Canadian-Vietnamese family travels the world

November 23, 2022 - 17:38
Embarking on their journey since Tết (Lunar New Year), Maxime Godin-Murphy’s family have set foot in nearly 30 localities of Việt Nam, 10 countries in Europe and just finished a short visit to his family in Canada.
Maxime's family has travelled to nearly 30 localities in Việt Nam by motorbikes. Photo Facebook Gia Đình Phượt

By Lương Thu Hương

Since embarking on its journey in Tết (Lunar New Year) earlier this year, Maxime Godin-Murphy’s family has set foot in nearly 30 localities of Việt Nam, 10 countries in Europe and just finished a short trip to visit his family in Canada.

Before coming to Việt Nam ten years ago, Maxime was a lone traveller doing trips around the world and had already started a vlog.

However, he never finished his journey because he stopped on the way after meeting his wife, an owner of a little homestay of five rooms in the southern province of Cần Thơ, during a visit to the Mekong Delta.

Now he has resumed his conquest of the world, but with the accompaniment of his wife, Nguyễn Thị Thêu, 40, and his two daughters, 7-year-old Kim and 2-year-old An.

Maxime’s family members share a keen interest in travelling. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they remained in HCM City for two years. They decided to start traveling right after the Lunar New Year as soon as restrictions were easing, but tourism had not restarted yet.

“We didn’t want to wait for the tourism comeback and we needed some action so we started to talk about a new project. As I was a video maker before and all our family like travelling, we thought that a travel vlog would be a great idea,” Maxime said.

Their first video was for Tết and just for fun, capturing their small round trip to the provinces near HCMC.

“We saw that the family liked it very much and it was not difficult to travel with kids. After visiting three provinces, we saw that we love this way of life, especially the kids who enjoyed it very much. Then the decision was taken,” he added.

Maxime's daughters are pictured in their trip to Canada this autumn. — Photo Facebook Gia Đình Phượt

To make their vlog special and unique, they decided to give themselves the challenge to be the first family to visit all 63 provinces of Việt Nam.

They planned to take about two years to do it because they also wanted to discover the world at the same time to show a different reality to their daughters. They also needed to settle down some of the time to let Kim attend to her online school and for Maxime do the video editing.

“Our first step was the region of the Mekong Delta. It was a very nice start and brought back some good memories as I met my wife there. During COVID, we saw that our daughter Kim was good with homeschooling, so we decided to subscribe her to a full online school programme where we can easily move around the country and around the world,” Maxime said.

Travelling across the country on motorbikes is challenging to any family, particularly to those with small children like Maxime’s. However, they have had a ton of great experiences during their trip.

“Each moment is special and I feel lucky to be able to spend all this time with my kids seeing them grow and evolve. The best for our family for sure was Phú Quốc Island. We spent two weeks there to have time to do everything and do a good video about the island. We had such a great time swimming in beautiful beaches and playing in amazing amusement parks. But we also really enjoyed peaceful moments in nature, especially in the mangrove forest in Cà Mau Province and the Trà Sư Nature Reserve in An Giang Province,” he recalled.

According to him, travelling is beneficial to both of his daughters as it enables them to see many different realities and understand life better compared to staying at home and just seeing things in books and on YouTube or TV.

The parents also asked their eldest daughter, Kim, to write a journal about her travels, so she can remember her experiences forever.

“About school, she does not study on a regular schedule, but she is very good and has always had good results when she passes tests, so we are confident this way of life can fit with her education. For the youngest one, she likes travelling so much that she is not happy when we stay too long at the same place. She needs action to stimulate her curiosity,” Maxime said.

The family is pictured in Praha, Czech Republic in September. Maxime said travelling is beneficial to both of his daughters. — Photo Facebook Gia Đình Phượt

According to the Canadian dad, every family should travel with their kids. With their travel vlog, they want to show that it’s easy to travel with kids and kids are happy to discover new things.

“It takes a little bit more organisation, but the kids like it very much, so every day as a parent you will be grateful to live this experience with them. Maybe parents can be worried that the youngest kids don’t have time for a nap, but the kids will always sleep when tired, usually they sleep on transportation. Our younger daughter, An, always sleeps on the motorbike, car, bus, train or stroller,” he said, adding that parents should always carry strollers for this reason, but this depends on the destination as strollers are better for big cities with sidewalks.

After their trips to Europe and Canada, the family members are going back to Việt Nam and wait for the rainy season to end to resume their road trip to all the provinces of central Việt Nam.

Their journey around the world can be followed at their Facebook page Gia Đình Phượt. VNS

The family is coming back to Việt Nam and will resume its trip across the country as soon as the rainy season ends. — Photo Facebook Gia Đình Phượt