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A year in France is great but is it really the best travel adventure for you? Here are over 15 different travel types and travel adventures you can go on instead!

Should You Spend A Year In France? 15 Travel Adventures To Go On Instead

A year in France is great but is it really the best travel adventure for you? Here are over 15 different travel types and travel adventures you can go on instead!

If you are considering taking a family gap year or sabbatical from life to live in France , congrats. Spending a year abroad can be life changing.

There is only one thing.

Are you sure it is the right thing to do? I am not talking about if France is the right place to spend your year abroad, or if it’s practical or financially feasible.

I want you to ask yourself if there isn’t another type of travel that might suit you better than spending a whole year in France.

Just because everyone on tripadvisor says a certain spicy Tom Yum soup at the new Thai restaurant in San Francisco is to die for doesn’t mean you will love it too. It’s nice to have choices when you order food.

Travel is just like that. 

And that is why you should pick a travel type like you would pick your main course on a food menu.

Look through the travel types below and see which one(S) align best with your soul, your travel goals, your pocketbook, your family and your style.

I guarantee you’ve probably never heard of half these terms. 

A year in France is great but is it really the best travel adventure for you? Here are over 15 different travel types and travel adventures you can go on instead!

I asked over 100 seasoned travellers how they travelled. Then I categorized and sorted their answers into a kind of travel menu with examples and explanations.

Below are the results of my survey.

Travel based on length of time you can travel

Are you a weekend traveller? Do you only have 2 weeks a year to travel?  Do you want to travel for longer than 3 months maybe a year or more?

The length of time you have to travel will determine the pace, the cost and even your activities you do while on your trip.

Here are a few terms to describe travellers based on the length and amount of time you have to travel. Which one best describes the way you can or would like to travel?

1- Short (ish) Trips:  

Most of us are very familiar with the annual vacation(er). Because of certain lifestyle restrictions like work, your children’s’ school schedule or just a tight budget, your trips are shorter; sometimes just a weekend.

It can be stressful during your short trips if you only get to do it once a year for 2 weeks or less because you try to pack as much into the vacation as possible.

Here are some terms to describe shorter term travellers.

Vacation Traveller, Holiday Traveller, Family Vacation Traveller

Take a cue from Amy and her family at Atlanta with kid or Debbie at  jersey kids

2- Long (ish) Trips: 2 months to 1 year or more!

Gap year, Sabbatical, Career Breaker
Career break travel

You have a career but you’re feeling a little burnt out from the 9 to 5 lifestyle. You want to travel and see the world for a few months to a year. Maybe longer.

Along the way you might even do something you’ve always wanted to do like learn a language, write a book or build clean wells in Africa. Whatever you do, you are determined to make this trip count.

Take a cue from this family of dropouts living in Vietnam: The drop out diaries

Sabbatical

Sabbatical is a term that has been used to refer to tenured teachers who take a year off from teaching to further their education or do something worthwhile. Nowadays,  the term sabbatical is used by anyone who wants to take a break from work usually to travel.

Gap year

Family Sabbatical: Travel For extended periods with kidsGap year is a term that has traditionally been very popular in Europe and the UK but it’s gaining in popularity in other places like the US and Canada.  Originally, a gap year referred to a young person just out of high school who takes a year off to travel and maybe do some volunteer work or back pack around the world for a year before entering University.

As of late, many people have adopted this terminology to describe their travels; particularly adults, professionals, and even families.

All three of these terms (gap year, sabbatical year, career break travel) are very closely related and some would argue that they are the same. You be the judge.

Family Gap Year- Wander mom.com ( a site that no longer exists)

Take a cue from Suitcases & sippy cups on a Family Sabbatical – Suitcases and sippy cups

Go check out Sherry a career breake who travels at Otts World

Take a look at Dave and Deb over at Planet D who are strong advocates of a sabbatical year to travel.

3 -You Travel For Longer Than A Year

The world is your oyster and your backyard. You’ve ditched the daily grind and dropped out of a normal life so you can travel full-time for as long as you can. Forever if you can.

You are at home wherever you are and have no real permanent home-base.  You pretty much travel with what you own in your backpack and move frequently from location to location. Staying anywhere from a few days to a few months in one place. You’re probably a flash-packer or backpacker.

Long Term Traveller, Full-Time Traveller, Vagabond, Gypsy, Hobos, Nomads, perpetual traveller

Take a cue from: Wader lust and the girl

4 – You Want To Live Abroad In One Place For  3 months or more

Expat

As an expat or expatriate, you choose to live abroad in one place for an extended period of time.

It might be permanent or it might be for a year only. Either way your home-base is another country.

Maybe you have a job that transplanted you or you decided to take a life sabbatical or career break and foot the bill yourself.

Most likely you have applied for special visas which allow you to live in that country beyond the usual 30, 60 or 90 days allotted amount of time tourists are usually allowed to stay.

You are totally immersed in that culture.  If you have kids, they’re also immersed maybe even attending school with other kids.

expat travel lets move to France with Annie AndreTake a cue from us, we’re in France: AnnieAndre

Take a cue from Paz and family who spent a year in China but nos live in Holland: International cravings

5- Slow Traveller

Some like to travel fast, while others like to take it slow, really slooooow. You like to take your time spending as much as a few weeks to a few months in one place before moving on. You have a certain mindset and your goal is probably to explore each destination thoroughly and experience the local culture.

Take a cue from a couple who slow travels : Never Ending Story

6- The extent to which you circumvent the globe

(RTW )Round the World traveler

Maybe your goal is to travel for a year visiting 20 countries, maybe it’s for 4 months visiting 12 countries. No matter how long or where you go, you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.

This is a special breed of traveller. Many RTW travellers are backpackers or flashpackers. Their goal is not so much to visit every single country in the world, but to travel around the world and visit a set or unset number of countries before landing back home.

Take a cue from 5 discover the world

7- The traveller who never leaves the country

Local Travel

You prefer to stay close to home. Not too close but close enough so that you are driving distance from all your destination.

Take a cue from Laura who travels at  Cascadia kids almost exclusively in and around the Pacific North West (Oregon and Washington State) and British Columbia with her family.

8- What Kind Of Luggage Do You Travel With

As strange as it sounds, your luggage can define you as a traveller. Do you want to travel light with just backpacks or do you want suitcases with wheels and pack for almost any occasion?

