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Travel-obsessed couple name their kids after fictional adventure characters

The parents say some people disagree with their name choices.

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Tara, Crusoe and John Newby on the ferry to Robin Island. (John Newby via SWNS)

By Athena Stavrou via SWNS

A travel-obsessed couple says they have "no regrets" naming their children after fictional adventure characters - despite people insisting the names are dumb and their kids will be bullied at school.

John Newby, 45, and his wife, Tara, 35, have traveled to 24 countries with their 20-month-year-old son Crusoe - named after fictional castaway Robin Crusoe, the hero of the 18th-century novel by Daniel Defoe.

Their youngest son, Sawyer, 12 weeks, is the newest addition to the family and has also been named after a fictional literary character - Mark Twain's famous adventurer Thomas Sawyer from his 1876 novel.

While the family is currently living on and renovating a farm in northern Portugal, their young adventurers have already explored the globe.

Crusoe has been traveling since he was just seven weeks old, visiting 24 countries since his birth - including the U.S., Morocco, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Hungary, Slovakia, Monaco and Italy - and even visited a further 11 while in the womb.

His brother, Sawyer, who arrived in September 2022, has also been off to a strong start - having seen England, Spain, Portugal and Zimbabwe so far.

John, Tara and Crusoe Newby on their adventures. (John Newby via SWNS)

Despite the pair suiting their names perfectly, dad John, says some people disagree with their name choices.

John, a content creator, originally from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, said: "I loved the Robinson Crusoe books growing up and as soon as I knew we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to call our baby Crusoe.

"From 12 weeks on, I was just referring to him as Crusoe rather than 'the baby.'

"We had a big debate about it, but six months in, Tara agreed and we knew it had to be Crusoe.

"Tara's parents were really confused at first - my parents just said it was me being a bit crazy again.

"Sawyer was a bit easier for people to understand after Crusoe, and it's less of a name that challenges people, whereas Crusoe really did.

"Thomas Sawyer is a loveable rogue boy, a friend of the Huckleberry twins, but Tara wouldn't let me call him Huckleberry.

"It's since been mainly positive, I think it's familiar enough that people know what it means, but it's still interesting.

"We have had some people confused or disagreeing with the names.

Crusoe (left) and Sawyer Newby. (John Newby via SWNS)

"We had one person comment on one of our YouTube videos saying, 'What a stupid name to name a boy, you've done that for your own benefit without any thought for the child and he's going to be bullied for having such a dumb name.'

"But I disagree. There's a story behind it, a lot of thought went into it.

"It wasn't a thoughtless decision and I think one day it will help him - his name makes him stand out."

John and Tara met in 2012 when they both worked for a vacation firm in Witney, Oxfordshire, that sold safaris, but went their separate ways and did not get together until seven years later.

They were reunited by mutual friends in Spain in 2019, and quickly tied the knot in Antarctica in February 2020.

Upon returning to the UK in March 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the pair soon decided to quit their jobs, sell their home and take up life on the road in a converted Toyota van.

Soon after they left in July 2020, Tara discovered she was pregnant, but the couple were undeterred and are pleased Crusoe has been able to live the same life of adventure as his namesake.

Tara, originally from Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, said: “Everything we’ve done is beyond my wildest dreams of what life was going to be like.

“Robinson Crusoe is John’s favorite book of all time because it inspired him as a young boy to think of a life of adventure.

“Now we’re living that. To know these have been Crusoe’s first years of life means everything.”

John added: "Crusoe has 100 percent grown into his name. He's a very curious little boy, very determined, very independent.

“We’re living on a farm in Portugal right now, renovating it and sharing it on our YouTube channel, The Newby's, and he’s always involved in the projects."

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