Meet the travel bloggers: Windwalker Duo

This week Meet the Travel Bloggers catches up with travel blogger Talon Windwalker of 1Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure and his son Tigger..

When, why and how did you start your travel blog?
I started my blog when I decided to do extended travel with my son. Initially I thought of it as a way to share our adventures with friends and family, but I quickly saw that it had the potential to also serve as an inspiration to others to follow their dreams. That idea interested me more than anything, and so I share our lives in the hopes that our experiences will inspire others.

travel blogger Talon Windwalker  photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Baby sea turtle rushes to the ocean after hatching, Cozumel, Mexico, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

How did you get that name and what does the name mean to you?
When I first started considering doing extended travel with my son it rapidly evolved from a 6-month trip to one that would mean years away and now is indefinite. I’m a single parent. So I came up with 1 Dad & 1 Kid, and at the time I thought my idea of this type of travel was absolutely insane (to quit my job, get rid of all our belongings and head out with no return date), and that’s the “crazy adventure” part.

travel blogger One Dad, 1 Kid in Ecuador  photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Tigger learning to surf in Ecuador, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

What is the thing that keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?

My absolute favorite is when I get messages from people telling me how our blog has inspired them. For many it’s encouraged them to travel or travel with their family, but for others it has been pursuing different dreams, like going back to college in their 50s, or that they’re encouraged to adopt a child. Any time I get a message like that it makes it all worthwhile.

travel blogger Shark diving in Roatan  photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Tigger and me during the shark dive, Roatan, Honduras, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

What excites you about travel?
Almost everything! I love change.  I LOVE exploring. I love experiencing new places, new cultures, and especially new foods, and meeting so many wonderful people.

What kind of traveler are you?
I think we fall under the category of flashpacking. We use backpacks right now but soon will be switching to suitcases. We are most definitely NOT luxury travelers and tend to live on a pretty tight budget (about $30 a day total). I chose that for various reasons. One, I want my son to see that memories and joy aren’t built by money. Two, I want to keep my work hours at an absolute minimum so that I have more time with my son. I can’t live a luxury lifestyle on working 4-10 hours a week; at least not yet. And it just isn’t our style.  We prefer to live in the midst of locals, eat where they eat, shop where they eat, etc.  I avoid tourists and expat communities whenever possible because I want to experience an area and its culture as authentically as I can while still being an outsider (since we aren’t native to that area). We recently stayed at an all-inclusive resort, and we really didn’t enjoy it.  It just isn’t our style.

travel blogger Shark dive in Roatan  photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

What’s that behind you, Tigger?, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

On the road, do you seek out some experiences more than others?
We really try to leave ourselves as open to experiences as possible. I tend to look for the non-touristy activities. I enjoy history and so really enjoy visiting ruins, old churches, places like that, while Tigger isn’t as enamored with those. So we try to strike a balance. If we spend one day doing mostly activities I’m interested in, the next day is his. Since we are both divers, we do generally like to do that if that’s available in our area. We’re also both ocean people, so we tend to be more interested in places that are next to the ocean.  Both of us are big fans of street food, so we seek those out as well.

How does traveling with a child affect your travel style?
I have to be a little more careful about where we sleep and some of the places we travel.  For instance while I might consider going to Afghanistan, I don’t know that I would take my son there these days whereas as a solo traveler, I probably wouldn’t hesitate as much. It also adds a little to the price tag. But traveling with my son has been absolutely incredible. Having him with me also forces me to slow down more, which is a positive thing. We don’t have an itinerary or return date, so there’s no reason to rush around and try to see all the sights within three days. We can take our time, enjoy an area, and if we don’t see EVERYTHING well there’s nothing saying we have to, or that we can’t come back at some other time.  I love seeing the world and experiences through his noncynical eyes. He is such a joyous child that it is fun to see him use his creativity and to find excitement in the smallest things. Really, he teaches me how to live better.

travel blogger Havana sunset photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Sunset in Havana, Cuba, one of my fav places, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Is being in your comfort zone important to you?
I like being out of my comfort zone absolutely as much as possible. That’s when I find the biggest yield and growth. And it’s way more fun to be challenged. I tend to get a bit bored with too much routine. Most of the idea of this new lifestyle was WAY out of my comfort zone.  While I like challenge, I’ve always liked knowing how much money I would have to work with, what my salary was, etc. When I traveled, I always had reservations in advance. Now we often just show up to an area and find something. I quit a steady, good, secure job to enter a world of big ifs. My son has some special needs that I wasn’t sure would mesh well with travel, but they have. Every time we go to a new area, it’s out of the comfort zone since I don’t do a lot of research, we usually don’t have reservations, and I never know how long we’ll be staying.