You Carry A Backpack:

The Backpacker

Forget about the grungy backpacker who is hitch-hiking on the side of the road and smells like dirty socks. Backpacking has evolved and it’s a growing sector of the travel industry.

Typically you travel with all your possessions in a backpack or bag that can easily be carried for long distances or long periods of time.  You are on a tight budget and need to make your money last so you eat on the cheap and stay at inexpensive accommodations like hostels where you share rooms, bathrooms and a communal kitchen with other backpackers.

It’s not uncommon for you to wash all five pairs of your underwear in the sink and hang them on the portable laundry chord you carry in your backpack along with your portable sheets and your instant Ramen before moving on to your next city.

It sounds treacherous but you love it. Besides, your young and there’s something to be said travelling this way and meeting interesting people.

“it’s a more organic way to see the world and a better way to interact with the locals and get to know the local culture.” –Nomadic Matt

Just look at Alyson Long and her family at world travel family

The FlashPacker

The flashpacker is essentially a flashy + backpacker. Flashpacker is a fairly new term that is catching on and is being accepted into mainstream language.

You’re probably older than the average backpacker. You might even be married with kids.

Much like the backpacker, you love the mobility of having all your possessions in one bag so you can move freely and quickly from place to place staying as long or as short as you like. Also like the backpacker, you are price conscience; however if you felt like it, you could easily stay at swaynkier hotels, eat at higher end sit down restaurants and splurge for for the latest and greatest travel gear and electronics.

Checkout Bethaney. Her husband and son are a flashpacking family. Fash Packer Family

You have a suitcase with wheels

Self explanatory. You want to travel with a suitcase that has wheels. You probably stay longer in each place you visit and prefer to carry a litle more than just the bare necessities.

Take a cue from Travel by suitcases A community of travellers who share their travel experiences around the world with suitcases instead of backpacks.

9- How Much Money You Got?

Luxury Travel

Luxury Travel, who wouldnt love to travel like this?For you, luxury travel goes beyond staying in a four star hotel, or sipping champagne on a yacht in the Bahamas. It’s more about a unique experience. Those rare ones that have all the tiny details covered where you feel pampered and all your personal needs are met.

No work, no stressing, just relaxing and upon your return home you feel refreshed.

Take a cue from these luxury travellers: A luxury travel blog

Budget Traveller

You might be surprised to know that a large part of the traveller I know are budget travellers.

A budget traveller is someone who either does not have a lot of money to spend on Five star hotels or chooses to travel on a budget so that they can travel longer and make their money stretch as far as possible. Typically you try to keep your expenses down by eating on the cheap, staying in low-cost accommodations, hostels and take public transportation over more expensive modes of transportation.

10- Do you travel alone or with others

Who you travel with has as much to do with your style as where you go and what you do during your travels. That’s why I’ve broken out travel by the people you travel with or travel without.

Solo Traveller

You’re a guy or a girl and you are travelling alone. 

You’re probably young but you could just as easily be in your sixties or older. You love the challenge of travelling alone and meeting new people as well as befriending the locals. You can come and go as you please because you are not hindered by the opinions of a companion traveller. You are probably learning a lot about yourself along the way too. If you’re a female solo traveller, you take a little extra precaution over the solo male traveller for obvious reasons.

Take a cue from this solo female traveller = Girl About the Globe

Take a cue from this solo male traveller – Nomadic Samuel or Nomadic matt

11- Travel With Others

Couples Traveller

backpacking travel blog of a couple who travels

You’re married or dating and you both love to travel.

In any case, you might be a backpacker or flashpacker or on a vacation with your wheely suitcases.

Sometimes it’s tough travelling with your partner because you need to take into consideration the other persons travel interests and needs which don’t always align with yours but that’s ok because the rewards outweigh any sacrifices you make.

Together you’re creating memories, growing closer, sharing experiences and learning what makes each other tick along the way.

Take a cue from this backpacking couple  backpacking-travel-blog

Travelling Family With Kids

How the Barnes family plan to travel indefinitely with their kidsIt’s hard travelling with kids and you don’t always get to take the romantic trips you took before the kids came along but you enjoy letting your kids see the world and then seeing the world through their eyes.

Check out all these families who travels full time for years on end with kids in tow. Many of them work while on the road.

Gay and Lesbian Traveller
Globe trotter girls travel. Two girls in love who travel the world together

globetrottergirls.com/


Technically you would or could fall under one of the other groups like solo traveller or couple traveller but because you’re gay or lesbian you might also like to find gay-lesbian friendly venues and activities once in a while just so you can meet with other like-minded individuals. No big deal if you don’t because it’s all about the travel experience.

Take a cue from a Lesbian couple travelling the world long-term:Globe trotter girls Travels

Take a cue from a solo gay guy who travelled the world but who now lives in Berlin: Travels of adam

12- You Want To Travel Based On A Theme

You Have a passion, an obsession, an affinity towards something? Why not use it to lead your travels like these people.

Adventure Traveller
family on bikes travelled with their 2 kids from North America to the furthest point in south america

www.Familyonbikes.com

You like the thrill of adventure and stepping outside of your comfort zone, doing and seeing things that the average person wouldn’t normally try or see.

You might like going on an African safari, or skydiving or biking across north and South America.

Take a cue from these adventure travellers

Bike touring family who cycled from north America to South America on their bikes. Family on bikes

Foodie Traveller

You love food. So much so that you even let your stomach be your compass guiding you wherever it may be as long as there is good food, you are happy.

Take a cue from www.legalnomads.com

Quirky Traveller

You love side shows and anything that’s a little off beat..

If it’s big, tall or long, this family of four is going to go and see it.  Go big or go home

Sports Traveller

Sports are your compass; Travel the world visiting different sporting events. Budget travel adventures

Baby Boomer Traveller

Not really a theme but I didn’t know where else to put this type of traveller. In any case, you are a boomer. You’re independent and don’t care that others don’t see you as the typical traveller. You’re optimistic, positive, hard-working and goal oriented. Now that the children are gone and older you have more free time and more room in the budget for travel.

Take a cue from these boomers: My itchy travel feet

You’re A Responsible Traveler

You’re probably a volunteer Traveller or cultural Traveller. You want to change the world and do some good. You might volunteer to teach English or build a well in some remote part of Africa. Whatever it is, you are doing good by this planet and it’s people.

