Energetic, positive, and truly good are all words I use to describe my friend Nicole McLaren Campbell. We met at Social Media On The Sand and sparked up a friendship that spans from LA to Kingston. Nicole makes me smile every time I think of her and I hope you enjoy this interview with her about travel.
The Travel Mom: You live in a place many people dream of traveling to. When you were growing up, did you take vacations? Where did you go?
Nicole McLaren Campbell: My parents got divorced when I was 3 or 4, and my dad was a pilot who held different jobs throughout the Caribbean before resettling in Jamaica permanently. This means that growing up my sisters and I spent summers in Barbados (where I happened to have been born), Antigua and Grenada. When Dad moved back to Jamaica he first lived in Mandeville, then Montego Bay while we lived with mommy in Kingston – so this meant us spending summers and weekends in Montego Bay and Mandeville as well.
In terms of vacations overseas, we would go to New York with my mom and Miami with my dad and stepmom once a year. We had many holidays / long weekends with my dad on the coasts. In college, I went to Paris and Scotland with him and my stepmom. Now, he lives in Ocho Rios so my kids LOVE to go spend time down there with him, and they are actually with him now on a staycation!
The Travel Mom: I follow you on social media and see pictures of you from all over the world. Do you have a favorite or most memorable place that you have visited?
Nicole McLaren Campbell: Oooooohhhh that is hard! I think Jamaica is the most beautiful place in the world, but God I really enjoy Italy! I REALLY LOVE IT THERE! We’ve vacationed on Lake Como and Lake Garda and I am in love!
The Travel Mom: When it comes to traveling with your kids, what types of places do you enjoy?
Nicole McLaren Campbell: As an adult with my own family and children we just LOVE to travel! We decided to do a trip a year, once both kids were out of diapers and a bit more self-sufficient (I’ve traveled w/ them as babies and toddlers and I feel too stressed out!), so, in the past couple years we’ve been to Disney together, Panama, Miami, Toronto (w/out Dad, unfortunately, but my husband is a recording artist so he travels ALOT for work and he is oftentimes working when we want to take trips!).
We planned on Europe this summer but alas it was not to be. We took one of our kids with us to California for work stuff right before COVID hit and that was AMAZING – so now all the kids want to go, so that will be our next trip, then Europe (they want to visit Paris and Germany in particular).
I LOVE living vicariously through their excitement and wonder as they discover new places, and we discover them together. there is nothing like traveling and adventure, and new places and people, it stretches your mind and allows you to experience being alive, it makes you more creative, empathetic, worldly, your perspective broadens and you deepen relationships with the people you love the most. My resolution is to do more of it!! This is from a former workaholic, I don’t need to travel kinda girl!
The Travel Mom: When the time is is right and it is safe to travel anywhere, where would you like to go? I want ALL of us to take that trip to California! But right now, I am taking a staycation a month! Or more! Because I live in Jamaica and the rates are AMAZING! I am actually planning a rediscover Jamaica tour w/ my kiddies for December where I have promised them to take the entire month off and we have lots of adventures together. Before I blink, they will be so big!!! They already are!!!!!!!!!!!