Karen Beddow, Founder of Mini Travellers
Travelling with kids can be fun – honest!
We’d found a great holiday spot that ticked all our boxes as parents of young kids – so much so I felt inspired to write about it. That gave me an idea… what if I created an online resource for travelling families? I bought a domain name and set up a free WordPress website there and then by the pool. (As a lawyer, I don’t find a lot of ways to not do something!) When I finished typing, I suddenly realised: ‘That’s the first time I haven’t checked my BlackBerry since we got here!’
For the first two-and-a-half years, updating Mini Travellers was how I spent my downtime; instead of worrying about work emails, I’d blog or talk to people on Twitter. Before I knew it, I’d made a new group of friends… women like me who had babies, professional careers and a blog.
By December 2016, I’d reached a critical point… I was up for a promotion, but it would mean less time for us to be together as a family. I’d won a couple of ‘Best Travel Blogger’ awards, but regularly turned down exciting invites because of work commitments.
My husband and I talked about what success looked like to us; we decided it was having time to spend travelling with the kids. By that point, our eldest was six and the twins were five. Without any childcare costs, I realised I could quit work and earn an income through the blog that wouldn’t be ridiculously dissimilar… throw in the amazing press trips and, as a package for our family, this is so much better!
I still do occasional litigation consultancy work and sit on several Boards – including Baltic Creative’s CIC. I feel listened to and enjoy having a corporate role without any full-time commitment, which is why I recommend it to women who don’t want to go back to work after taking maternity leave but have essential skills to offer.
I still tell some people I am a lawyer, so I need to start owning my new ‘blogger’ identity more; it’s given me and my family the flexible lifestyle we dreamt of. Next week, we’re off to review New York – followed by Tanzania!