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Growing up without borders

Julia at the Grand Mosque gardens
Julia at the Grand Mosque gardens

SOLO travelers travelling all over the globe is common but this story is about a ‘digital nomad family of five’ who are globetrotters since 2014.

Meet the Pattons, whose YouTube video about the Sultanate of Oman clocked over 187,365 views.

Tyler, Chantal, and the three lovely daughters Julia, Angelique, and Chloe, are Swiss-Canadian travelers who have not stopped exploring the globe since their holiday in 2013.

‘Growing Up Without Borders’ got its name as the family found inspiration in their goal to see their children growing up in a world where they are more united than divided by differences.

“We had been traveling for four years before we became known as ‘Growing Up Without Borders’ and when you experience and live in so many different places, the world becomes your oyster. You simply tend to see planet earth without borderlines that create an illusion that we, as humans, are different and separated,” explains Chantal.

Chantal says Muscat offers a more toned-down atmosphere unlike its flashy neighbours and is famous for its dazzling busy souqs, exquisite fresh seafood and the exciting terrain of the city.”

An interesting fact which she mentions is that wherever they went they were welcomed by the fragrant frankincense.

The Pattons were hit by the travel bug in 2013 when they embarked on a five-week holiday to Europe and loved it so much that they decided to continue traveling.

Their business enables them to work remotely, so as long as there is a stable Wi-Fi connection, the world is their office.

Along the way, the girls have been doing homeschooling, which has allowed them to stay on track with their education and have recently enrolled themselves in an online high school.

Caught off guard by the pandemic, the Pattons reconsidered their travel plans and did not rush back to their home country. Instead, they decided to change direction and head to New Zealand.

Luckily, they arrived before the borders closed and were able to ride out the pandemic. This also allowed them to continue traveling and producing videos within the country.

They have been in New Zealand for the past 18 months, and have fallen in love with the country. A few months before global travel was rendered nearly impossible, the Pattons visited the Sultanate of Oman, country number 95, on their travel list.

While traveling in the Middle East, they took a cruise from Dubai and Muscat was their first stop.

They docked in Port Sultan Qaboos Muscat a d did their own tour to discover more of the local scene, including the fish market, sea waterfront which helped them feel the pulse of the capital.

“In Khasab, we had such a great tour guide who made sure we saw as much as possible in such a short time. Visiting Khasab Castle allowed us to peek into Oman’s rich history and traditions, while at Khawr Najd, a natural creek, we took some breathtaking pictures,” says Chantal.

Of all the traditional recipes they had the chance to try camel biryani and frankincense ice cream which really stood out.

“In less than 24 hours, we fell in love with Oman and all the beauty it had to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to visit Salalah, but we would love to return soon and explore more of the country,” concludes Chantal.

They have gathered much interesting material and footage from travels and are impatient to share it all with the world. “Our greatest memory is how welcoming and kind the Omani people were. We also remember the unique markets and how delicious the local food selection was,” reminisces Chantal.

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