Heather Greenwood is a Canadian Mom based out of Toronto who’s had my attention since I first discovered her story on Twitter. Heather, and her husband Ish decided to restructure their life and do something amazing… Take a year off and travel around the world. “12 months. 6 continents. 29 countries. 4 lives forever changed.”
And if a trip around the world wasn’t inspiring enough, what really took her story to the next level for me was four simple sentences:
“We aren’t rich.
We can’t afford to do this.
We couldn’t afford not to.
Neither can you.”
In June 2011 Heather Greenwood and Ish found themselves super busy, over-scheduled with activities and responsibilities and not having enough time to enjoy the simple things like making dinner and spending time together. They started to wonder if there was more to life. They wanted to travel with their kids and hoped that it would happen “someday.”
Instead of waiting for “someday” to roll around they decided to grab life and make their dreams come true… today! They set out a 5-year plan. Ish signed up for a pre-paid sabbatical at his workplace: for four years he could take a 20% salary pay cut and in the 5th year he would receive the money that had been withheld as pay but could take a year off of work to travel. Heather continued her travel writing career which meant that in addition to their own savings, they sponsored and paid travel opportunities as they became globe trotters.
In June 2011 they set off… and the rest as they say is history. 29 countries and 4 lives dramatically changed. And they’ve continued sharing their stories and inspiring Canadians and parents all around the world!
Check out their Accolades and accomplishments
2014 Lowell Thomas Award in Cultural Tourism
2012 National Geographic Traveler – Travelers of the Year
2010 Kenneth R. Wilson Awards – Gold Winner – Best in Canadian Business Writing
2009 Travel Media Association of Canada: Best Family Feature
2008 North American Travel Journalists Association Awards: 1st place Bylined Column (Print); Destination Travel International (Newspaper) Merit Award
2007 Travel Media Association of Canada: Calgary Award
Included in Oprah Winfrey’s Latest Book: O’s Little Book of Happiness (2015)
Ambassador – Expedia.ca
PARENT AMBASSADOR – Right To Play Canada
Finalist for Luxury Travel Mavens: Inspired to Travel Awards
Nominee for 2012 Canadian Weblog Award
Who’s Who in Black Canada
Top 25 Canadian Parents to Follow: MSN.ca
Top 30 Toronto Moms
Gals we Admire: Canadian Career Girl
I was SO FORTUNATE to be able to Interview Heather Greenwood for my blog. I want to thank her for taking the time out of her schedule and allowing me to share her very inspirational story.
Jami, “What was the biggest challenge you faced on your trip?”
Heather: “Every country was a new challenge. We’d have to figure out what the local culture was and try to be respectful. The hardest moments were in China where the colour of our skin was a major source of curiosity for many but we learned some great lessons from the experience.”
Jami, “You’ve inspired others to travel, what DO you recommend to families wishing to tackle such a big dream?”
Heather: “Set a date. The biggest issue I find isn’t with where to go but with when you’ll actually do it. Set a date and then figure out the small steps you need to take to make it happen.”
Jami: “What’s your favourite inspirational quote and who inspires you?”
Heather: “I’m inspired by anyone who makes a concrete choice to live their dreams. Big or small. In terms of quotes, this one is a favourite: “Life is a promise. Fulfill it.” – Mother Teresa”
Jami: “Can you tell us about a time you were scared?”
Heather: “There was a moment when Cameron got lost at a water park in Dubai. He was gone for about 30 minutes and it was one of the scariest moments in my life. We learned a lot from the experience including the kind of information and instruction that it’s important to give the kids in case they get lost.”
Jami: This is my worst nightmare, I can’t imagine what 30 minutes in a foreign country would have been like. What advice did you give Cameron?
Heather: We told the kids to look for help in adults in uniform and we’ve always taught them to trust their gut and never leave the area. In this case Cameron stayed at the side of the water area, signalled a security guard and had him radio us. He was only seven at the time and we were really impressed.
Jami: “What is one song that always makes you get up and dance.”
Heather: “Currently? Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars but it really doesn’t take much to get me moving.”
Jami: “Our Family LOVES that song… we were car dancing to it last night!”
Jami: Girl Guide Cookie Talk – Chocolate, Vanilla or mint?
Heather: “Vanilla. Only Vanilla.”
If Heather Greenwood inspired you like she has inspired me be sure to check out her website and follow her on social media: http://globetrottingmama.com/