Eric overlooking Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

By Alex Jones

 

A WELL-TRAVELLED tot has already visited five continents and 24 countries even though he’s not even THREE yet.

An inspirational family are currently travelling the globe with two-and-a-half-year-old Eric taking in some of the world’s most spectacular sights including Machu Pichu, temples in Thailand, and the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Alina, Andrei and Eric stand before a wonder of the world, Machu Pichu in Peru. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

Other stunning shots show Eric standing before the unworldly pink salt pans in Bonaire and standing at the foot of Chichen Itza in Mexico.

Eric started his travels in earnest in June 2018 with his parents Alina and Andrei Ceclan, an ex-Finance Manager in a multinational company and a dentist respectively, who are from Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Visiting Chichén Itzá, Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. A massive step pyramid, known as El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, dominates the ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

“We always loved traveling and tried to visit new places each holiday,” explained Eric’s mother Alina (34).

“Having a kid wasn’t a reason to change our lifestyle, we just adjusted our travel plans.

“We started with short trips when he was a new born and then a three week road trip through Italy after he turned 6 months.

“We had great moments traveling together, which encouraged us to continue.

My heart is in Havana: the family relaz in style in the Cuban capital. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

“We were sick of the same routine and hated the fact that our son was spending more time with other people than with us.

“We had the chance to take a break and took advantage of it.

“There was no better use of our time than to spend it together, visiting beautiful places.

“Starting this journey was the best decision we’ve ever made.”

Elephant spotting in Sri Lanka. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

On their latest adventure, the Cechlans have been through four continents  and 14 countries.

They manage to keep costs down by travelling light, offering property reviews in return for cheap or free accommodation, making use of public transport whenever possible, sharing unisex sanitary products, and cooking their own meals.

Although it can be difficult to travel with someone so young on occasion, Alina has no regrets about her son experiencing all the world has to offer.

“The most difficult part is not having any free time just for ourselves,” she admitted.

“There’s no daycare, nanny, grandparents or friends to watch the kid from time to time.

“We are together 24/7 and only have free moments during his nap time.

“We sometimes miss a relaxing dinner for two or an evening out with friends.

Enjoying the lush scenery in Colombia. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

“That said, nothing compares to seeing the world through your kids’ eyes or spending so much quality time as a family.

“We are amazed at how many things he remembers and the associations he’s already making.

“You get the chance to see how little you need in terms of material possessions, including for the child.

“He had a pile of toys back home and he never seems to miss that now that he only has two or three.”

At present, the family are in Singapore – “a child friendly but very expensive city” – and have no plans to stop travelling before Eric starts school.

Studying a beguiling temple in Chang Rai, northern Thailand. Mediadrumimages/Alina Cechlan

“We want to promote family travel and taking trips with kids, no matter how young they are,” continued Alina.

“There are lots of misconceptions that it is difficult, or dangerous, or not worth the trouble because they won’t remember anything.

“You can’t understand the huge positive impact travel has on the little ones and on the whole family until you see it with your own eyes.”

You can keep up-to-date with the Cechlan family’s adventure on their blog here.