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Disclaimer: I bugged the poo out of this poor man until he broke down and graciously agreed to answer these questions. Before you read this, pretend you are Wayne and Garth and repeat to yourselves, “We’re not worthy”.
Chris Brogan is a Strategist/Advisor of Enterprise Tech and Social Media. In other words, he’s the Shiznit, The Man, or whatever name you want to call him, but I’m pretty sure he prefers Chris. He’s also a Traveling Dad and founder of Dad-o-Matic, a place for dads to share thoughts and ideas about parenting. Chris also educates people about technology and the practices around it with his personal blog, ChrisBrogan.com.
For those of you in the blogosphere that haven’t heard of Chris, consider this your introduction to one of the Gurus of Social Media. He’s been married since 2000 and has two children that he knows of, one 6 years old and the other almost 3. He and his family make their home in Northern Massachusetts. Chris also travels extensively throughout the year, schooling the masses on all things tech and social media and is working on his next book. He also recently brought up the question of how Tourist Bureaus can reach bloggers during a visit to St. Louis, and this topic has generated some big buzz in the travel industry.
Do you travel without your family a lot? Does your wife travel without the family?
Almost never in both cases, at least not in airplanes. Funny timing, as my wife is about to take the kids on a solo trip up to Newfoundland.
What does your wife think about this (you traveling)?
She and I have a good relationship around my travel. When I’m home, I’m VERY home. I play with the kids a lot. I take my daughter to school often. I take them places and do all that fun dad stuff (plus the hard parts). It ends up being a balance. And this job I love, so I’m overall much happier. When I was home more often but in a crap job, I was a far less engaged dad.
Do you take family getaways? If so, where is your family’s favorite place to go?
We haven’t done it a lot. I think I’m a scaredy cat of how it’s going to be to wrangle all the kids in some delightful foreign location. We do lots of day trips and the occasional overnighter up in New England. But then, I haven’t had a “real” vacation in forever.
Do you and your wife ever get a chance for a romantic escape?
We can measure those opportunities in hours, not days.
Any tips for our female readers on how to make a Dad’s life easier when they travel? Any tips for the dads out there?
For both sides of the gender, my thought is this: be very clear. If you’re into peace and quiet on a beach, and your spouse is into gambling at casinos, the time to discover these things isn’t while shuffling for the credit card to book a flight, and even worse when you’re at the destination. Another idea: families on vacation are fairly tightly knit. If there’s a way to give mom and dad solo trips of a few hours, where the other spouse wrangles, that’s a nice way to double-dip on the sense of a vacation.
What is your pet travel peeve?
Power. I’m a business traveler. I need power strips everywhere. Yes, I can bring one (and often do), but I’m frustrated that hotels haven’t rigged themselves even more appropriately for today’s gadget-laden traveler.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Newfoundland. I’ve been twice, and it’s like Ireland over on this side of the ocean. It’s a great mix of Canada’s best people, a rustic scenery, cold weather (which I prefer), and a different pace of living.
Thanks so much to Chris Brogan for taking the time to answer these questions for TravelingMamas.com. After reading through his answers, this man is in SERIOUS need of either a romantic getaway or a family vacation at an all-inclusive resort where he and his wife can relax while the kids have fun. If you are interested in social media, then visit his site at ChrisBrogan.com. He is one of the most awesome Social Media Gurus and is active on Twitter.
And for those of you who “get it”, Mariska Hargitay.
Chanize Thorpe, a freelance travel writer/editor, is a Traveling Mama who lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has traveled the world and has agreed to share some of her insights on being a mama and traveling.
How did you first become a Traveling Mama?
My dad was in the military so I’ve been traveling all of my life. Even after I left home for college, I had “itchy feet” and would find myself packing my suitcase to go somewhere every 3 months. That never changed, even when I had children!
When you travel solo for work, how do you deal with leaving the kids and hubby?
At first I used to be a wreck. I’d have this prolonged good-bye and then my children would start crying as if they’d never see me again. It was awful. Finally my husband told me that the more I make a big deal out of it, the worse it would get, so I stopped the drama on my end. I’ve got a good support system, my husband and grandma tag team it while I’m away, and they all know the routines I have in place, so I don’t worry any more.
Is there any advice or tips you can give a Traveling Mama about to embark on her first solo/girls getaway?
Make sure you leave a plan for whoever’s watching the kids. I make a menu for my grandma so she knows what to cook while I’m gone (that eliminates McDonald’s for dinner every night), we go over the girls’ chores for the week, I leave my itinerary with her as well as numbers for hotel, airline, etc. Leave no questions unanswered.
You are a freelance travel writer, so you’ve seen a few places around the world. Is there a special place Traveling Mamas could go to renew their vows or for a second marriage?
It’s no secret that I am in love with Aruba. I’ve written so many features on the island I’ve stopped counting. It’s really one of my favorites. To me, a vow renewal on an island with the sand in your toes and a tropical flower in your hair is the ultimate. Pick a place that has a vow renewal ceremony package so you’re not stressing out about all the details. You just pick package “A” or “B” and it’s easy peasy.
If there were three things you could take with you on a trip, what would they be, and why?
I take a tunic top that works for day and night, I take my gold Cole Haan Air Jane shoes for the same reason, and an exercise band because I’m trying to keep my routine going while I’m on the road.
Do you have any final advice for a Traveling Mama about to embark on a journey?I think my best advice, is that mom’s should work really hard on not feeling guilty for being on the road. Children are more resilient than we think. I was the child of a military father and he was deployed sometimes for months at a time. I was able to survive that and I know my children are able to cope when mommy goes away for a few days, especially when they are surrounded by people who care about them.I believe in seizing opportunities when you can. You only have one life and in this game, things can change in an instant. If I can make it work, then you better believe I go for it!