Single Moms, We Out Here: Vanessa Palmer – Om Philosophy
Vanessa Palmer, host and creator of Prana Warriors TV Series (based on her book Om for The Mom) is a social activist and social entrepreneur, as well as a meditation and yoga teacher. She graciously took the time to tell us her single mom story, what it’s like to travel with two kids and how she balances work, play and some much needed mommy alone time on the road.
What’s your single mom story in a nutshell?
I am a mother of two beautiful children – My daughter Amira 12 years old and my Son Malek 7 years old. Their father and I separated and divorced 4 years ago- as we had just grown apart and were on different paths in life. Our common interest was our love for our children. It was challenging at first, but over time we learnt to co-parent our children together as a divorced couple. It can be done- but both parents must put the kids needs before anything else to make it work.
Before becoming a mom, were you passionate about travel? How have things changed since you started taking your kids on the road?
I have always loved to travel. I was born in Australia and from the age of 10 started internationally travelling the world with my family. Since then I have been to over 20 countries around the world, lived in Italy, Dubai, Australia and the USA. We moved 10 times over 10 years!! I highly believe I am a nomadic gypsy – that bohemian energy runs through my veins. I have had to find comfort in stability having two young children and staying put in one place – but we still travel all the time and it is a big part of our lives.
What inspired you to start OM Meditation?
I became a big yoga and meditation enthusiast around 28 years old. Since then, I have been on a journey of completely emerging my love of the practice and mindful, spiritual living into my life and work.
After practicing and even owning a wellness, yoga and meditation studio in my early thirties, and guiding meditation, I finally received my Yoga and Meditation teacher certification in 2013. I then wrote and published my first book Om For The Mom – a book and blueprint for living a balanced, passionate life as a woman in this modern world. From there I started to teach yoga and meditation regularly.
I just finished just making my first TV docu-series – Prana Warriors – A quest of guiding a tribe of beautiful souls on a mindful wanderlust mission of self-discovery to spiritual lands around the world and to help local communities in need. Season 1 was filmed in Mexico – we hope for the journey to continue around the world, and planning on season 2 to be filmed in Guatemala to build a school with Pencils Of Promise. I have so many places I want to take this TV Show to – Laos, Nepal, Ghana, Bali – this is how I have weaved my love of travel, culture, yoga and meditation into my work and life’s purpose. I am really living my dream. I will bring my kids on these missions for the show to travel and to also experience and get involved with the cause.
I am also working on my second book – OMeditation – a simple guide on teaching people how they can become mindful and meditate in just 5 minutes a day.
What are your top three travel tips for parents traveling with children?
1. Start them young! I can’t emphasize this enough. My son was 3 months old when I put him in a Baby Bjorn and trekked to Thailand for 6 weeks with him and my daughter, who was 4 years old at that time.
Because I started them young, flying on long flights, exposing them to different environments, cultures and experiences – they now can go anywhere without a care in the world. They are not fussy or particular – they just go with the flow.
2. Routine is important, but do not let that disrupt your life when you travel. If my kids were needing a nap, they would just fall asleep in their stroller if I was out and about. This also helps them adapt to any environment.
3. Teach them anything and everything about the culture. Expose them to the food, the traditions and history. This is the best schooling they can ever receive. Travel makes you so rich in heart and will serve them beyond words as adults.
What has been the most emotionally challenging about lone-travel with your children?
At times you need a support system, people you trust around you. When you travel alone with your kids this is not always the case. That is part of the journey with them. I will tap into other mothers in the community sometimes for recommendations on sitters or family members they trust that could help me out if I need some time without the kids.
What are the most important values you hope that your kids pick up from OMeditation on the road?
My work of teaching people to be more mindful and living out of the space of love is my work – whether I am writing a book, teaching a retreat or class or filming the TV show. The best thing I can do as a mother is immerse them in this and just lead by example so they grow up having what I do be a positive reflection for them.
And finally, what is your dream destination with your babies? Anything coming up that you want to tell us about?
I will take them anywhere with me, wherever I have to go. I want them to be a big part of the philanthropic work I do – so I am hoping to bring them on the next TV show filming for Prana Warriors, hopefully in Guatemala to build a school with Pencils Of Promise.
I am taking them to Italy this Summer – so I can’t wait to journey there again with them.