Meet the Nomads – Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

From traveling as a couple to traveling together with their two kids, The Barefoot Nomad brings us a lot of insightful stories of how family travels around the world. Micki and Charles started a long journey last 2003 and after a few years have decided to settle down and build a family.

But after some time, Charles and Micki have decided to continue on the journey together with their two kids. And with additional kids in tow, they also changed their traveling habits: they traded their small bags to big backpacks and from sleeping in cheap hostels to finding more comfortable and secure accommodations.

I find The Barefoot Nomad a helpful blog not only for family travelers but also for independent travelers as well since they also write a lot of destination-specific articles and tons of travel tips that you will definitely find insightful and useful.

If you’d like to follow Micki and Charles’s family adventure, check out their blog at The Barefoot Nomad.

But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Micki.

Meet the Nomads - Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

How did you discover your passion for travelling?

“I didn’t start traveling until my early 30s! Before that, I’d always wanted to hit the road, but school, work, a relationship, or just fear got in the way. When I met Charles, we spent hours sitting up at night talking about where we’d love to travel. Somehow, we screwed up the courage, saved enough money, and headed out for a year long trip to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The minute I stepped on the plane, I was hooked on travel.”

What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?

“There’s probably a ten way tie for that. Getting e. coli in the Philippines, having a knife pulled on us in the Australian Outback, or being chased by a water buffalo head the list. Throwing up for 12 hours straight in the back of a stifling hot bus in Indonesia that was filled with the stench of clove cigarettes is also high up there.”

What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?

“Wow, there are so many great experiences. Some of my favorites were sailing Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, a hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia Turkey, and getting nose to nose with a sea turtle while diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Many of my favorite experiences are about the people we’ve met. One was having the privilege of having coffee in the house of the grandmother of a guy we’d met in the rice fields by Bukkitingi, Indonesia (this was after we were chased by the water buffalo). I also loved watching Charles and our son Cole playing soccer with the local men in Goreme, Turkey.”

Meet the Nomads - Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?

“We are all the same, despite our skin color, our religion, our language, our age or even our gender. At the core, we’re all just trying to make our way in the world as best we can. This is something that I knew, intellectually, before I traveled. But now, thanks to the people I’ve met on the road, I know it in my gut. It’s part of who I am.”

What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?

“I do it for love. I love almost everything about traveling. I still love flying; the feeling when the plane’s wheels leave the ground, the little portions of food, and even the tiny glasses of wine (especially those!). I’m not too keen on the hassles at airport security these days, though.

One of my favorite things in the world is that feeling of displacement when we get somewhere new. It’s a bit lonely and surreal, but also deeply full of curiosity and excitement, as if anything is possible.

There’s a scene in the movie “Lost in Translation” that captures this perfectly, where Bill Murray’s character is riding in a car through the streets of Japan. From the signs he sees to the people he glimpses, everything is foreign to him, but you can just feel his fascination with the place.”

This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?

“Can I create a “dream team”? Anthony Bourdain, because he’s sarcastic and scathing and funny as hell, but I think he’s kind at heart, and cares about the people and places he visits. Ricky Gervais because he’s intelligent and insightful and would be a riot to travel with.”

Meet the Nomads - Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

Where’s your favorite place in this planet and why?

“I love Thailand for the gorgeous beaches, amazing food and lovely people. Canada, my home country, just because it’s so overwhelmingly beautiful and wild. And Turkey, because we just spent three amazing weeks there, and found the people so friendly, the food so good, and there’s so much more to see!”

What’s your best tip for newbie traveler?

“Just put on your traveling shoes and go. The hardest part, by far, is walking out the door. The rest, somehow, just takes care of itself.”

What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?

“Our travels are one goofball adventure after another. I don’t think we go an hour without someone cracking a joke, or playing a prank, or singing a silly song. It keeps the kids entertained, and keeps us sane.”

How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?

“Since we travel with two little ones (ages 4 and 8), we’re always aware of our responsibility to keep them safe and secure. We’ve traveled so much that we have a second sense of when something about a person or situation is “off” and just remove ourselves from the situation.

Practically, we always carry a first aid kit and medications like antihistamines, cold medications, and antibiotic and anti-fungal creams.

We always split up our money and cards in several places, keep copies of all important documents online and encrypted, and keep our belongings locked up and hidden when we’re away. That said, we don’t travel with anything very expensive, so there’s not a lot to steal.”

What do you think about yourself?

“I’m incredibly fortunate to live in the place and time I do. For the first time in the history of the world, air travel has made it affordable and easy for people like me to explore the entire globe. 100 years ago, even crossing the Atlantic Ocean was a major undertaking that took weeks. Today, we can fly halfway around the world in hours.

I believe that what most people think of as security (a permanent job and a owning a home) is really a bit of an illusion. Life can change in an instant. Jobs can be lost, and home values can drop in a second. Real security comes from knowing that you can adapt to almost any situation.”

Meet the Nomads - Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

“The Barefoot Nomad is about travel, tech, family and fun. From hot air ballooning through Turkey to snorkeling with sea turtles in Mexico to riding camels in Morocco, Micki, Charles and their two little ones prove that you can have great adventures with your kids. Follow along for expert travel tips, great tech help, and inspiration for your family travel all in one helpful, quirky space. Oh, and a lot of talk about ice cream.” – Micki Kosman

Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Micki.

Next: Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse Previously: Savi and Vid of Bruised Passports For more interviews with travel bloggers, check out the archives of Meet the Nomads.

Comments

  1. Those are some pretty horrible, horrible-experiences!
    Always glad to learn about another fellow traveler to follow though 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for having us, Flip! 🙂

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