Tigger loves to do some things I simply can’t do without a major panic attack (like paragliding in Peru), so I end up watching him while he does it.

What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever?
Right now I’d have to say the time we went shark diving together. He was relatively new to diving. In his typical fearless fashion he had been DYING to dive with sharks, but because the dive is deeper than his certification allows it wasn’t something that was likely to happen until he turned 12 (when his depth limits could increase). Every year we celebrate the anniversary of his adoption (Forever Day). Last year I wanted to do something really special, and I knew shark diving was going to be about as special of an event as we could do. So, I contacted a dive center and told them what he was hoping for and that I was an instructor and was willing to sign a waiver or whatever so that he could go beyond the depth limit. Luckily, we found a place that was willing to let him do the dive. It was such an incredible experience to share together.

What’s your favorite place on earth?
I don’t know that I could pick just one spot. Especially since there is so much of the planet we still haven’t seen. For now, though, I’d have to say Paris. It stole my heart was when I was there many years ago, and it has held a grip on me ever since, even though I’ve been to many other places that are special.

travel blogger Honduras sunset  photo courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Sunset in Utila, Honduras, where we lived for 8 months, photo/courtesy Talon Windwalker Photography

Where are you off to next?
HA! If I had a dime for every time I was asked that question, I could quit working altogether. But, I rarely ever know the next destination. We don’t do a lot of planning, so unless I have to buy an airline ticket or something like that, I rarely know where the next place is. Right now it’s looking like somewhere in Asia.

Editors note: Talon was based in Cozumel at the time he answered these questions. Since then, he’s made new travel plans. He and Tigger are off to Spain, Italy and who knows where else in October.

What’s the biggest fantasy on your bucket list and why?
I don’t do bucket lists, but one of the places I really want to go is Antarctica. I just love that it’s such an amazing place that really relatively few people have had the chance to visit. It’s a place of amazing survival, which is something I really connect with in my life.

Is there anything we haven’t asked that you feel you’d like to share about your travels or your blog?
The thing I like to share most is my personal and family motto: Live without regrets! Whenever we need to make a decision that could greatly affect our life, that is put to the regret test.  If we would regret making one decision over another, then we have our answer. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and waste energy by looking back and saying “I wish I had done. . . I should’ve done. . . I had the chance but didn’t take it. . .”  Instead I want to focus on all the wonderful things I DID do and relive those shared memories with my family. Life is just too short to waste it.

Talon Windwalker is a single parent, former hospice chaplain, Zen monk, ultra runner, snowshoer, endurance cyclist, certified endurance running coach, scuba instructor, photographer, and lover of traveling, languages, and cultures. Years ago, as a young adult, he had a dream of raising his children in foreign countries and having them experience this amazing, large world.  After years of working in intensive care, trauma, and with the dying, his family and life motto became “Vivez sans regrets!” (Live without regrets.) He decided to follow his motto and make hi dream of raising his son in different countries a reality. In May 2011 he left his traditional work life and embarked on life as a full-time nomad, traveling around the world slowly with his young son, Tigger, who was 9 years old at the time (He’s just turned 11). Talon “world schools” Tigger while they are on the road. He teaches language and scuba dvings; writes, does photography and does other online work along the way. You can follow them on their adventures on Talon’s blog, 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure. You can also follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and check out his photos on Pinterest.

4 Responses to “Meet the travel bloggers: Windwalker Duo”

  1. Talon
    August 29, 2019 at 11:23 am #

    Thanks! I enjoyed your questions.
    Talon recently posted..Fear of EuropeMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      August 29, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

      What a match! We totally loved your answers! Will follow your adventures in Europe with great interest. Bon chance!

  2. Jim ODONNELL
    August 31, 2019 at 10:24 am #

    Fabulous and inspiring interview. I just don’t know im as brave a father as talon but the inspiration to get out of my comfort zone is there! Thanks Santa Fe travellers and talon!
    Jim ODONNELL recently posted..What Makes a Sunset ? – My Shot of the Day – August 28, 2019My Profile

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