Why Blended Nomads?
Our little family consists of a being a stepfamily, a blend of nationalities, neurodiversity including autism, various extra travellers from relatives to friends and our travels range from budget to luxury. Overall, every part of our life is blended and we love it that way!
The parents are the main ones who will be writing on here but we will all be in videos, the podcast, photos etc. The teenagers manage most of the social channels.
Who Are We?
Justin is Ni-Vanuatu (native to Vanuatu), he grew up there and worked in the Solomon Islands for years before we met.
I (Kylie) grew up in Tasmania, Australia and between us, we have 5 children. Halia (age 16) and Mele (age 14) are from my first marriage. They are Tongan, Maori and Caucasian Australian. We have no contact with my ex-husband as there was significant abuse. I have full custody and a second protection order, valid for 5 years.
Jemeliy (age 9) is from Justin’s first marriage, she is Ni-Vanuatu and Solomon Islander, now living in Vanuatu. We have a great relationship with her mother, Cathy and Cathy’s husband, Rex.
Elijah is our 2 year old and Dorothy is our 1 year old. Both are Ni-Vanuatu and Caucasian Australian. In the future, we will also have Leho with us at times, Cathy and Rex’s son who was born at the same time as Elijah and Dorothy, so similar ages.
Blending and understanding the different cultures has been an interesting experience. Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands were two of the least developed countries in the world and extremely patriarchal. In 2020, Vanuatu became a developing nation which is a huge achievement considering what was happening in the world.
With 5 cultures in our little family, upbringings in 3 different countries, different levels of development and access to education, as well as 3 different religions we were raised in (although not religious now), it’s a lot.
We are split mainly between Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands but currently live on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.
Travel has been an essential part of our lives, always. We are always trying something new, having new experiences, and travelling when we can. Justin and I met because of both our jobs revolved around travel and we were on the same trip, for different reasons.
We both travelled before we met as well as during the relationship, both together and apart.
Justin has worked in sailing and diving for years before we met. He was crew for the expedition to find Amelia Earharts plane with National Geographic and Mr Ballard (the man who found the Titanic). Along with spending time around the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as a dive guide, tec diver and doing exploration dives for new sites.
I travelled to parts of Asia, Europe, the USA and the South Pacific for various work (travel journalism, speaking and consulting). With my older kids, they were not allowed out of the country until 2019, so most of our travel together was in Australia.
Blended Work and Money
We get asked about blended money, working in different countries, visas and similar things a lot.
I’m a travel writer and tourism marketer, owner of The Thrifty Issue and Aspiring Millionaire, a public speaker and charity advocate. You can find out more about me at www.kylietravers.com.au where I have won a bunch of awards and did a lot around homelessness, domestic violence and building your dream life.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 16 but my parents didn’t believe in it so nothing was really done about it and it’s only been the past few years I have learnt more.
Justin is a commercial diver and photographer. He loves diving, sailing, photography and travel. He was runner-up for a photography award and later when he does saturation diving, we will travel a lot more.
Halia is the eldest is an excellent artist and has illustrated children’s books. An avid soccer player, does Taekwondo and enjoys being outside playing sports, being at the beach etc. They are also into robotics, engineering and travel. They have autism which we knew from a young age but it wasn’t officially diagnosed until they were 10.
Mele is another artist, who enjoys gardening and the outdoors. She used to work at a butcher but now mainly works online. Funny, compassionate and has an eye for fashion. At 4 she was diagnosed with ADHD.
Jemeliy loves school, swimming and most recently, rugby. Elijah, Dorothy and Leho are young but love dinosaurs, being outside and being active.
All the kids go to school now but when we travelled they were worldschooled/homeschooled. When we repatriated and the older two went back to traditional school, they were well ahead of their peers and the teachers were amazed at their knowledge, both academically and emotionally.
We aim to eat local wherever we go and will share what we eat, what we cook, what we love and our thoughts. Two of us have allergies (gluten and dairy), one of us is extremely fussy (ok, me, I am extremely fussy) but overall, a wide variety of food is eaten in our family. And we never say no to trying something except for allergies.
Some of our favourties are tuluk from Vanuatu, specific ferns and snake beans from the Solomon Islands, pho from Vietnam and ‘otai from Tonga.
People are amazed when they find out how our family operates. We are friends with Justin’s ex-wife and her husband, all our kids consider each other siblings even though some are not directly related at all.
Cathy (Justin’s ex) and I message frequently and have worked on projects together such as this fundraiser for Talyn, a disabled student in the Solomon Islands.
We are even friends with Cathy’s extended family and get along well with her cousins, parents and others. Our focus is the kids enjoying life and knowing they are all loved equally and have the same opportunities as much as possible, despite living in different countries.
This includes getting them all visas and all of us adults and kids going between all 3 countries – Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
How we came to this point, what we do and resources that helped will all be shared, including how we got visas. Justin is now an Australian permanent resident.
During the pandemic, I secured Visa’s for Cathy, Rex and the kids as well. In fact, Justin, Halia, Mele, Elijah and I were on a road trip while I was organising this with Cathy and their visas got approved within hours.
Every visa application I’ve done for friends and family has been processed extremely fast and approved, including an exemption for Justin to return to Australia with us during the pandemic when others have been rejected multiple times.
We crave adventure and it doesn’t have to be expensive. We love diving, hiking, anything to do with the water, I especially love kayaking. In 2020, we were repatriated from the Solomon Islands to base ourselves in Noosa, Australia. Due to two complicated pregnancies, Justin studying, moving house etc. our lives were on hold but now we are back to doing what we love.
If you have any questions, comments or want to work with us, contact us here.
Halia relaxing in the hammock they set up at Kurth Kiln camping ground.