You would rather experience life in a foreign culture as a local rather than as an outsider or temporary visitor.  You left your home and brought with you a desire to become part of the new cultures you visit hoping to get transformed by your experience.

check out this family who travels the world with their kids. It’s full of cultural travel ideas. wandering educators

13- You define the way you travel by your mode of transportation.

You’re A Road Tripper

You’re a roadie and you love the sights, smells, sounds and culture of the open road. You believe that the journey is the destination that’s best enjoyed with an RV, a car or a trusty motorcycle?  If have kids, you’re most like in an RV touring and homeschooling and your probably connected in the road tripper community.

Check out Road Less Travelled

14- You Work While You Travel

Digital Nomads – Location Independent travellers

FYI, a good majority of the travellers on this page and many long-term travellers work while on the road. You might be surprised that many of them are not independently wealthy.

You love to travel but you need to make some cash along the way to help fund your travels. You might teach English here and there or you might have a job back home that you can do remotely. Still others are working to create a business using nothing but your computer, the Internet and an idea. An example are freelance writers, photographers, consultants, web & graphic designers and Internet marketers to name a few.

You’re pretty tech savvy and you’ve figured out a way to leverage technology and work wherever and even whenever you want – whether it be from home, a beach in the Bahamas, at your favourite coffee shop or on the other side of the world!   You’re basically a nomadic or location independent entrepreneur and you use your phones, tablets and laptop along with some useful web-applications to earn an income.

Earning your income this way allows you to travel freely because you are not tied down to a desk or office.

Take a cue from Erin Bender: Travel with Bender

15- Homeschooling and Educating While On The Road

Homeschooling- Homeschooler

You’re a family who travels full-time or long-term with school aged children and being the good parent you are, you want to give your kids the best education you can. Many people who travel long-term and choose to do a form of homeschooling.

Your kids don’t attend school in the traditional sense. You the parent are the teacher, using the world around you and material either online or you have purchased following a curriculum created by yourself but probably guided by some standard in your home country.

If you are unfamiliar with John Holt, he coined the term un-schooler which essentially is a system where parents help educate their children using the resources and guidance around them and inside of them. It is more of a “child driven learning” based on following your instincts, your child’s interests and not necessarily using any of the usual school resources.

Un-Schooler / WorldSchooler / Travel Schooler / Educational Traveller

The term un-schooler has some negative connotations to it mainly because it is a term that is used to describe what it isn’t. The term world schooler is a broader more descriptive and is often seen as a more positive term than un-schooler by some people.

Just like it sounds, “the whole world is your school, instead school being your whole world.”. It’s un-schooling beyond your neighbourhood without the support of your family and friends and learning and DOING what you’re meant to do in this world! In some ways, world schooling is when you grow up! Travelling is a great way to un-school because rather than seeing and reading about things in a text-book, you are there experiencing things first hand.

Single mom slow travelling the world with her son : www.raisingmiro.com

Single dad also slow travelling the world with his son:1 dad 1 kid

and finally World School Adventures

Conclusion

A lot of the travellers and traveller types I mention above could fit into multiple buckets. Knowing all your choices can sometimes shed light and open new doors to opportunities you didn’t know existed.

I truly believe that when you choose the right type of travel, it  will knock your socks off and leave you with unforgettable memories that you can’t stop talking about. 

If you have your sights set on living in France great. 

But don’t limit yourself into thinking there aren’t other just as amazing adventures and travel types that might be better suited to you.

ps

If you are a traveller who travels in a unique way, and you have a website. Contact me and I will be more than happy to add you to this list.

The 3 Year 17,000 Mile Bike Ride: A Family Cycling Trip To The End Of The World (#12)

Vogel 3 year family cycling trip:

When was the last time you did something that scared you? Something that was completely out of your comfort zone? I’m not talking about painting the walls in your bedroom hot pink or eating at that dicey Mexican joint down the street with questionable meat. I’m talking about doing something of epic proportions- life changing!

Meet The Vogels

See also Other ordinary people who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Want to get featured? Please fill out this form.

The Vogel Family: They cycled 17,300 miles along the Pan America Highway with 2 ten year old boys

In June of 2008, Nancy and John Vogel, two school teachers from Idaho set out on a journey with their 10 year old twin boys, Daryl and Davy to be the first family to cycle the pan American highway. (The longest road in the world which goes from Alaska to the very tip of south America)

For three years the Vogel’s pedalled 12 to 15 days a month, 4 to 6 hours a day using nothing but their bikes and pure leg and feet power the entire 27,300 mile journey that would take them through a total of 15 different countries.

This is the Pan American Hwy from tip to tip

This is the Pan American Hwy from tip to tip

Along the way they did and saw some amazing things.

The tandem bike for two

  • -They cycled through torrential rains.
  • -They got chased by a big ass bears.
  • -They endured food poising and soiled pants en route.
  • -They broke language and culture barriers.
  • -They had near misses with traffic, countless scrapes and bike repairs.
  • -They slept anywhere and everywhere along the way: in hostels, camped in tents by the side of roads, behind restaurants, in peoples yards, on the beach and even stayed with people they met along the way.

They had a true life family adventure that tested them both physically and emotionally.

They Must Be Crazy!

The Vogel Family is a down to earth normal family

When I first heard of the Vogel’s back in 2011, I thought they were crazy to drag two 10 years old kids on such a long and  physically challenging bike trip.

The more I read about the Vogel’s, the more I realized they weren’t crazy at all. In fact, although I did not know them personally, their life resonated with me very deeply. 

They Led A Pretty Normal Life

They worked hard as school teachers for years saving money for retirement like everyone else .

Everyday before heading off to teach other peoples children, they dropped their own two sons off at day care.

They chauffeured their kids to and from after school sports and activities. They cooked diner, pinched their pennies and pretty much lived like the average family would.

The one defining difference that separates the Vogel’s from most is that they decided to take the road less travelled and acted on their seemingly impossible dream despite their fears, despite the naysayers,  despite going against the grain of what society considered “NORMAL“.

If going against the grain makes them crazy then yeah, I guess they are crazy. I want to be crazy too then. 

How Did They Pay For The Trip? They Must Be Rich.

