“We travel, not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” – Anonymous
I’ve known Tamara Gruber since we were both introverted freshmen from small New Jersey towns, trying to navigate the big world of state college. We were first dorm hall mates, then friends, then sisters in the same sorority, and have remained in touch, along with a core group of our other college friends. The one thing that always struck me about Tamara, even though we did the typical college goofing off and partying, was that she had this very serious side and drive. While most of us who went to Rowan University (formerly Glassboro State College) took four or more years to obtain our bachelor degrees, by the time I completed by four years and one summer class for my degree, Tamara had already obtained her B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing and was well into her graduate program at LaSalle College for Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing.
Since that time, Tamara has retained her drive and has had much personal and professional success thus far, although not without some significant changes and challenges. Hers is a tale of how one’s attitude can make all the difference in the world, adaptation to changing circumstances can put you on the road you were meant to be on, and how incorporating your passions into your life’s work can lead to some fantastic things. Fast forward some years from college days, and we find Tamara living in the suburbs outside of Providence, RI working as a freelance marketing consultant, family travel writer, and a mother to one tween girl.
When I asked Tamara what inspired her to start a family travel blog, she replied: “I started We3Travel.com to inspire families to travel more and to show that family travel doesn’t just mean trips to Disney or a cruise — but you really can take kids anywhere — and have fun. On my blog I offer trip reports, tips, and reviews to help make family vacation planning just a little easier.”
I don’t know about you, but while Disney is definitely on my children’s MUST DO list, I find having a resource to consult about traveling to places like Sonoma, CA and Quebec City WITH kids, is a truly valuable resource, indeed!
Tamara’s Runitlikeamom Rundown:
You’ve said that part of your parenting philosophy is to give your child is “experiences, not things”. Can you expand on that?
Tell me some more about your fitness regimen?
While I’ll never consider myself a “runner,” after struggling with a weight gain that occurred from medicinal treatment for endometriosis, and then a period of inactivity after recovering from a hysterectomy, I knew I needed to try something new to jumpstart my cardio workouts. So I slowly worked my way up from a 1/2 mile run to 1 mile to 2 miles to a 5K. I continue to push myself to get moving because balancing my consulting work and blogging means that I log a lot of hours in front of my computer. Luckily my blogging does often result in some fun activities too.
What are the challenges/ benefits of being self-employed?
Flexibility is the greatest benefit. I arrange my day so that I can drop off and pick up my daughter at school and various activities. I work from home so I don’t need to worry about snow days and sick days. But of course, that also means that I also need to keep working even when kids are home, which can be a challenge but has gotten easier as she has gotten older. The big downside is that you are never “off” and if you do take time off, you aren’t getting paid when you aren’t working. You also need to spend a good amount of time managing your business, from invoicing and reporting to networking to build future business. You need to be able to deal with fluctuations in income versus the reliability of a steady paycheck. I know a lot of people look at it as being so easy to work from home but in reality, there is no “easy” solution for balancing parenthood and a career. We all do the best we can and I’m fortunate that my experience and skill set enable me to be able to consult from home versus report to a workplace.
How has your attitude toward health and fitness changed since having a daughter?
What awards has We3Travel won?
We3Travel was named one of the Top 20 Family Travel blogs for 2015 by Holiday Lettings (a Trip Advisor company) and one of the 6 Family Travel Blogs to Follow by Travel Age West. I was also recently quoted in TripAdvisor’s list of family vacation destinations suggested by top family travel bloggers.
You can find Tamara at We3Travel.com or follow her on Facebook (http://facebook.com/we3travel), Twitter (http://twitter.com/tgruber), Instagram (http://instagram.com/we3travel) or Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/we3travel).