Rendezvous with Rovers – The Adventurous Selims!
Welcome to this installment of our Rendezous with Rovers series on our Weekend Travel Inspiration. This week we’ve interviewed the inspirational Selim family. From Bangaladesh to the United Kingdom, they have really taken advantage of living in a different culture, and they take their two children with them! Read on to find out all about their travels!
Please tell us a little about you and your family?
We are Ashique, Samiya, Shahaar and Shama, family of four who loved all things travel, nature and the greater outdoors. We have lived in England the past 10 years, before this I lived 7 years in North America and Ashique and I both grew up in Bangladesh. A Psychiatrist and Marine Scientist by profession, we have travelled far and wide across Europe, Bangladesh and parts of North America. We are now moving to New Zealand to explore Oceania, and pretty much living out of suitcases at the moment as we depart any day now as soon as we get visas!
I know you are based in the UK and I love reading your local stories. If I only had one week for England, where is someplace I shouldn’t miss?
That is such a difficult one to answer! We love so many places in England, the obvious one would be London if you only had one week, but the National Parks would be our personal favourite – Lake District and Peak District in particular. There is something very special about the English countryside; there is so much history here, and such beautiful landscape to enjoy. If you are lucky, you might even get good weather to enjoy the outdoors properly!
What inspires you to travel?
A serious case of Wanderlust, strong desire to see the world, experience new cultures and food, meet new people. Life is short and we want to live it to its fullest. Travel makes us happy, so we do it.
What types of places call to you?
Mostly the greater outdoors, places that have wildlife and natural beauty. We tend to base lot of our travels around National Parks. We also enjoy history a lot and love exploring castles, ruins and places with strong cultural and historical heritage. We love food too, and are drawn to places reputed for wonderful cuisine.
How often do you get to travel?
As often as we can! Most weekends we do local travels in England, at least one trip down to London. We prefer overland journeys and being in Europe has allowed us to do lot of 3-4 days or week long trips to France, Spain and other European countries. This past summer we did a 3 week Europe road trip, was brilliant! We get 5 weeks holiday and combining that with bank holidays and most weekends, we end up travelling 2-3 months in a year.
Describe your travel philosophy.
More and more we are drawn to overland journeys, we always preferred road trips and train journeys over air travel. We love travel but we also know it can have a heavy carbon footprint. We try as much as possible to reduce that, eat local and do local travel, respect the environment and culture in different countries, avoid places that use (and abuse) animals for entertainment. We also prefer slow travel and would rather stay in one region and explore that place thoroughly than try and cover all bases – we haven’t always succeeded in doing this – and have regretted packing too much in many times!
Everyone always asks the impossible question of what is your favorite, but just tell us a couple of places that you just love or surprised you, or a place you find yourself going back to, and maybe a place that was a little disappointing and didn’t live up to its reputation.
In recent travels, we absolutely loved Croatia and Morocco. We had high expectations of both countries and neither let us down! We loved the culture, colours, and energy in Marrakech, and the people were so friendly! Croatia was amazing too – we loved the food, the sea, historic ruins, there is so much more here we want to explore!
On the other hand, Venice disappointed us – we found it too touristy and crowded and did not have such a great experience here. It could be due to the fact that we went in mid-August, peak tourist season, it could be that Venice was near the end of our 7 country Europe road trip and we were tired by then. Whilst we found some parts pretty, it definitely didn’t live up to our expectations.
What is one funny, embarrassing, cute, or even frustrating anecdote from your travels?
Before our first trip to Italy, I had done a 3 month Italian Course and was eager to practice by newly acquired language skills. We were in Calabria region, in a small fishing village. We had lunch at a lovely Italian Café and I thought I would impress the waitress with my Italian. I asked for strawberry flavoured Gelato. But instead of using Fragola (strawberry) I said Vongole (clam). She just calmly told me they don’t have clam flavoured ice-cream. I was quite embarrassed but we all had a good laugh over it.
I know that you travel with your family. What is the one thing you would say to would be family travelers?
I would say start travelling with the family as early as possible! It’s cheaper travelling with babies, especially free flights before the age of 2. They don’t need food or extra bedding. Most importantly, they become experienced travellers themselves, they become very open and adaptable to new places and new people. They are happy to try different kinds of food. I am not saying travelling is everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy it, don’t let kids restrict you from travelling – if anything, let it be part of the new travelling experience, it is truly wonderful to see the wonders of the world through the eyes of children and share that experience with them.
Other than travel blogging, what do you do to remember your travels? Do you buy souvenirs?
We buy a magnet from every place we travel to. I love looking at our refrigerator, full of reminders of our world travels. I also take ridiculous amount of pictures!
What is your next destination and what are you looking forward to doing there?
New Zealand, Thailand followed by Australia. Fiji and Samoan islands thrown in there too! I am looking forward to diving again, and doing more water based activities with the kids. And just looking forward to exploring new destinations.
Finally, if you could inspire someone to start traveling, which place would you recommend to him or her as a good starting destination and why? Are there any places that you wouldn’t travel to your first time out and why?
I think that would depend on what any person’s interests are – I suppose as my first time travelling, I wouldn’t necessarily choose places that are not familiar with tourists – but perhaps that would be an amazing experience in itself, to discover off the beaten path destinations, where the locals tend to surprise you with their hospitality and kindness. I started travelling on my own in North America, I would recommend that highly. With Ashique we started proper backpacking in India and would highly recommend that too! I suppose if it was my first time travelling, and I were a solo female traveller or family traveller, I would avoid places of conflict, but I really can’t pick any one destination I wouldn’t go to. Travelling opens the eyes and dispels so many prejudices about people and places. We are always inspired to travel to new and old places.
The Selim Family RAASTA at their following social media networks! Follow them!
Website: The Selim Family RAASTA
Samiya and Ashique, it is so good getting to know you. I can’t wait to read all about your new adventures in New Zealand!