I know what you are thinking. They quit their jobs to cycle for three years. They must be loaded and rolling in dough.

NOPE!  Nancy and her husband John are long time school teachers. I don’t know a lot of rich school teachers do you?  They aren’t t trust fund babies either.

They Did It The Old Fashioned Way.

Their trip was made possible using a combination of years of savings and rental income. You can read in more detail about how they made it financially happen by reading this article Nancy wrote called “How To Afford Long Term Family Travel.

They also kept their monthly spending relatively low during their 3 year journey. Their average monthly spending was about 1,500 USD per month.

How Much Gear Did They Carry?

family on bikes

The Vogels had a total of 3 bikes between the four of them. Nancy and Davy rode single bikes while John rode a tandem bike with their other son Daryl.

Each bike was equipped with bags that were filled with clothing and other items that they needed for all four seasons including sleeping bags and winter jackets for when the temperatures dropped below zero.

They also carried a small stove and pot for cooking and occasionally had to carry a few days worth of food for the longer hauls when they would be out in areas where there were no other humans.

School For The Boys

To keep the kids on par with their peers, Nancy and John road-schooled their kids. Road schooling is a term used to describe children who are home-schooled while travelling long term.

The boys each did mathematics, wrote journal entries, essays and researched the areas they passed through. If they had time they also did earth sciences.

Where Are They Now?

Vogel Family: Family on bikes reach the end-of-the-world

The Vogel’s completed their 17,300 mile journey on March 21st, 2011 when they arrived in Ushuaia in Argentina, often regarded as the southernmost city in the world (pictured above).

They are now back in Idaho where they are enjoying a different type of adventure that is until they decide to go on another adventure.

What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?

Changing-Gears-a-family-family cycling trip

If you are interested in learning more about this families amazing journey from Alaska to Argentina, you can read about it in a book Nancy wrote chronicling her families adventure from start to finish.

It’s called Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey To The End Of The World.

I guarantee by the end of the book you’ll be inspired, humbled and in awe of what they did. So much so that you might actually go out and do something that scares you.

Please do stop by her blog Family On Bikes.  It’s full of tips, tricks and aspiration to help you get off your butt and do something that scares you.

All photos used are property of the Vogel family.

 

See also Other ordinary people who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Want to get featured? Please fill out this form.

she met the man of her dreams on a boat on vacation

What Happens When Two People Hook Up On Vacation, Get Married And Have Babies? (series #11)

she met the man of her dreams on a boat on vacation

Believe it or not!

People hook up on vacation and fall in love all the time.

Unfortunately, relationships started on the road, usually don’t last very long.

They either end soon after the trip ends or they fizzle out over time when the starry eyed lovers try to maintain a long distance relationship from opposite sides of the planet.

Don’t let that sad fact stop you from finding love on the road because once in a blue moon, one of those romances started while travelling have a happy ending.

She Met Him On A Boat On The Nile

Meet Alyson, a nice girl from Wales who over a decade ago booked a adventure holiday which entailed a 5 day sailing trip on the Nile of Egypt aboard a felucca boat.

The actual boat they met on

A felucca (Arabic: فلوكة‎) is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean Sea in places like Sudan, Iraq, Malta and along the Nile in Egypt. These types of boats are popular among tourists because they offer a calmer, quieter mood over the noisier fast paced motorboats. 

Around the same time, 14 other people booked that very same adventure holiday, including a 21 year old Australian guy named James who was living in London to further his chef career.

Guess what happened?

She married Him!

Today Alyson and James are married and have two adorable sons who apparently like to eat oysters because James is an executive chef and that’s what chef kids eat.. OYSTERS.

But what happens when two travel addicts meet and fall in love? Do they stop travelling? Do they continue travelling?  Do they retire to suburbia?

Before I tell you what these two world travellers have planned, I thought it would be fun to share the story of where Alyson and James married.

Interview With Alyson

Tell me a little about where you are from!

She was from Wales, He was living in London. over 400 KM away

Over 400 KM distance between their two homes

I am a Welsh girl from the valleys and James is an Aussie.  We met in Egypt, moved to England and ended up emigrating to Port Douglas, Australia in 2007.

We have two children, born in London.

Everybody in our family has British and Australian passports, except me.

I’m all British, although, I could now get an Aussie one if I wanted to. Passports are really expensive to renew when there are 7 of them in the family!

Why did you choose to get married in Sri Lanka?

James carrying Alyson's bags up the stairs during that trip to Egypt

James carrying Alyson’s bags up the stairs during that trip to Egypt

Getting married in Sri Lanka, on the beach at a hotel near Galle was an excuse for another trip!

Because we met through travel, it was massively important to us and we particularly love the Indian Sub Continent.

I’d been to Sri Lanka before and loved it. The Chef (James) had never been, so it seemed perfect.

We weren’t interested in having a big wedding, although my Mum, Dad and God mother did come in the end, I’m glad they did.

They had a brilliant time plus of course, we could slide in a week of diving in Maldives as a honeymoon!

Did you do need special visas or have to do anything special to marry in Sri Lanka?

Alyson and james on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka

Alyson’s white outfit was filthy black by the end of the day.

No, nothing, it was all very easy.

We actually cheated a bit and booked a wedding package through a luxury travel company where everything was taken care of for us.

We just had to sign the certificate.

It was our first time taking a fancy holiday like that, we’re very much budget travellers.

How did you handle the language barrier?

English is widely used in Sri Lanka but we do have two wedding certificates.

One in Sinhala and the other is in English.

What was the best part about getting married in Sri Lanka?

Alyson and james on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka

We had an elephant!

I can’t see that happening in South Wales.

We rode off into the sunset on her, such a gorgeous creature. I really love elephants.

The ceremony itself was Buddhist based and we had our fingers tied together, lit oil lamps and did a thing with leaves for good luck.

What didn’t like about getting married abroad in Sri Lanka:

Alyson and james riding into the sunset on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka

Riding off into the sunset on an elephant.

I actually wish we’d organized it ourselves, rather than through the hotel.

Some of the things included were rather cheesy, like the free hair do ( terrible) and the photographer/videographer ( even more terrible).

I was also a little annoyed that the hotel charged us $200 for having the elephant there.  I bet the guy who brought the elephant didn’t see much of that money.

