Get to Know… Gone with the Family

There are a lot of people traveling out there. It’s really not just me wandering the globe with my family. I thought it was time to introduce you to a few of my traveling friends. You can learn about their journey on their blog, but I wanted to dig in a little deeper to find out what makes them tick. Well ok, it’s not going to be that philosophical; I really just wanted to find out what their favorite snack is. Come along on the ride as we “Get to know” a few travelers just a little bit better. 

So, Lisa from Gone with the Family, what do you blog about? My blog is essentially about the ups and downs of family travel.  My daughters are (almost) 16 and 9 and we went on our first family vacation when my older daughter was 4 months old.  We aren’t long-term travelers, we simply travel whenever we can – generally a few times a year and I write about our experiences (good and bad) and hopefully inspire other families to show the world to their kids.  My motto is “If we can do it then you can too”!  I also write about things to do with kids in the Toronto area where we live.

Favorite late night snack? I’m very boring – I don’t snack at night anymore because I’m over 40 and I’ll gain weight if I even think about late night snacks.

Best food discover?  Is ice cream a food?  If so, then I’d have to say Cows Ice Cream – we discovered it when we first visited Prince Edward Island in 1998 and I have never had better ice cream.  Some of my kids’ earliest memories revolve around PEI and Cows Ice Cream – it’s part of our family identity!  Tauck World Discovery recently named it the best ice cream in the world – but I found it first!

One thing you can’t leave the house without?  I’m going to sound as bad as a teenager but I can’t leave home without my iPhone – my life is stored on it – there’s no need for me to remember anything anymore!

Plane, train, car or boat?  Hmmm – that’s a tough call.  Basically anything but a car – I’d rather fly back-to-back transatlantic flights with my kids than take them on a long road trip – yes, the back-seat fighting is that bad!  We fly most everywhere we go so as a means of getting to our destination then I’d have to say plane but I love the feeling of being on the open water – I’m of Nordic and Irish descent so I think that I have sailing in my blood.  I’ve traveled by train twice in the last few months too and loved it – I wish it was easier to travel this way in North America because it is ideal – relaxing, comfortable, fast and no security line-ups!

Carry on or checked bag?  I have always been a checked bag kind of girl because I just could not imagine getting everything necessary into one little bag but my younger daughter Emma and I recently spent 4 nights in Chicago and I only packed one carry-on bag for the two of us.  We even had room in the bag for our purchases coming home!  I’d say that I’m a convert except I don’t think I could do it for more than a weekend trip – I didn’t take any extra pairs of shoes to Chicago and that’s what saved space.

What kind of luggage do you prefer? A suitcase with wheels to check and for carry-on a small duffel bag that I can fit under the seat in front of me if I need to.

Do you ever get tired of packing? I get stressed about packing – worrying about what I’m forgetting – BUT I love it because it means that I’m going away.  Unpacking is another story!  I hate the unpacking and laundry at the end of a trip!  I’ll blame it on post-trip depression but I’ll sometimes leave suitcases full of dirty laundry for days before I get around to dealing with them.  It stresses my cat out because she’s convinced that we’re leaving again until the suitcases actually disappear from sight.

Favorite place you have traveled to?  That’s just too hard to answer – I have never been anywhere that I didn’t enjoy for different reasons.  A favourites list would have to include London, Paris, Ireland, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Chicago – I could just go on an on……….

Dreaming of going to next?  I don’t have any firm plans at the moment – everything is in the dreaming stage.  But I’m considering a return trip to London, Emma is pushing hard for Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day and I’d like to take my kids to the Rocky Mountains (Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise) in the upcoming year.

One thing you search out on your travels?  A Christmas tree ornament.  I know it may seem a little odd but everywhere we travel we try to find something to hang on our tree.  It’s so much fun getting out the ornaments at Christmas and reminiscing about the places that we have been.

Best travel advice?  “Slow down and relax – you can always go back!”  I’m a Type A personality who naturally feels the need to see and do everything – so who ever it was that gave me that advice – thank you!  I am so much better now at slowing down and really enjoying a new place.

Worst travel advice?  “Don’t take your kids – they won’t appreciate it!” For everyone who ever said that to me – HA! – did we ever prove you wrong!

Favorite jet lag trick?  We drop off our luggage and get outside immediately for fresh air, exercise and sunlight.  We then stay up as long as we can although it does tend to be an early night the first couple of nights.  Generally after a couple of days we have adjusted.

Biggest travel pet peeve?  I have a couple.  The last two trips that I have been on we have boarded our flight only to find that our overhead compartment had been stuffed full of bags by someone sitting several rows away – that really ticks me off!  The other thing that bugs me is people on an overnight flight who decide that they aren’t going to bother to try and sleep and instead talk loudly all through the night – makes me want to scream!  I feel much better now that I got that off my chest.

Most embarrassing incident while traveling?  Well this one is hard because I have done lots of stupid things but I don’t embarrass very easily.  I’m sure my teenage daughter could provide you with an itemized list of embarrassing incidents though!  I’ll just share an example of one of my “dumb” moments from our Alaskan trip.  We were on an excursion from Skagway and had stopped in a small town for a break and to see some sled dogs.  It was a hilly area and I was admiring the view when I saw a Dall Sheep perched along the side of the cliff.  I was so excited that I took a lot of photos of it and was pointing it out to everyone else around me.  After 15 or 20 minutes of snapping pics of the nimble creature someone pointed out that it hadn’t moved the entire time.  Sure enough, it was a plastic Dall Sheep that was posed on the side of the hill – but, in my defence, he was really very life-like!

Most beautiful sunset/sunrise?  Sunset on Santorini – absolutely stunning!  I’m far too grumpy in the morning to ever notice the sun rise.

Most amazing accidental discovery?  Maybe not so much amazing as serendipitous but prior to our Mediterranean cruise I had read about a pelican named Petros on the island of Mykonos but I never imagined that we would see him on our day in port.  As it happened, Emma and I became completely lost in the labyrinthian streets of Mykonos Town while trying to find the windmills and happened upon Petros and a crowd of admirers – I don’t think we ever would have found him if we had been searching.

And finally…sweet or savory? It has to be an either/or?!?  Pushed to pick one then I’d probably go with savoury.

Lisa Goodmurphy is a lawyer living near Toronto, Canada who left the corporate world to stay home with her two daughters, Katie and Emma (now aged 15 and 9).  Badly bitten by the travel bug years ago, Lisa considers herself fortunate that her family is equally enthusiastic about exploring the world.  You can read about her family’s travel adventures on her blog or follow along on Facebook and on Twitter as @GoneWithFamilyAll images courtesy of

written by Keryn Means

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Showing 4 comments
  • Lisa

    Thanks for featuring me, Keryn – I had a lot of fun answering your questions!!

  • Jen

    So fun to get to know Lisa a little bit better. I agree with your travel pet peeve…it is so annoying to find an overhead bin full when there is no one sitting anywhere near the luggage!

  • Steve

    Somehow I just knew that any profile of Lisa would involve Cows Ice Cream. Great look at one of my favorite families though.

  • Lisa Wood

    Good to know more about LIsa and Gone with the Family :)

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