travel goals, we meet a lot of family travelers online and offline. Perhaps family travel will be the leading form of travel in the near future. Maybe (big maybe) that’s how Millennial will raise their families. Honestly, we see a lot of wins when kids travel early on with their family. It is our contention that family travel will pave the way to world peace.
 

That Big Family Traveler

More than big in number but more on big in ideas and big in luxury! Family travelers can aim for that one-time BIG adventure and they go all out. Disneyworld, Disneyland, Legoland, Atlantis – yes please! Mainly where commercial travel marketing go crazy at. Yes, after all, It’s A Small World After All!

That Disneyland Dream for Princesses

That Hairy Family Traveler

Shun all the risks, these family traveler will visit exotic places in a heartbeat! But of course, exotic is a relative place, it could be Asia for North Americans or Africa for Asians, either ways it is a dangerous, out of comfort zone place for this type of family traveler.

Off to exotic places we go!

That Audacious Family Traveler

Daring, bold and brave, adjectives we don’t normally use at the end of a fairytale like “happily ever after…” That’s boring because  family fairy tale doesn’t have to have an ending. Long term family travelers life their life without borders, that audacious! It must be really    fantastic  to wake up to days and days of something new and different which turns to weeks and weeks which turns to years to years.. up to , who knows, decades even. 

Okay, technically not long term travel.. but hey, this place we called work home for more than a decade is a place away from other home countries… still home without borders.. ha!
 

That Goal (keeper/oriented) Family Traveler

Of course, that cautious family traveler who are vigilant to source out travel deals, who master the itinerary to ensure productive travel days with family because of limited time, limited resources or any other limitations. They are the family who does not make excuses, yet makes end meet in their own creative ways.

Our first trip as family “tourist” will always be one of the most memorable family adventures: the learning curve is the best for all of us when it comes to family traits, tourism, finances and scheduling – that first jump towards own family milestone is the best!
 
 

Our family is that family who is a little bit of everything, who lives by the acronym BHAG, that Big Hairy Audacious Goal of traveling 100 countries in every continent, who appreciate every family travelers we meet.

Any type, any form, any reason, any rationale of family travel. We strongly believe, all families are unique, so their travels should be. 

Create your own family trail
 
 

COUNTRY 27: Incredible India 

“The world is a bridge. Cross it, but build no house upon it. ” – Akbar 


Finally made it to India as family! We’ve been to parts of India for last two years back, but we were not together and based on our own goal setting criteria which we have articulated  our own family’s travel goal   in Turknoy Travels 100 is a Lifestyle encouraging families to do the same.

 

Visiting countries separately doesn’t  count. India is our Country 27 when  we visited Goa, India , all five of us last July 2017. We definitely had the best  time  relaxing by the beaches of Arabian Gulf.

 

 

Of course, the seventh biggest country in the world deserves way more than one time visit, especially for India where the one city is a world different from the other when it comes to religion, traditions  and even geography. Visiting one city barely scratch the surface to understand India’s culture, religion, people and economy.

 

New Delhi, India

Them,  our  family traveling mom (ehhem, me! So far, the main author  of this blog) visited New Delhi twice. One time way back 2015 with kids and  their grandma and favourite  Aunt. The  second time was last year (2016) for mom-dad travel date. Fingers crossed,  we get to explore India every year,  one city at a time while we are based in the Middle East as expat family.
New Delhi  is a very progressive city with its train and metro  system ready to cater to more than20 million people living in the city. The city is crowded and buzzing with adventure ready to be discovered by local  and tourists alike.
Exploring New  Delhi is like a crash course or gateway for India’s diversity.  A very interesting city indeed.

Visited Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple with Kids in New Delhi (2015)


Couples Getaway in New Delhi (2016) visited Gandhi’s Memorial, Lotus Temple, India Gate, Red Fort and a lot of temples



Agra, India

From New Delhi, we took a  very  comfortable train transport to Agra to see a Wonder  of the World , Taj Mahal. What amazing structure it really is. Spending the day in Taj Mahal as a  couple   was very peaceful and yes,  cheesy and  romantic.

 

Taj Mahal and lots of cheesy couple talk 💞

Our conversation during our day out in Taj Mahal: 

Turknoys Mum: Would you build me a Taj Mahal when I die?

Turknoys Dad: No. I would love you more than Emperor loved her wife when she died while you are alive. 

Ha! 

Goa, India


With all honesty,  Goa reminds us of Turknoy’s Mom’s hometown Indang, Cavite. The tropical culture and the Catholic-village  practice has resemblances. Understandably, since that’s  how geography  and religion works.  The food,  however, couldn’t be more different.  Of course, we  love both.
 

A Worldschooling travel date with Unico Hijo in Goa, India (2015)


Finally explored Goa, India with all members of family (July,2017) – Country 27/100 ✈️


Needless to say, India is incredible! It’s obvious as we keep on coming back! 


With God’s will, we’ll  update this  blog with places we  will visit  in India. What is  your favourite city in India?  Please give suggestions.

 

 

COUNTRY 24: Epic Estonia? Exactly! 

 “He who does not jump into water will not learn to swim.” – Estonian Proverb 



Tallinn, Estonia

Our family stayed right in the middle of  Tallinn’s Old Town. Needless to say, we  were deeply fascinated. We can  almost hear and  feel the stories of  Tallinn’s Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and,  it seems  like  another super awesome  tick in our  UNESCO World Heritage Sites  family bucketlist.

Tallinn Old Town is captivating like our little lady traveller

 

Ghost stories, medieval history lessons, perfect view, another day well spent with kids… *swooonnnnn*

Of course,we will  not walkthrough our family travel blog readers with options on how to explore Old Town  of this  fantastic city.  When it comes to travel and  to life,  one family’s logic is another family’s crazy.

We would,  however, highlight what makes our family travel  memorable. After all, this blog, at  the very least, is a testament that we can travel to  places we’ve never imagined  if we set our goals together  as family.

When we travel, we are inclined to be biased to cities or countries who have the culture of reading. Reading is a symptom of desire to learn and innovate.  That’s really important to  develop anyone or any  place.

So, guess what we think of Tallinn, Estonia. We stayed one full  day at the Estonian Children Literature Centre, with lots of reading and creative activities for our kids, for free!  Yes, not  every kid can travel like our kids do (that’s why our kids are very grateful day in, day out… gratitude is our top family value,  right next  to faith.) But, every kid should have access to this kind of  learning environment. How we wish every city, province, state or territory would provide this to every kid, free read,  free to  play, free to imagine! The world would  be  a way  better place.

I guess,  what we are saying,  check out what this Literature Centre is about.

Estonian Children Literature Centre, Free, Fun, Fabulous
 


Tartu, Estonia

After having stimulating medieval lessons in Tallinn, we had  quite  an   impression of Estonia.  Much more when we visited  Tartu, the second largest city of the country and known as the intellectual centre of the country!

 

We breezed through walking around  Old Town, University of  Tartu, Toomemagi Park among others.   It’s not another  town in Europe for  us. We enjoyed staring at famous people’s statues  and reading the history behind them.

Again for us, our family travel adventure highlight is  the modern Science Centre AHHAA, full hands-on exhibits and the 4D cinema.


Science Centre AHHAA: This is the way to build a wall – take that D Trump.
With science, nothing is possible. Lift up a car, why don’t we?!


Epic Estonia has been viewed by the some travel blogs to be the worst tourism slogan because of how the small the country is. But hey, we’ve been to Estonia and it’s not the country’s size which decides how epic the country could be. He possibilities, the intellectual and creative opportunities, exactly epic!  

How did we bring “Epic” home with us?!! Books about Estonia!

COUNTRY 22: Ethiopia, Land of Origins

Do not hesitate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing. – Ethiopian Proverb

Woohoo! Our 3rd continent and our first  African country  to explore with kids. 

It maybe our love for discovering human history when our family travels that had drawn us in visiting Ethiopia. Our primary goal was to see Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil, probably the first evidence of humanity. The continent Africa is known as The Cradle of Humanity, then Ethiopia is its evidence repository.

Our Exploring Family with Lucy (model)
These traveling kids with Lucy!
As a worldschooling family who sets SMART goals to travel to 100 countries in all continents by 2022. This is our attempt to live life to the fullest with kids. Ethiopia is our first country in Africa (our third continent, 30th country visited, to date.
Ethiopia Tastes Awesomeeee!
When it comes to food and accommodation, we had the most unique experience in the country. Barely 4 hours away from Qatar, we were amazed with a totally different world. We definitely had a crash course in archeology and paleontology and how it works in the real world. Our three traveler kids had been to countless of Natural Museums in Europe and Asia yet we were impressed with somewhat “shabby” museum in Addis Ababa containing real human history treasures.

Look at our 5-year old, at home in a new continent ready to explore!
Lucy aside, here are 5 interesting facts about Ethiopia that everybody, yes, including kids, can appreciate:

1. Country History: Ethiopia is the only African country, which successfully fought against the scramble for Africa. It was never colonized, though Italians attempted to occupy it twice.

Ethiopia is a beautiful country worthy of independence.

2. UNESCO Heritage Sites: There are nine, day trips from Addis Ababa possible! Most famous sites are Lalibela twelve-rock-hewn churches. We visited Christian Orthodox churches which gave an interesting perspective for a family with both Islam and Catholic members.

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

3. Religion: Ethiopia appears in the Bible 45 times both in Old and New Testament.

Inside An Orthodox Christian Church

4. Origin of Coffee. Coffee is Ethiopian’s gift to the world. It was found in the Kaffa Region (South-Western Ethiopia.) Even before the visit, we are non-Starbucks coffee drinkers. Enjoying the real “coffee culture” experience in Addis Ababa with really strong and delicious coffee with local ceremonies

5. Abebe Bikila, a star Ethiopian marathon runner, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in 1960. Add in the country’s high elevation Addis Ababa is athletes’ heart’s working out paradise. Made us want to become runners and marathoners.

Street Soccer in Adus Ababa
Vast fresh air, massive wild… Ahhh life is perfect with a horse
And oh, more pluses — the Ethiopian women are really gorgeous and almost everybody is kind to tourists. Ethiopia is one of the safest country in Africa to visit. With low costs airlines flying to Addis Ababa almost every day from Doha, Qatar where our family’s currently based, for sure, we would be back for some backpacking with kids.

Take us back to Addis Ababa where kids run wild with the horse and dogs

Why Pinoy Family Should Travel The World 

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan.” – Dr.Jose P.  Rizal, Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas

Translation: The youth is the hope of our nation, – Dr. Jose P.Rizal, Philippine National  Hero

Ang kabayan ang Pag Asa Ng Bayan – how do you want them to lead the future of our Country?!

Well, the world changed a  lot since that  Dr. Jose P. Rizal made that quote infamous. There is still a ring of truth into that quote at this  day and age, that we believe. Despite the fact that how many  generations of youth have let down  Dr. Jose  P. Rizal? Well,  we are not an authority on Philippine History, much more  an  expert on interpreting Philippine current events based on history. Although, proudly we say, our family is raising three global citizens exploring the world (Turknoy Travels 100 ,  now 30/100) using  their Philippine passports.

So, from  one Pinoy family to another, we encourage you to travel with  kids and we have three persuading reasons:

Pinoys  are World Class, Traveling  Magnifies Opportunities For Pinoy Kids to  be World Class. Bragging aside, we know how Filipinos contribute to international workforce, arts, science and new discoveries. Monkey see, monkey  do. When kids see Filipinos all over the world, doing what they  like best  and being admired for it by  almost all  nationalities, that fire of passion will burn until they accomplish  something similar.

A lame comparison,  albeit common, would be to be so  excited about having a Filipino Restaurant  in a certain  city  in any  country! We will definitely be tempted  to visit  and chat with the owner about how that success came to be.

Don’t even  get us started about Filipinos winning in  international competition, mainly in singing or in fashion. Don’t we all feel that same old “Proud to be  Pinoy” sentiments? Speaking of which… “Uyy, there’s a Pinoy winner  in  Project  Runway.” or that Isn’t Bruno Mars Filipino by blood line?!

There’s  fire burning in every adult Filipino to succeed in international scene. When that fire started kindling  at an early age, there’s  no  amount of life’s fire extinguisher  can void that.

 

The  World is Beautiful. There’s  More to Life Than SM. 

Disclaimer alert, these statements are written from a village Filipino perspective, as our family came from a far away village with happily-ever-after endings. Yes, a remote, small village where everybody knows everybody’s names and sadly and  happily, depends on how you look at it, everybody’s business.

Way way back, do you know where our family go to entertain guests? Where we think, we would go for an adventure? SM! Yes, those big, gigantic, enormous buildings, apparently the biggest malls in Asia or in  the world. molding the minds of millions of Filipinos to buy their hard earned dollars, euros, pesos or any  denomination because they are SM! Imagine how small scale entrepreneurs and small scale  real estate agents would prosper without these gigantic commercial monopoly.