But the whole thing was great, kind of crazy great. We laugh now at the terrible photos and how absolutely filthy my white outfit was after bare back elephanteering.

One of the things we love about India and Sri Lanka is the general crazyness.

I’ve got a great piece of video that my Dad took of James toppling off one side of our elephant as she stood up. A Sri Lankan guy tugging on his leg to keep him on.

I’ll put it on you tube one day!

What’s Next For Alyson, James and Family?

“What happens when two travellers meet on vacation, fall in love, get married and have kids?”

As of this writing, Alyson and family are getting ready to take an extended – open ended trip with THE KIDS starting in Asia.

Here is what Alyson had to say.

 “Having children slowed us down for a while, but now the boys are 6 and 8. We think they are ready to leave on this adventure, round the world, indefinitely, and get a lot out of it, including an incredible education.

Travelling with children will add a whole new dimension to the trip for us, seeing things through their eyes is magical.”

And NO!  They don’t have loads of money, they are doing it on the cheap: budget travel.

How Are They Paying For Their Long Term Trip With The Kids?

Alyson and James have been working hard to meet their savings goals that will allow them to take their extended family trip.

They have about another 6 months to meet that goal. (at the time of this writing in 2013)

How have you prepared your sons for travel?

Alyson and the kids

From the day the boys were born, they’ve been hearing stories of our travels, playing with objects from all corners of the globe and seeing photos and films of amazing things.

“We’re going to the Himalayas” seems normal to them.

We home-school so we’re big on geography and world history.

I think kids need to know something about where they’re going before they get there to get the most out of it so I introduce topics before we get there.

It sounds silly but I made them watch The King and I before we went to Thailand just so they would be as blown away as I was to see real palaces and images of the king in the musical.

I did try training them for trekking but I ended up carrying D up a mountain. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

When your sons are old enough, do you want them to travel as you have been able to do?

Well, yes, I’d like them to, but I think there is a danger in exposing them to the world so young, they may be “over it” by the time they are able to carry a 70L pack. They may think of it as “Mum and Dad’s thing” i.e.. uncool.

It’s something that actually worries me.

I don’t want to spoil it for them but at this stage, the educational and fun benefits far outweigh any future issues.

I’m hoping they’ll be conquering the world through travel blogging while other kids are still in school.

Off The Cuff Question

Do your two sons have British or Aussie accents or something in between?

James with his two sons

They both sound exactly like me, British.

I’ve seen that in a lot of displaced families here. (Australia).

The children have the Mum’s accent because they spend the most time with her.

D went to school for 2 years and started to pick up a slight Aussie twang, but he’s now been home-schooled for 2 years and lost it again.

We are a very mixed community. Hhis best friends have been from New Zealand, Texas and Swiss/British. Thy actually don’t encounter Australian accents that often.

Conclusion

If you love to travel and are worried that travel will end once you have kids don’t because as Alyson stated, yes it may slow you down but it can be done with careful planning. What better way to to share and teach your children about the world beyond the comfort of their backyard.

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You can read more about Alyson’s wedding by reading this Finding Love Through Travel.  You can follow along on their journey before they leave and while they are on their trip by visiting their travel blog at www.worldtravelfamily.com.

Alyson and James are the 11th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing ordinary people;  families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

I Hope It Inspires You To Take Actions on all your dreams, not just your travel dreams.

Want to get featured on this site like this family? Please fill out this form and I’ll post the story here..Know someone who should be featured?  Send me an email annie[@]annieandre.com.

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How the Barnes family plan to travel indefinitely with their kids

How To Travel Indefinitely: The Barnes Family Quest To Travel With 3 Kids (Series #10)

How do you travel indefinitely if you aren’t rich and have kids? Katie and Jeff are two Californians with itchy travel feet. If they had their way they would travel indefinitely or at least until that itch to travel goes away. Find out how they currently travel and how they plan to make the dream of Full-time travel last as long as they can with three kids under the age of 6.

How To Travel Indefinitely

Hint, it’s not just about making the perfect plan. 

How To Travel Indefinitely: Barnes Family

Meet the Barnes family.

The Barnes family are an American family of five from Southern California who have been travelling with their 3 children since 2011.

The Barnes family are what we call Long Term Travellers who Slow travel.

Meaning, they travel for extended periods of time ( more than a few months) and rather than moving quickly from city to city every few days or weeks, they travel slowly. They choose a home-base, hunker down at that home-base for 6 months to a year before moving on to their next home-base destination.

Snap Shot Of The Barnes Family

  • Number Of Kids: 3 kids under 6 years old  (1, 3 and 5 – as of 2013)
  • Educating Kids: Combination Homeschool / Traditional Classroom Learning
  • Type Of Travel: Long term travel / Slow Travel with Home-Base / Location Independent travel
  • Length Of Travel: 1+ year
  • Where Travelled: —> Pre-kids: sailed for 3.5 years from Florida to New Zealand, —>Post-Kids: Costa Rica, France, Belgium, England, Germany with a home base in Prague. Italy
  • Challenges: Keeping a regular routine for the kids. Creating sustainable incomes while on the road.
  • Finances:  Combinations of savings, sale of home, investments and day trading
  • Budget: $117 / day.  $23person per day. $3,500 per month Total

Why They Travel The Way They Do!

Staying for six months in each place allows them to fulfil their dream of travel while also meeting their other goals without all the stress of travelling at break neck speeds.

Some of their goals include..

  • Spend more quality time together.
  • Raise globally minded, creative and independent thinkers.
  • Allow the children to pick up languages along the way.
  • Soak in the local culture and food

Now, before I get into how the Barnes are making their dream of Full-time travel a reality, let me tell you a little bit about Katie and Jeff’s story.

Theirs is a story straight out of a romantic adventure novel.

The Great Sailing Trip Before The Kids

sail-florida-new-zealand: How To Travel Indefinitely:

Pre-Kids

Jeff and Katie are no strangers to travel.

In fact, their desire to travel with their kids stems way back to a time before they were married and before they had kids.

These two love-birds met and eventually fell in love while working at the same mergers and acquisition firm in California where Jeff was working as a manager and Katie worked as the market researcher.

Eventually, they quit their jobs, sold everything, moved onto a sail boat and sailed from Florida to New Zealand over a period of 3 1/2 years.

