Meet the Gypsies : The Selims of The Selim Family @raasta2014
Meet the Gypsies : The Selims of The Selim Family
1. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you now?
We are Ashique, Samiya, Shahaar and Shama– originally from Bangladesh, but have lived in the UK past 10 years. A Psychiatrist and marine biologist by profession, we both share a passion for the outdoors and travels and have incorporated the kids into our journey! We have travelled extensively around Europe and North America, also parts of Africa and Asia. We are now off to New Zealand for new adventures in Oceania in January 2015.
2. What’s your packing strategy? Heavy or light packer? Suitcase or backpacker?
It depends on where and how long we are travelling for. We go on long road trips where we have our camping gear, tents, sleeping bags, camping chairs. We are quite good with taking minimum number of clothes. What we are not so good at doing is packing efficiently! We end up throwing things in at the last minute but that has hopefully changes after this summer’s Europe road trip planning and packing!
3. How do you afford your travels? Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?
We can only afford so much travel by both working full time (and not having any savings at all!)Our travel style has evolved over the years, initially we travelled super budget – just as an example – Ashique and I backpacked India for a month on $100 each – we always took buses and 2nd class trains, stayed in basic rooms with toilets outside. Over the years, as we both got proper jobs and had two kids, we became more luxurious with our travels. For lodging we still prefer to remain budget, we camp a lot, stay with friends and family, or stay in basic but clean rooms in small BnB or guesthouses. We do spend more on food and drinks, we like to eat well wherever we go. This doesn’t always mean fancy restaurants, just lot of eating out and drinking lots of wine J
4. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Too many places!! Namibia, Africa is on the top of my list, so is Rwanda and many other parts of Africa. Road trip around South America would be another top destination if I were to go tomorrow.
5. Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?
Mostly we wouldn’t travel to places that are facing conflicts, but other than that, can’t think of any place we wouldn’t go too
6. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten?
We tried snails in France and in Morocco, frog legs in USA (Ashique, not me as I am vegetarian.)In Bangladesh we have several dishes which would be considered adventurous for most, but quite normal for us – Cow brain curry, parts of chicken that wouldn’t be eaten in the west – brain, kidneys, and feet.
7. You both have important careers. How do you incorporate working full time and traveling?
We prioritize travelling above many other thingsJ We are lucky to live in England where we get 6 weeks vacation plus lot of public holidays which we combine to go away for 3 week travels. It is also very easy to do short holidays in Europe living in UK.
I get to travel for work which is great – I got to visit China, Italy, Turkey and Ireland just in the last 2 years for work! We do lot of weekend travelling within England. It’s just about loving and prioritizing travel, so no matter how hectic it gets with combining work and travel, we do it!
8. Y’all love the outdoors and wildlife. Any particular experiences that stick out above the rest?
Our times in Sunderbans always stick out! Sunderbans National Park in Bangladesh is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It is such a magical place for us – forest walks mud baths, wildlife, clean empty beaches, the natural beauty here is stunning!
9. Y’all have included your kids in your travels since they were newborns. What’s the best and hardest part of traveling with kids?
Shahaar has been to 3 continents before the age of 1, did his first flight at 2 months and Shama at 5 months. We travelled to London when she was 6 days old, they have travelled with us to more than 16 countries!
They are both great travellers, very good on long haul flights and have been on long road trips across Europe and USA. Best part I guess would be the time we get to spend having adventures as a family, creating so many fun memories together! Hard part – we miss having long drawn out meals at nice restaurants, enjoying fine food and wine. We tend to have long lunches when we are travelling as a family, but by dinner time, everyone is pretty tired and we end up eating at home or having a quick meal out. In cities I miss going to Bars and enjoying the night life. But I wouldn’t really call that ‘hard’ just things we don’t get to do when travelling with the kids.
10. What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?
For me – Skeleton Coast, Namibia and for Ashique Northern Lights ( I don’t do too well with the cold!), kids bucketlist changes every year!
11. Most importantly, where to next?
New Zealand for a year, Thailand for a few weeks in between, visit Fiji and Samoan Islands while living in New Zelandand 3 month backpacking Australia after that.
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