Carson Taylor has traveled to 11 countries and 18 states. His passport is full of stamps from Cuba, Colombia, and Indonesia, and he would have added four more from Africa this year if the pandemic hadn’t halted his travel plans. He is the perfect traveler, yet he’s only three years old.
His mom TeAndra, who lived in Denver as a child and attended Montbello High School, set Carson on the travel path, taking him on his first trip at just three months old. “This is our hobby that we do together,” she says.
Each time mother and son set out to visit a new place, TeAndra looks for educational and inspirational materials so they can learn more about their destination. But as she searched books and movies about travel, she noticed there was something missing. “There are plenty of books out there with African American characters, but none that talk about travel,” she says. That inspired her to self-publish her own children’s travel book, Captain Carson Goes to Bali, with Carson as the main character.
TeAndra, who also offers family travel tips on her blog Traveling with the Taylors, chatted with us about adventuring with kids.
Don’t Closet Your Suitcase
“There is a stigma that you have to stop traveling after you have kids. I want to help parents—inspire them—to see that they can travel with their kids. Everything does not have to stop because you become a parent.”
Grounded by COVID
“Carson and I haven’t been on a plane since February, but we have done a number of road trips this year to Nashville, Memphis, Huntsville, Alabama, and we are going to explore Texas.. Carson loves to travel. He rolls his suitcase around the house. He set up his own little TSA checkpoint in the living room and plays.”
Making Travel Meaningful
“Travel definitely humbles you. We always try to find a place to volunteer in the country where we travel. In Bali we volunteered in an orphanage, in Cuba we handed out toys. I do this to teach Carson to give back.”
“I’m often asked how we afford our travel. We save up for the things we want to do, and I would rather spend my money on experiences. At the end of your life you aren’t going to think about the fancy car and big house, it will be the experiences.” Read more about how TeAndra saves for travel at travelingwiththetaylors.org/post/how-can-i-afford-to-travel.
Lack of Diversity in Children’s Books When She Was a Kid
“It affected me—sometimes when you look at books and movies, you want to see someone who looks like you. As a kid, you wonder, why did they leave us out? Where are our books and movies? I’m trying to do something for kids in the future.”