Nominated as a finalist for the 2015 MAD Blog Awards for Best Family Travel Blog, and coming highly recommended by Tots 100 - a site cataloguing the UK’s leading parenting blogs – solicitor turned professional blogger, Nisbah, has traversed more than just physical landscapes. With such a strong reception for her advice and journal blog – a.k.a The Five Adventurers, which also features husband Ashiq and their three little trekkers, Maya, Raihan and Zayn – this worldly-wise writer navigates the emotional terrain too: “It is very rewarding” she told us, “your children can learn as much from being on the go as they can rote-learning in the classroom; travel is an indispensable source of life experience. It is important not to be afraid to experiment. If you keep your mind open, and have that sense of fun and fascination, you pass on good practice to your young ones too.” Having recently filmed with the National Trust, and securing partnerships with the likes of Universal Studios and The Hotel Collection, Nisbah and her compact clutch of eager adventurers don’t just demonstrate inspiration, but establish it as a calling.
How did you get into family blogging?
My husband and I always loved travelling. We didn’t really think much needed to change when the children arrived, though many people do. So I thought, why not start a blog showing the benefits of joint adventures? I think there can be a reluctance to go to new places, but it is good to go outside your comfort zone.
One of your articles reads: ‘Throughout 2015 the newspapers were rife with article upon article highlighting that experiences are much more conducive to happiness then material items and goods. We are keen believers in this philosophy and want to change our attitude towards holidays and travels’ Please elaborate?
My husband actually has this theory that children need to be a little less distracted in order to be creative; it encourages them to think for themselves. Nowadays kids get given so much - I-Pads, new gadgets, all the traditional toys and more - that to them what is technically a lot is actually closer to nothing. You need to give them that mind space to discover and that’s where physical activities such as walks and exploration, comes into it. Better to use the time and money to have quality time with your kids.
You have had a successful corporate career too; is that useful for blogging?
When you have worked in as big a company as I did (Deloitte), you realise just how important confidence and thinking on the spot is and blogging is quite the same. It’s about how you interact with your audience— not just the figures. You need to know how to stand out personally.
You have taken a world trip with the family; could you share some highlights?
We went to Japan first and that was completely different and amazing- the toilets are pinnacles of technology! Very colourful too! Other places included Hong Kong and Malaysia. But New Zealand was the favourite. The country was just so beautiful: we rented out a car and were able to explore with flexibility. We went to see the glaciers, Mount Cook, the glow worms in the caves of Te Anau, the Fjords. In 2018 we are planning another big trip, for about12-18 months, where we are thinking of ‘home-schooling’ the children on the road! My daughter wants to go to Hawaii for her birthday and we have already started planning routes; this time we want to include South America and India.
How do you handle planning on the spot, especially with young children?
It’s important to have a chilled out attitude. When you have kids you learn that you don’t have control over anything and that’s ok! In fact you can use it to your advantage. The world is your oyster. In Malaysia there was a random Bhangra evening event, and my husband and niece, who we took with us too, just got up on stage and started dancing
What for you is the key to writing a good blog entry?
Keep your audience in mind. I started for two reasons: to record all the adventures for myself, but also to help other families. With so much experience, I’m able to pick up on what’s useful e.g how to have a good flight with your children, what the most efficient way of sorting your travel documents is. After the Paris attacks, for example, people have been more rattled about travelling. I just raise awareness and assuage the fears. Finally communicating widely on social media is important.
Have you always been creative naturally?
I’ve always loved reading and am always very hands on. I like to come up with all the creative solutions: wrapping and ideas for parties, we also did all our wedding photos ourselves.
Finally, what would you say are the top three ingredients for a great trip?
First off: a sense of adventure; practically speaking, think about enjoyable activities for everyone to do- I know adults tend to pick places with good restaurants, but think of the children’s needs too; finally look at the experiences most appealing for you. Don’t get bogged down by what you should do. For example if you like going to the beach, you can just as easily go to Spain as travelling across the world to Thailand.