How to travel indefinitely: sailing

Jeff giving Katie a sailing lesson. She had no sailing experience

As romantic, adventurous and dreamy as it sounds, it was not all a bed of roses.

Because of the nature of living in close quarters, that romantic sailing adventure proved to be the ultimate test of their relationship. In the end, their relationship survived, probably stronger than it was before.

While on their sailing adventure, Katie and Jeff met many families with kids who were travelling long term and that’s when they both knew that they wanted to do the same thing with their future children one day.

After Their Sailing Adventure

How to travel indefinitely: sailing panama canal

Katie and Jeff Passing through the panama Canal

When their amazing sailing adventure ended, they returned to California, married and had kids with the intention of someday returning to a life of travel with the kids.

Unlike some people who dream and do nothing about their dreams, Katie and Jeff started making plans right away.

The first thing they needed to figure out was how they were going to pay for their future travel. 

The Long Term Family Travel Plan: The Money

How To Travel Indefinitely: Build a log cabin and sell it to finance your trip

The money plan was simple. Build a few houses, pocket the profit and take off with the kids.

Plans don’t always work out the way we want them to.

Their plan didn’t exactly work out the way they planned. For one, they only built one house not four. A gorgeous log home on the side of a mountain in Big Bear Lake, California.

Two,  it took much longer than expected to build just that one house, almost 4 years.

Finally, they didn’t profit quite as much as they had hoped to leaving them short of their financial goals.

Katie and Jeff were at a fork in the road.

Jeff’s job was not going to last much longer which meant they would be free to travel but….they hadn’t quite met their financial goals.

They could wait and build more houses like they planned or take the money they had so far and figure out how to make more cash while travelling.

The urge to travel was too great and they decided to start their family travel adventure sooner rather than later.

Where To Go First?

The Barnes family had a lot of things to consider for their travel adventure. Namely where would their first adventure begin?

The kids were just 4 and 2 and the youngest was just a newborn.

At first they thought of heading to Costa Rica where the cost of living was much lower but an earlier trip down their left them feeling like maybe that wasn’t where they wanted to be.

How To Travel Indefinitely: Figure out where you want to go

Then they set their eyes on Europe where the food, architecture and culture were more in line with their current travel desires.

Narrowing Down Where To Go

Katie and Jeff didn’t know where in Europe they wanted to go but they did know that they wanted to stay in a city with all the amenities of a city.

it was a change from their small town living and that was just fine for them since both Katie and Jeff had never lived in a biggish city before.

Hello Prague

They narrowed their options to a few European cities like Munich, Strasbourg, and at the last minute decided on Prague where they ended up staying for a good part of 2012.

From Prague they travelled out on mini trips to Germany, France, Belgium, England and Poland.

After Prague

So far sticking to one place for 6 months or more is working out and at the beginning of 2013, they left Prague and moved onto their next home-base; Italy. From Italy, they plan on travelling out to Greece, Turkey and around Europe as much as they can.

After that, they have no idea but hinted at spending time in France and Spain.

Kids Education

How To Travel Indefinitely: set up a plan to educate the kids on the road

When it comes to education for the kids, the Barnes take an interesting hybrid approach.  It involves a form of home-schooling (which has turned into more of a world school / unschooling philosophy ), combined with more traditional classroom learning.

For instance, while in Prague, the kids took art, drama, music and reading classes while Kate applied world school / unschooling philosophy learning at home.

In Italy, their eldest school age child may attend school with other Italian children to take full advantage of language immersion.

The Technical Stuff

How much stuff do They travel with?

How To Travel Indefinitely: don't bring too much stuff

They flew from California to Prague with a total of 10 bags. It was the maximum they were allowed to take on their flight (2 bags per person) plus one seat for the newborn.

They eventually bought an Audi while on one of their trips out of Prague to Germany and they used the car to make their latest move from Prague to Italy taking only what could fit in the car and on the roof.

How Do They Finance Their Trip

How To Travel Indefinitely: Have a plan b, c and roll with the punches

Since their plan to finance most of their trip with the profits from building homes didn’t quite work out as planned, they finance their trip by pulling from several different resources.

  • First they sold most of their stuff. (The rest they put in a very small storage unit in California.)
  • Then they sold the house they they spent 4 years building . (This was part of their plan all along).
  • They also have savings and investments that they can pull from.

Long term, they needed to create an income while on the road:

To subsidize their funds, Jeff planned on creating a location independent business (one he could run from anywhere in the world). His business idea involved combining his passion for beer and travel into one. He wanted to give beer tours around the world.
He also started learning stock trading/day trading as an additional income stream.

“It feels amazing to get on a plane and know you don’t have a bunch of things to worry about at home.”

As time went by, Jeff found he had less motivation for beer tours and more for stock trading and has been spending long hours learning and practising methods for making steady income through trading.

Jeff says he actually loves day trading and after a year of learning, he feels confident that he will be able to support their travel lifestyle.

What Were their biggest Challenges?

How To Travel Indefinitely: Create a life balance. it's hard spending all your time together

Three of the Barnes’ biggest challenges were…

  • Creating enough routine for their toddlers while on the go.
  • Spending too much time together in a small apartment with Jeff working (a lot) from home with noisy kids in the house.
  • Deciding where to live next because there were just too many great options.

What is their ball park daily budget?

The Barnes Family spends about $3500 USD a month. This is their total cost including travel, car, food, rent etc. That works out to about 116 USD per day.

How Long Do They Plan To Travel This Way

How To Travel Indefinitely: Make sure the kids benefit

There is no end in site for their current way of life.  Once the kids are old enough, Katie and Jeff hope to end up living back on a boat again sailing hither and tither with the kids.

A lot is riding on the fact that Katie and Jeff will be able to create incomes while travelling.

Words Of Advice- For Would Be Long Term Travelers.

I asked Katie to give me her top 3 words of advice for anyone out their who  dreams of travelling full time and here is what she said.

  1. “Don’t over think it. It takes some of the fun out. We keep doing that and it drives me crazy.”
  2. “Don’t bring too much. The less stuff the better, its easier and you will find what you need or some version of it wherever you go.”
  3. “If you are considering it, sell the house rather than rent it. Unless it provides good income…It feels amazing to get on a plane and know you don’t have a bunch of things to worry about at home.”

