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Family without borders

A well-travelled Canadian family feel very lucky to have reached New Zealand just before the country went into lockdown.

Since arriving in Christchurch in March the Patton family have done a lot of travelling — visiting Wanaka, Queenstown, Nelson, Kaiteriteri, Picton and Wellington before making their way to Gisborne.

The family stay in houses which are part of an online home swap site called Home Exchange.

They have a local connection to the house they are staying at in Gisborne. It belongs to the mother of a New Zealand friend they met in Canada.

Parents Chantal and Tyler work in internet marketing, which allows them to travel as a family.

New Zealand marks a significant milestone for Chantal. It is the 100th country she has travelled to.

Daughters Julia, Chloe and Angelique are not far behind, with Julia sitting at 99 countries and Chloe and Angelique on 98 each.

The family now live in Switzerland on the French side near Lake Geneva. The three girls are homeschooled, using an online education programme.

Having been in New Zealand for more than four months now, Julia said it was starting to feel like home.

They found it hard to describe their favourite places so far although Wellington was top of Julia's list.

The family were in Sri Lanka when Covid-19 started to spread across the globe.

They made their way to Thailand and Cambodia before changing their plans and coming to New Zealand ahead of schedule.

From Gisborne they will head to Rotorua and Auckland although they have not been able to make any further plans at this stage and are looking to extend their tourist visas that expire in September.

They like to record their travel adventures on video and post them on YouTube under the tagline Growing Up Without Borders (or just click here).

With almost 60,000 followers on Facebook, the Patton family have an audience around the world watching their latest travel adventures.

Sharing gisborne with the world: With almost 60,000 followers on Facebook, the Patton family regularly post videos of their latest travel adventures online. The Switzerland-based Canadian family are pictured at Waikanae Beach. From left are Julia, Chantal, Chloe and Angelique. Absent is father Tyler. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell