Wondering whether travelling with a child is possible? Well Mr Talon Windwalker (coolest name ever or what?) shows us how it’s done. This fella is seriously inspiring to us TraveLinkSites editors and we’re chuffed to have him answer our questions.
1. Hi Talon! Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in Honduras?
I’m a single dad slowly traveling the world with my 10-year-old son. I quit my normal job in the States, we got rid of all of our stuff, and we began our lives as full-time nomads. We are currently in South America. Our blog is at 1dad1kid.com, and I also write a lot for TravelGeneration.com.
We’ve been on the road for almost a year so far (since 4 May 2011), and 8 months of that was spent in Honduras where we lived on a small Caribbean island called Utila. While there we had the chance to get to know some other parts of Honduras as well, but the island is definitely my . . . specialty.
2. What made you choose this country and what were your first impressions?
We originally came to Utila so that my son could get his open water certification as a scuba diver and so that I could get my divemaster and become a scuba instructor. We ended up staying for quite a bit more time after I became an instructor and worked my way through higher levels of instructor and gained specialties. Meanwhile my son racked up about 31 dives and a specialty.
My first impression of Honduras was actually not that good. We had a very rough day of traveling to get there, and by the time we reached the island and hit some more snafus, I had pretty much had it. But over the ensuing months the country really grew on me, especially as we got off the island and had more leisurely travels throughout other parts of Honduras.
3. How much money can someone travel around Honduras for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
Honduras is a fairly cheap country. Roatan is one of the Bay Islands and is a major tourist destination. Your money won’t go quite as far there, but if you’re interested in island living, Utila is definitely affordable. It’s easy to find a place to rent for only $300 USD a month, and usually you only have to pay for electricity. Food and restaurants are reasonable. The mainland is even cheaper.
Honduras is a great budget destination overall. We probably spent the most on transportation just because of the ferries back and forth to the island we lived on. We also chose to use the more fancy Hedman Alas buses when traveling around Honduras, but as far as I’m concerned it’s worth the extra price. One of the most comfortable buses I’ve been on in over 14 countries. Food, groceries, and lodging tend to be fairly cheap. Adventure activities will cost you more, although Utila is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn diving or for fun diving.
4. What is the local cuisine like? Did you find yourself trying new things or pining for the familiars of home?
Honduran food is not very exciting. There are a LOT of fried foods, especially chicken, and French fries. Restaurants serving international fare are quite common throughout the country. However, it is also easy to find typical American comfort food (i.e., Kraft macaroni & cheese for my son) in the grocery stores, and it’s actually quite reasonably priced. We did miss really good chocolate and ice cream.
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Honduras and why?
Honduras is a great country for outdoor activities, especially if you’re interested in more adrenaline-producing activities such as zip lining, white water rafting, scuba diving, etc. They have a good safety record as well. Definitely I would say you should go snorkeling and/or scuba diving while in Honduras. It’s quite phenomenal.
If you’re there in March or April, you may also get a chance to snorkel with whale sharks. I had the thrill of swimming with pods of wild dolphins more than a few times as well. As far as cultural activities go Semana Santa (the week leading up to Easter) and the independence day celebrations (Sept 15th throughout Central America) are some of the more interesting celebrations.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
I love the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the surroundings. I also love the sense of pride they have in their nation and its history. They’re a special people. Especially on the Bay Islands.
My least favorite thing would be some of the bus rides (unless you’re on Hedman Alas) and the lack of varied food.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
Because most of our time was spent on an island scuba diving, that tends to be what I blog mostly about. However, I find the Bay Islands to be a great place for families to visit as well, so I have tried to focus on its safety (one of the safest places in the world), and how Utila really is how the Caribbean used to be: laid back, unapologetic about its lack of tourism infrastructure, and a place where you can quickly get to know almost everyone on the island. They will watch out for you without interfering in your life. I love that. Unfortunately, the country has received a lot of bad press about safety, and having been there for so long and getting to know the people whose lives are adversely affected by this, I want people to know they shouldn’t take Honduras off their list just yet.
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around Honduras without?
A sense of humor. Seriously. You’ll often need it.
9. What kind of response have you had to your blogs about Honduras? What post had the most interest?
I’ve had a lot of positive response, especially my series I ran on Utila. Probably the most popular post was about visiting there where I give restaurant & travel recommendations. The rest of the series covered diving there, visiting, if you’ve decided to stay longer (like how to get a SIM card which isn’t straight forward) and so on.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling inHonduras what would it be?
Don’t believe the companies when they tell you a bus has A/C or a functioning bathroom.
11. What is it really like travelling with your child, Tigger? What does he say about it all?
I absolutely love it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s wonderful to get to see things through his eyes. He also forces me to slow down and enjoy an area more when my normal style is go, go, go, explore EVERYTHING! He’s taught me a lot without realizing it. He loves it as well and considers “planet Earth” as his home rather than some stick-built edifice. I think that by itself is worth every second of it.
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