Conclusion

There are some important lessons to be learned here.

First,  if you want to travel for any length of time, having a plan is great and even necessary but…..It’s not enough.

You need a Plan and you need to be FLEXIBLE and willing to adjust your plans on the fly.

Just look at the Barnes family. They started off with a plan to finance their trip with the profit from building homes but when that plan fell through they didn’t postpone their dream or give up. They rolled with the punches and decided to figure it out as they go.

If you wait until everything is perfect, you may end up waiting a very long time to live your travel dream or worse; you may never do it. 

It’s not clear how long the Barnes family will travel but it is clear that they are working hard to give themselves options.  I’m pretty sure they won’t regret their decision either.

What do you think? Leave your comments below!

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The Barnes family one of many families feature. See other families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

I Hope It Inspires You To Take Actions on all your dreams not just your travel dreams.

Want to get featured on this site like this family? Please fill out this form and I’ll post the story here..Know someone who should be featured?

Anne & Eric Isom Family of 6 living in Nanjing China

Would You Move To China For Your Children? The Isom Family Did!(Series #9)

Most parents would do almost anything for their children. I know I would.  But to what extent would you go? Anne and Eric Isom, decided they wanted to say goodbye to their American life and move to China for the sake of their children. There’s just one thing. Anne and Eric are not Chinese. Find out why and how they made the move to China a reality.
nanjing china Isom Family

Isoms Lived in Mongolia for 6 months + Now Live in Nanjing China

Isom Family Snap Shot

  • Number Of Kids: 4 beautiful girls (16, 12, 9 and 7)
  • Educating Kids: Homeschool ( +Language Studies)
  • Type Of Travel: Living Abroad, Long Term,  International
  • Length Of Travel: Since 2011, 1 + Years
  • Where Travelled: :—> Mongolia, Nanjing China ( Anne + Eric Both grew up globe trotting)
  • Challenges: Money: unexpected expenses.
  • Finances: Money from selling stuff + House +saving for several years.
  • Budget: $66  day or $12 per person per day or $2,000 / month
  • Where To Find Them Online: Main Website www.islandschoolhouse.com, facebook: www.facebook.com/islandschoolhouseblog, Twitter: @islandschhouse; buy some of Anne’s photos at www.society6.com/IslandSchoolHouse

WHO ARE THEY?

islandschoolhouse.com-Isom2

Eric and Anne Isom have 4 beautiful girls who range in age from 7 to 16 ( as of 2012).

Eric (dad) has short blond hair and looks like the kind of dad you see on T.V.  Anne (mom) has dirty blond hair, fair skin and the most trusting smile I have ever seen. Their eldest daughter is 16 and is the perfect blend of mom and dad.

Then there are the three younger girls who have their moms contagious smile but share no other physical traits of their parents. Unlike their older sister, all three younger girls have straight jet black hair, olive skin and dark eyes.

If you haven’t guessed yet, Eric and Anne’s 3 younger daughters are adopted and were all born in China.

WHY DID THEY MOVE TO CHINA FOR THEIR CHILDREN?

islandschoolhouse.com-IsomGirls

The main reason Eric and Anne went to China is because they believe it is important to teach their adopted girls about their Chinese heritage.  They also believe it’s important that all members of their family learn about China and the Chinese culture.

But how does one go about teaching your adopted children from China about their Chinese culture when you have little to no first hand experience in that culture?

METHODS: How To Teach Kids About Their Chinese Heritage

Conventional Method

Eric and Anne could have joined one of the many organized subcultures that have developed around the growing number of Chinese children adopted by American families since 1991.

Do a quick internet search and you’ll find play groups, Chinese dance lessons, private Chinese lessons, tours of China and online support groups dedicated to supporting Chinese children adopted by American families.

Anne and Erics Method

But Eric and Anne didn’t just want their girls to learn about China through pictures , text books, Chinese dance classes and their limited knowledge of China. They wanted their girls to feel at home in their birth country.  They wanted all their girls, even their biological daughter to live and breath Chinese culture and they wanted to do it together as a family.

[alert style=”1″]According to the NYtimes, there are over 55,000 Chinese children ( mostly girls) who have been adopted by American families since 1991. (That’s when China loosened its adoption laws to address the growing number of children abandoned because of the one-child policy.) Most of the children are younger than 10.[/alert]

How Their Adventure Began..

For years Eric and Anne hoped Eric could get a job in China.  Unfortunately, even though Eric was highly skilled in his field and a manager at a global 500 company, he was never able to find a job in China due to his inability to speak Chinese.

THE MONGOLIAN JOB: Not What They Expected

Then in 2011, Eric’s company sent him and his family to Mongolia for a six month contract.  It wasn’t China but it was something.

After a few months, it became apparent that Mongolia was not what they wanted. Although living in Mongolia gave the Isom’s the international experience they were looking for, it wasn’t fulfilling their main goal which was to live and breath Chinese culture and to connect their adopted daughters to their Chinese heritage.

China Or Bust

At the end of Erics six month contract, the Isom family decided that in order to make their dream of living in China a reality, they needed to move to China NOW, on their own without corporate sponsorship.

Another driving force to move to China sooner rather than later was the fact that their eldest daughter was already 15. Soon she would be out in the world on her own and the Isoms wanted to make sure she didn’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn about Chinese culture.

Logistically it made sense too. They had no mortgage, everything they owned was in their suitcases and China was the next country over. So Why not move? 

Their Apartment In Nanjing China

Anne Isom Family Flat in Nainjing China

The Isoms Sparsely furnished Flat before a few trips to Ikea

On the 5th of January, 2012, after some preparation, visa research and house hunting, they moved to Nanjing China where they now live in a 3 bedroom flat on the 17th floor of a high rise. The high rise is on a quiet street, where the kids can ride bikes, visit parks and even roller skate.

Language and Educational Goals

Eric is attending a 2 year intensive Chinese language program at Nanjing University so he can break the language barrier, become fluent in Chinese and find similar work to what he did before. (i.e. Consulting, Project Management, etc.)

Nanjing University Campus China

Nanjing University Campus in China

What’s really great is that the Isoms eldest and biological daughter is also attending the same intensive language program as her father and apparently is quite the linguist. She started attending when she was just 15 years old.

