Sailing around the world – with kids!
“Many people assume you need to be wealthy before you can live your dream. We did it the other way around. We made the decision to put our dream first and then created the wealth to make it happen.” – Caspar Craven
If you think your family is adventurous you may want to think again. Because when it comes to full-on transformational travels, the Craven family have set the bar very, very high. In 2014, this British family of five set off on a two-year adventure that saw them sail around the world with their three children then aged 9, 7 and 2.
But this is no ordinary adventure, however, this is a story about creating major life changes and building experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. The family have since written about their journey and their book, Where the Magic Happens: How a young family changed their lives and sailed around the world, was published in the US on March 27th and will be published in the UK on May 17th.
This once-in-a-lifetime journey was not something that happened overnight. Although dad Casper was an experienced sailor, having competed in the BT Global Challenge, otherwise known as the World’s Toughest Yacht Race, as the youngest crew member onboard the Yacht Quadstone, the Cravens were just a normal family living a normal life in London.
In 2009, however, a seed was planted and Casper, along with his wife Nichola, hatched a plan to sail around the world with their children. They then spent the next five years working out how to make it happen. In 2016, they successfully completed their circumnavigation having experienced both amazing highs and heart-wrenching lows.
“One of the reasons for our trip was that we wanted to get to know our children as people, sharing time and experiences together as a family. We wanted to teach them what we thought was important in life while experiencing the world with them.” – Caspar Craven
For, as you might expect, journeying around the world with or without young children is no mean feat. The family detailed their experience on their blog where they shared experiences of sailing alongside turtles and dolphins in Mexico, motoring through the Panama canal and discovering the amazing islands of Tonga. But they were also honest in their experiences; seasickness that lasted for days, battling enormous swells and giant waves and coping with a power failure that left their boat floating aimlessly in the water, deep in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles from the nearest piece of land.
Where the Magic Happens, is a story of a fabulous sailing adventure but it’s also a practical guide to show how you too can make change happen. It makes you question, in a good way, if you really are living your life to its fullest potential. Caspar and Nichola were just a regular mum and dad, raising their three kids in suburban London when they decided to do something life-changing. If they can do it they say, then so can you.
“The deepened relationship with our children is one of the enduring things that Nichola and I will carry for the rest of our lives — this experience makes the sacrifices that we made to get there worth every second.” – Caspar Craven
Katja Gaskell is a travel writer recently returned to London, U.K. after 12 years of living abroad in Australia, India and Mexico. She's the co-founder of globetotting.com and is a firm believer that you can - and should! - take your kids everywhere. Katja has written across a range of titles for Lonely Planet guidebooks, tested luxury hotels for Mr & Mrs Smith and has contributed to publications including BBC Food, Hotelier International and The Australian.