Bindi Irwin – Chats to The Urban Mum – Part II
School holidays evoke such strong childhood memories. Some 30 years later (yikes I have THAT school reunion this year…), still nothing comes close to the feeling of waking on the first morning of holidays to realise that weeks of no school stretched tantalisingly ahead, hours to fill doing whatever took your fancy. Oh and little to no curfew on television viewing.
Holidays at home are generally spent unwinding.
Bindi’s Bootcamp (now showing on Netflix) is on high rotation in our house, as I give the boys free reign with the remote control.
No fixed plans ahead of our adventure in Vietnam next week.
My focus is on packing, this trip I am sticking to a strict ‘only essentials‘ wardrobe (we have a couple of internal flights with less than optimal weight restrictions…), I’ll keep you posted how that works out. Although research has unearthed the most superb tailors in Hoi An (our first stop) so I suspect I will be making friends with shipping connections back to Australia…
Timely then to enjoy Bindi’s own travel experiences with Part II of our interview.
Which locations are the best for families to have a true wildlife experience (apart from Australia Zoo of course)? Australian/International?
Bindi Irwin: Well, of course Australia Zoo!
I would also highly recommend The Great Barrier Reef – Lady Elliot Island is spectacular and is perfect for families wanting a wildlife experience and time away. Internationally I recommend Thailand…visit a few of the elephant orphanages and spend some time with the locals. Trust me. It’s worth it.
When we travel I let the kids choose a few things to download onto their electronics for long flights or transit time. What would we find on your devices to keep you entertained (favourite apps, music, books, TV shows)?
Bindi Irwin: My brother Robert does the same thing… he loves to play games on his iPad.
I wish I could say that I use my iPhone to keep me entertained. I do use Twitter and Instagram (I won’t join the giant Facebook world), other than that I use my phone for emails, texts and calls.
My go-to that keeps me entertained, are my books and paper. I never travel anywhere without a book, pen and some paper. I find that I write a lot. Especially letters. It saddens me that writing is becoming such a dying art. I write as many letters as I can to my friends and family while we are travelling. I always feel better after I write and without me knowing it, it’s become a great way to pass the time on long trips!
You seem so brave and have experiences that many people would be fearful of, are you afraid of anything?
Bindi Irwin: People often ask me if I have a fear of any animals, but I suppose that growing up with so many gorgeous creatures means that I have come to love them all.
I do have a random phobia of elevator doors though, not the elevator itself, just the doors! I really don’t know why, but I feel like the elevator is going to squish me or something as I walk past the doors.
Oh, and I don’t do well with scary movies…
My sons had Bindi: The Jungle Girl on high rotation for many years, and I was happy to let them watch to their hearts desire. Such great content is hard to always find, what would you list as current shows viewing on Netflix that are equally great role models for kids?
Bindi Irwin: As a family we always love seeing what documentaries they have on (lots of David Attenborough gets played in our house). Netflix also have a brilliant show called Dino Dan, my brother Robert had a guest appearance a few years back, so be sure to keep a lookout for him. Bindi’s Bootcamp is an action packed series. It was such a blessing to be able to host this show at Australia Zoo and I had so much fun with it. It’s all about getting teams of kids involved in the coolest challenges, everything from making crazy dinners to tackling epic obstacle courses (it’s a show that you can watch and accidently learn something along the way).
You spend much of your year travelling, what do you always bring with you that helps you feel ‘home away from home’?
Bindi Irwin: We are away from home about half the year and the one thing I always travel with is my family, honestly, we are always together and there for each other. This makes travel so much better because whatever the reason we are travelling, we are never apart. Their love and support means the world to me. Truthfully, my Mum and brother are my home.
What is the most unusual thing you have eaten?
Bindi Irwin: Hmmm, visiting Taiwan and going to a night market really made an impact on my life, the street food was certainly interesting. Some of it was SO good – although I did try stinky tofu and I’m not a huge fan – it kinda tastes like the name suggests…
In your series Bindi’s Bootcamp, the teams are set challenges to overcome? What life skills can you highlight that the winning team used to get themselves over the line?
Bindi Irwin: I found the teams who did the best had passion and determination. I loved working on this show because some of the kids truly inspired me. Watching them face unusual challenges that were completely out of their comfort zone, and putting their heart and soul into the task at hand, an incredible experience.
Least favourite part of travel?
Bindi Irwin: Probably the leaving. I find that no matter where I go, I leave a small part of myself behind. It’s always hard to say goodbye to somewhere you fall in love with. I always wonder when or if I’ll be back and how much will have changed if I do return…
Bindi Irwin: I really love fresh fruits and veggies. Most nights I’ll make a stir-fry or a salad, during the summer time I really enjoy mangoes.
What is your funniest travel experience?
Bindi Irwin: There have been a lot of hilarious experiences. One that jumps to mind was when we were in Cape Town, South Africa for some filming work. We visited the stunning Boulders Beach on one of our days off. There are lots of adorable wild penguins that share the beach with the humans.
Robert was quite little at the time and his favourite past-time on a beach was to collect pretty shells and line them up. That would have been great, but the penguins liked the idea too! One penguin in particular decided to sit on the shells Robert collected and would peck little Robert every time he tried to get them back. Mum and I had a good laugh and to this day whenever we go to the beach and find a pretty shell that story usually comes up again.
Bindi Irwin, thank you for being such a good sport, allowing us a little window into your life.
It has been a treat to chat. xoxo
As a child, what was your favourite part of School Holidays?
## The Urban Mum is part of the Netflix ‘Stream Team’ – giving me membership to the network (so I can loll around on the couch watching Mad Men all day). In addition I get regular updates on programming and opportunities to speak with Netflix ‘stars’ – I promise to raffle off any occasion I get to meet with Jon Hamm. xoxo