Favor: Where did you travel, and what was the occasion?
Jordan Smith: Antigua, Guatemala. We homeschool and own a travel company (@maupintravel), so it seemed like a natural adventure to spend five weeks living someplace else. Antigua is known for its Spanish schools, and it is only one time zone over from our office on the east coast. So we rented a house, took Spanish classes, toured local farms, hiked a volcano, and made a few weekend trips to Maya historical sites.
F: Who did you travel with?
JS: My husband, Trevor, our six kids ages 8 months to 10 years, and our nanny (bless her!)
F: What’s the one thing that you never travel without?
JS: Good books for all. And a healthy dose of reasonable expectations.
F: When it comes to traveling, are you spontaneous or are you a planner?
JS: Gosh, neither. I obsess over packing details and don’t get around to opening the travel book until we are on the plane or in the car.
F: What is your favorite way to experience a new place? (Taking photos, trying local food, chatting with locals, visiting museums, etc.)
JS: Visiting the grocery store! I still remember my first time in an international grocery store as a kid on a family trip to Italy. There’s something very local (and unglamorous) about going grocery shopping no matter where we are.
F: What do you enjoy most about traveling? What is your least favorite part?
JS: Most: Hearing the kids’ observations and Aha moments. It’s really magical to watch them process a new place. Especially one where they feel like the outsider (for our kids, a new experience).
Least: The prep: packing for eight (if bringing the kids), or childcare logistics (if leaving them behind).
F: Tell us your craziest story about traveling with your kids.
JS: Arriving at the Guatemala City airport only to learn that we had given the wrong date to our rental house owner and airport pickup! (Trevor, ahem, *not* a travel professional, had arranged that small detail.) It all worked out—after over an hour of squatting in the international arrivals lobby alongside a throng of Guatemalans awaiting incoming family members on a later flight—and we were glad for those books and low expectations!