Okay, got a little carried away there. The  point is, the Philippines has lots of  magnificent islands, mountains, seas, waterfalls to explore. Thanks to a gazillion of tourists who got viral attention in the internet because they  showcase the beauty of our  motherland, The Philippines.And yes, we know that  Pinoy millennial  have been  traveling the world and the country quite extensively, like no other generation has ever done. Why not Pinoy kids, follow millennial lead?

Going farther, when we travel with kids, we get to see that other countries have a lifestyle, not necessary like our country that works. In Europe, there are no  big malls, yet the  tourists and locals visit Old Towns patronising small shops earning  their living for centuries! Okay, maybe for decades. But that’s the point. Business can  run for decades because they have the  sense of heritage.

It’s a beautiful world, not  in a supermall,  megamall kind of way! The earlier the kids learn this, the better for the country!

If you are not exploring the Philippines by boat, you are doing it wrong!

That Colonial Mentality (Hey Joe!) 

Most – Hey Joe! You American?

Some: Not all white people are Americans! Some of them are Brits!

Obviously pun intended. But hey, not Filipinos fault! Our gorgeous archipelago has been colonized for centuries and the school textbooks are yet to be  revised to  include stories about other countries (you know, like what are Bohemians?! – seriously, hope we are wrong for thinking this, do educate us!)

Every country is different. Each one has different history and culture.  White, black, brown, yellow, pink. If we are  not open to this understanding and keen on  generalizing skin colors, we might as well be uneducated. Europe has 50  countries, each  one of the countries have diverse backgrounds and most of them, black, white, yellow, pink and every color in between. Africa is  not country, the continent has 54 countries and no, not all of their inhabitants are black! Add in the  other  4 continents, and we have almost 200 nationalities. We know how it feels to be stereotype as ” You Asian looks the same with  your small eyes and like rice so much!” Ggrr

I guess, our point is, travel with kids for them to introduce diversity!

These are our three personal reasons why we travel with our Pinoy kids. There are more, like appreciation of world religion, which we elaborated on our Singapore blog post and  our worldschooling  ideas. We  intend to share more as we go on more adventure with our family  goals.

Do you have a  burning reason why Pinoy kids should travel the world?

There are different ways to take a shower, yet, using Tabo is the best!

Qatar 5: Al Fuwairit Beach and Turtle Hatching

“And the turtles, of course… All the turtles are free, as turtles,  and maybe  all creatures should be.” -Dr.Seuss 

 

The turtle nesting season in Qatar starts April and since 2015, the Al Fuwairit Beach is closed during the season until the cute teeny tiny little turtles are off to their place in  the ocean.

Helping tiny turtle hatchlings go to their home in the Arabian Gulf is a very spectacular experience for all of us

The beach normally  opens again first two weeks of August. That would  be a tad hot to swim, not too hot to appreciate the sunset, the fine beach and the calm sea water.

 

Our family photo in Fuwairit Beach! We have the beach to ourselves ❤️
Life is always good at the beach

Maybe it’s our perfect timing to visit the beach, maybe it’s our  instinct way from crowd, but we never really see Al Fuwairit Beach crowded. If we are to describe the beach based on our  experience, it  would be the adjectives “desolate” and “serene.” We usually go  right after work hours of the week day to watch the sunset or Saturday afternoon when  everybody might be heading back to the  city for the work week.

 

The Al Fuwairit Beach is  almost 50-km away from center of the  city through Al Shamal Road. There are no  facilities such as shower, toilets or supermarket   but there will be at least two fuel stations with convenience stores for stop  over along the way .

 

The  kids always have a blast swimming or  just running around the long stretch of white beach.

Dad says Jump… Son says “How high?!”

We sincerely hope that the visitors will  not leave their trash behind to preserve the beauty  of the  Al Fuwairit Beach.  Just like anywhere in the world, nature preservation is the responsibility of every  one of us. If we can’t contribute,  the least we can do is not cause any damage.

It’s a blessing to live in a Peninsula Country. Beach around us! Add in sunset watching and life is always blessed and awesome!

Enjoy Al Fuwairit  Beach, but please..  please.. leave  only footprints and adventure memories.