JrMagellan started when Mamie and Lizzie, two expat mothers met in Hong Kong and bonded over a shared love of travel, our children, coffee and Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, steamed dumplings. We both cherished travel when fun and learning took place.
There was the idea for itineraries that would help families plan their days and the idea for apps that would help kids learns about their destinations. Over time, we realized that together these ideas were more useful than apart.
We joined forces with Creative Kingdom’s team, who design and develop under Ed Robles, Jr. and Kris Altergott’s leadership. As well as Ed and Kris giving the the dad’s perspective to gaming and travel.
This blog is the beginning of what will grow into a multi-generational social community platform centered around family travel. For now we hope you’ll enjoy our updates on our favorite finds from Hong Kong and our travels abroad.
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Hello, my name is Lizzie Livingston. After living in New York for 36 years, from my own birth through the birth of both of my sons, my husband and I decided to take a gamble. He accepted an expat placement with his company in Hong Kong, and off the whole family went half way across the world from “home.”
We had travelled quite a bit already, but the move kicked our travel bug into high gear. Our sons are now 10 and 7 years old and we have travelled as a family to over 20 countries. Hopefully, we are laying the groundwork in developing them as citizens of the world. At the very least we are having a lot of fun while exposing them to many different cultures.
As a child, my family had travelled extensively around America, Europe and Central and South America. One of my first memories involves climbing the winding staircase to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I remember my parent’s anxiety over the low guard rails conflicted with my desire to feel the lean of the building. I also remember my utter disappointment when I realized it was not a tower of pizza! I am committed to instilling the same love of exploration in my children, hopefully with guardrails though! I have great memories from these trips and want my children to have similar experiences.
The trouble is it is not as easy being the parent planning these trips as it had been going on them. There is research to be done and planning; finding guides and developmentally appropriate educational activities is difficult. Yet somehow I enjoy it, and I found I have a knack for it. Over time I have gotten more and more phone calls and emails asking for advice about trips. Slowly, I began planning not only my own trips but other family’s trips aswell. That was when the idea for JrMagellan began to sprout.
There is something special about travelling with children, a different perspective for the adults. Once there is a plan in place and the leeway allowed to shift that plan, travelling with children becomes a joy not a hindrance. This is JrMagellan’s aim to help make the vacation joyful and fulfilling for the whole family.
Greetings, I’m Kris Altergott, and I’m the Project Coordinator for JrMagellan. I was born and raised in Southern California. I went to a local university while also managing a bakery for several years. I signed on to work with Creative Kingdom in 2008. I worked in Los Angeles for a few years while working on Planet Cyrene, a full scale MMORPG.
In early 2010 I was asked to relocate not only myself but also my entire family to Thailand. So I sold off my major possessions, packed my luggage, and boarded a 16 hour flight to the land of smiles and haven’t looked back since.
When I was kid my Mom loved to take us on road trips in the southwest from hiking in Joshua Tree National Park to driving straight through to the Grand Canyon one summer on whim; it was fantastic and a great experience to bond with my family. Now that my kids are getting older (8 and 3) I look forward to taking them traveling in South East Asia.
I’m working hard with Lizzie, Mamie, and the rest of the Creative Kingdom team to create a real online travel community with a focus on edutainment and family traveling.
Many thanks to Mamie Chen, one of the original co-founders of JrMagellan, for all of her amazing game design, ideas, and contributions.
JrMagellan wouldn’t be what is it without her particpation.