This week’s Mom Traveler Spotlight is on Monique Rubin. Monique (@monique_rubin) and I are Twitter buddies and I’ve enjoyed hearing about her life as a traveling mom and an ExPat living in the Netherlands. I’ve never told her this but that is the one European city that I really wanted to make home after living there for a little while. If the internet was then what it is today, I would’ve. Anyway, enough about me.
Monique has two beautiful daughters, ages 8 and 10 years old. You can catch her when she’s not running through Europe doing a race at www.motravels.com. Here’s what she has to say about travel:
ABOUT THE NETHERLANDS
NEMO is the biggest science museum in Netherlands, full of interactive activities and an absolute must. I also recommend the Anne Frank museum for families with children mature enough to grasp the subject matter.
During the spring, take the family to the Keukenhof to see the tulips and other beautiful flowers and no visit to Holland would be complete without a boat ride on the canals and a bike tour.
For accommodations, I like Hotel Zandbergen, which is located on a quiet residential neighborhood across from Amsterdam’s Vondelpark. Another great place to stay is the Park Plaza Victoria. Located across the street from Amsterdam’s Central Station – it is very convenient to most of the city’s attractions.
I recognized myself as a traveler at a very early age. Even before I started traveling, I knew I wanted to. I credit Prince Charles and Robin Leach with my wanderlust. (<—Love this!)
TRAVEL ADVICE FOR PARENTS
You have a lot less control than you realize. Ultimately, kids set the pace, so try to be flexible and be prepared to travel at a much slower pace. Also, don’t underestimate what your kids want to see or will enjoy.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES TRAVELING WITH KIDS
See above. I am constantly working on being flexible and traveling at a slower pace. I really wanted to do that all-day side trip to Alexandria when we went to Sharm-el-Sheik. Who knows when we’ll go back to Egypt, so we should get it all in, right? (Yes! Thought I was the only one who thought that way.) When you’re traveling with kids, not so much.
ALL THE PLACES MONIQUE’S LIVED AND TRAVELED
I’ve only lived in Holland since being a mom. BC, however, I lived in Los Angeles, where I am from, Indiana, DC and CT. As a family, we have traveled extensively throughout Europe, gone on 3 African safaris and traveled a bit in the US, mostly to visit family on the East Coast and in California.
Some of my favorite places include Barcelona, Cape Town, Nice and London. However, if I were forced to choose just one, it would be Paris. The sight of my first European trip, and like they say, you always remember your first. It’s also where my husband proposed, so I would say Paris is my favorite destination for sentimental reasons.
MOST SPECTACULAR RESORT/HOTEL MONIQUE’S STAYED IN
The 2 Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives: Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru.
Up next are trips to a farmhouse in Tuscany, our annual family trips to France and to the States.
HOW TRAVELING HAS CHANGED MONIQUE’S WORLD VIEW
by really allowing me to see, not just say, that people ARE the same everywhere. We all want health and happiness for ourselves and our children and we want to live meaningful, productive lives. I hope that it is teaching my daughters that there are no borders, and that their place in the world is any and everywhere they choose to go or be.