About Us and Our World Tour

Welcome to our site! Here are a few words to let you know who we are and what we are doing, and to give you an idea of why we have decided to take on this challenge at this time in our lives. We have been married for five years, and live in a small terraced house in Northampton (which we have now sold!). Thomas is nine and Esther is four. We are about to embark on a one year backpacking tour of the world, to include Eastern Europe, South East Africa, South America and Asia. Our aim is, of course, to see the world, and also to give our children the opportunity to experience Life, in a way that they cannot at home. We have decided to live the dream, to exchange armchair for rucksack, and security for adventure!

Nick WhitlockNick  With the exception of Esther I am the least well-travelled of the family! I first got bitten by the travel-bug (as well as lots of midges!) when camping in Scotland a few years ago, and have also travelled in Spain, Italy and France. I am 39 years old and, for 15 years of my life, I cut down trees for a living. I decided that I’d had enough of commercial tree work and gave up my job to look after my two-year-old daughter. I have since completed a three-year HND course in Countryside Management. The course helped me to develop skills in the management of habitats. Eco-systems throughout the world were discussed on the course and I developed a passion to one day visit some of these places of natural beauty. During the trip I hope to gain first-hand experience of habitats and conservation projects in the countries we visit. Where possible I will get involved on a local level. With an organisation called WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), I am looking forward to living and working alongside local people and fellow travellers. I hope to return from this trip with a greater appreciation of the positive impact we CAN have on our World. Also I am intrigued by cultures and civilisations, and fascinated by their historical backgrounds, myths and legends. I want to experience the adventure of moving from place to place, country to country (using public transport, mostly!). This will teach me tolerance and patience, and the children will learn openness and a respect for the World and her people.

Lindsay WhitlockLindsay  Although I have travelled further afield than Nick, I still would not really consider myself an experienced backpacker! As a teenager I took part in an exchange to India, organised by my school, which I found to be an immensely important experience at a time when I was developing my own personal identity. I suppose my desire to travel is rooted, at least in part, in this. More recently Thomas and I spent a month in Australia, where we stayed in Melbourne and Queensland, and spent a few days trekking in Tasmania. I have also visited France on many occasions, Spain and, as a child, Malawi (a trip which left me with many vivid impressions of Africa, and a strong desire to return there). In 2000 I qualified as a French teacher, and I have been teaching French and Spanish at a girls’ comprehensive school in Northampton for the last 3 years. This has been, in varying degrees, a rewarding and a frustrating experience! My main hopes, as I prepare to take the journey of a lifetime with my family, are to visit as many countries as possible to which I have never been before, and to gain a greater appreciation of their cultures. Also I hope that the experiences we share as a family will help us to grow as a unit. I want to take a step away from the security and predictability of day-to-day life, to re-evaluate things from a distance. I want to come home with a deeper knowledge of myself, as well as the world I live in.

Thomas BeakeTom  I am Tom and I am 9 years old. I am writing this the day after I have broken up from year 5 at Delapre Middle School. I love to do art and I am into history. My friends are Andrew Chapman, James Chapman, William Chapman, Alice Mansfield, Jordan Eldred and (especially) Josh Hamilton. I also go to music school every Saturday and take Guitar, Drama and keyboards lessons. I am looking forward to going to China, Greece and especially Egypt. China, because of the kites, Greece, because of the historic monuments and Egypt because of the pyramids. I am quite worried about being behind when I get back home, but my mum will educate me. I have been to Greece before but I hardly remember anything there. I have also been to France, Australia and Tasmania. We used to go to France on holiday every summer and I have lots of French memories. I also have 3 vague memories of Australia and Tasmania.

Esther WhitlockEsther  I am Esther. I come from Northampton and I've left my house on its own because I'm going round the world! My dog Twiggy has gone to live in Scotland and my friend Lotty lives up the hill. When we go round the world I want to go to Africa because it's warm there. I'm worried about my daddy getting eaten by a lion, but I don't think he will be. (I am four, by the way).

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