Meet Shoestring Warriors and Bloggers Ilya and Alisa

If you’re looking for ideas on how to continue exploring and traveling now that you have a family, I think I might have found a lovely couple who can help you out! Meet Shoestring Warriors and bloggers, Ilya and Alisa. When they’re not working their day jobs as a PA and an accountant, they’re out exploring the fantastic state of California and then writing about their adventures on their blog! Originally from Russia, they started the blog as a way to share their experiences with their friends and family thousands of miles away.

The blog for our parents evolved into a website for sharing our tips with other parents who like to travel with little ones.

Keep reading to learn about how they’re blending parenthood with exploration and learn what their tips and tricks are for traveling with kids! Be sure to check out their interactive map of things to do in California, or take a look at a list of Northern California mini train rides for kids on their blog, California Perspective.

Shoestring Warriors: Ilya and Alisa


St. Petersburg, Russia

Current Location:

San Francisco, CA


PA and Accountant

What are your passions outside of work?

Just finding new places to see and new things to try. Of course going out to the mountains and hiking!

Tell us about yourselves!

Alisa and I are a couple of outdoor enthusiasts spending our free time exploring the West coast. Not so long ago we had a little guy, and now we bring him along on our trips around Northern and Southern California.

How would you describe your level of camping experience?

We both have been camping since we were little. Our parents would take us out to the forest where we would set up the tents, we would go out berry and mushroom picking. Go out to the lakes to swim and fish. We’d say we are above average when it comes to putting together a campfire =).

Which Shoestring Adventures trips or Meet-ups have you completed?

Joining Alyx on the King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Forest Trip was a fantastic experience (and we keep telling our friends about it)! Alyx cooked for us and made amazing coffee in the morning! Even though it was a huge group she did an excellent job organizing activities. We loved the night photography workshop!

When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?

We always liked going to National Forests and State Parks! There are so many in California!

When did you first take your son on an adventure outside?

Misha joined us on his first hike when he was a about a month old to Indian Canyon in Palm Springs. It was a very short but memorable hike.

Ever since then we’ve been tugging him along on hikes almost every weekend.

What inspired you to create your blog, California Perspective?

Since our parents and most of our close friends live thousands of miles away we created the blog as a window into our life for them to see. After awhile some of our friends said that they use it as an idea generator and a breath of inspiration. The blog for our parents evolved into a website for sharing our tips with other parents who like to travel with little ones.

What are your top three tips and tricks for traveling/exploring with children?

Now that we had a baby we decided to continue our mini-adventures and share what we’ve learned from personal mistakes and experiences.

  1. It’s important to keep the little ones happy by adhering to their sleeping and feeding schedule
  2. Bring extra everything – food, diapers, sets of clothes (you never know if you’ll have a “mishap”)
  3. Plan ahead and stay calm – have little contingency plans

Enjoy the time with your child – these moments are ephemeral.

What advice do have for people who are planning for their first family trip?

First trip – make it short, go somewhere where you’ve been before. Traveling with little ones takes practice since you are learning how to manage his/her needs.

Funniest outdoor experience/mishap?

While at the San Francisco Zoo we learned that our baby speaks every animal language! He’d growl like a tiger when he’d see one, mimic a barking dog of an unexpected passerby-er. He would even make up sounds of the animals he saw for the first time – it looks like he’s got a pretty good imagination. Oh and he already can whistle when he imitates birds – that was a total surprise for us.

Where’s your next adventure?

Point Lobos in Monterey – that is probably the most picturesque and fascinating State Park in all of California; we’ve been there a good half a dozen times and hope to keep coming back for many more years. Fun fact: Misha was almost born in that park, since we went hiking there a day before Alisa was induced.

The perfect s’more? (if you don’t like s’mores, what’s your favorite campfire dessert?)

We are addicted to skewered apples baked over the coals (you can also bake sweet potatoes wrapped in foil); it’s a very unique and magically delicious flavor.

Photos © 2018 California Perspective

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