The Isom’s three adopted girls have a private Chinese tutor who comes to their home 4 days a week for three whole hours each day.

THE GIRLS EDUCATION: 

In addition to their language courses, Anne is homeschooling all the girls.  Anne used to home-school back in the US so it was a no brainer to continue homeschooling them while in China.

How Do They Pay For It All?

With the exception of some books and art pieces which are in a storage unit back in the US, the Isom’s sold everything they own including their home to fund their two year trip to China.  They also saved like crazy several years in advance.

Plus, it costs much less to live in China especially since they don’t have a mortgage, car payments and all the trappings of their old life.

Money Money Money

So how much does it actually cost for a family of 6 to live in China. 

The Isom’s spend less than 24K a year for everything including the university tuition for two people. That means, rent, utilities, transportation, travel insurance, visas, food, clothing, tutors, entertainment…. Everything.

That breaks down to  $66 per day or $13 bucks per person.

[alert style=”3″]For anyone planning a long term travel agenda, Anne suggests making a well planned budget and then add 20%. There are always unexpected expenses that you just can’t plan for.[/alert]

Camelback back pack ruck sack

LUGGAGE

Luggage wise, the Isoms brought two 50 lbs. suitcases each plus they each have a carry on bag and a camelback backpack each( the one with a water bladder inside of them). This is more than a lot of our other families who have to limit their possessions to a backpack because they are moving more often.

When Will The Isom Family Return To The US?

The Isoms intend to stay in China indefinitely. They are banking on the fact that Eric will be able to land a job once he masters the Chinese language.

Anne is proud of the fact that they are not living in the “expat bubble” as she liked to call it and says for the moment, they are enjoying their life in China but at some point, they plan on returning to their globe trotting ways and introduce their children to other countries and cultures several times a year.

Final Thoughts

The Isom’s story is a good reminder for all you wanderlusts spirits that just because you have children doesn’t mean that you must raise them a certain way.

You have to choose the path that best suits your values and goals.

[alert style=”3″]“We are actively creating our own future, not waiting any longer for employers or “chance” to provide us with the opportunities we desire “                                                              Annie Isom[/alert]

Would You Like To Live Abroad Someplace Like China Too?

If you are or would like to plan your own family adventure abroad, Anne has her top three bits of advice for you.

[alert style=”3″]

Anne and Eric Isom Advice

  1.  Get out of debt. 100% out of debt! You don’t want debt nagging at you in the back of your mind!
  2. If you are going “for the experience,” really experience it. Live, shop, eat, and study where the locals live, eat, shop and study.  Choose places to stay where you are not surrounded by expats and avoid having the “local expats” help you get settled. They will steer you to locations close to them, encourage you to shop at the import stores and will influence you to make choices you otherwise would not.
  3. Start teaching your children now that they must try every food at least once, and set an example for them!
  4. BONUS: Anne says that one of their biggest challenge has been unexpected expenses.  So before you trip, make a detailed budget and add 20% to it.
[/alert]

 So what do you think?

Leave your comments below…


The Isom family are are the 9th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

Some people travel for just a year while others have been travelling for more than 5. These are not lottery winners or rich people. They are just ordinary people like you and me who made travel their goal and decided to work at that goal to make it happen. I hope it inspires you to do the same no matter what your goals are.

Want to get featured on this site like this family? Do you know of someone whom I should feature?  Please fill out this form and I’ll post the story here..

Millers travel the world with kids

How The Millers Lost Their Money And Still Travel The World With Kids. (Series #8)

edventureproject Travel The World With Kids
What if you and your spouse spent years saving and planning for THE trip of a lifetime which involved taking the kids to travel through Europe for a year and during that year long trip, THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED and you LOST ALL YOUR  MONEY?

This isn’t hypothetical. This is what happened to the Millers, A Family of 6 from the U.S. and Canada.

I bet the last thing you would do is travel the world with your kids after this catastrophic loss right? Not the Millers. Find out how the Millers used this terrifying experience as a Catalyst to create an extraordinary lifestyle, travelling and experiencing the world together as a family for almost five years straight.

Snap Shot: The Millers of www.EdventureProject.com

  • Number Of Kids: 4 kids  (16- Hannah, 14- Gabriel, 12- Elisha, 10- Ezra) this was back in 2012.
  • Educating Kids: Home-school
  • Type Of Travel: Long Term, Slow Travel, Semi-Nomadic, International
  • Length Of Travel: Since 2008, 4 + Years
  • Where They’ve Travelled:
    Europe:—> UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, France.
    Africa:—>Tunisia,
    N.America: –> Canada, USA (45 States),
    Mexico—> ( All but 4 states),
    Central America:—> Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala for 6 months,
    Asia:—> Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos (so far!).
  • Challenges: Finding freelance clients to fund their lives. (who doesn’t though right?)
  • Finances: Online workshops to help would-be travellers, kindle ebooks, Freelance clients: Filemaker database developer designer, freelance writing.
  • Budget: $100 / day or $16.60 per person per day
  • Where To Find Them Online: Twitter: Mom@edventuremama, Dad @edventuredad, Hannah @edventuregirl ,Gabe @edventuredude
  • Kids Blogs:  http://www.edventuregirl.com (Hannah’s blog) ttp://www.havebrotherswilltravel.com

WHERE

Since 2008, the Millers have travelled to over 20 countries and counting: including almost one year of cycling over 9,000 KM through parts of Europe. They have visited almost every state in the US, almost every Province in Canada, and all but four states in Mexico. They visited temples in Asia, rode elephants and camels and they did this with 4 kids in tow who were all under the age of 12 when they started their adventure.

The Millers are what you would call long term travellers because they travel for long periods.  They are also known as slow travellers. Slow travellers can spend up to a few months in one spot before moving on  to their next destination.  To date, they’re longest stint in one place has been 3 months in Tunisia and 6 months in Guatemala.

You might think that the Millers did a lot of pre-planning for this whirlwind 5 year adventure but they didn’t. It was by some pretty horrific and financially traumatic circumstances that they ended up travelling the way they do.

The One Year Cycling Across Europe Plan

In 2006, Tony and Jenn Miller started planning what would be a one year family gap year.

Not just any family gap year. A cycling gap year which involved cycling over 9,000 Kilometers across Europe to places like the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic …….with their 4 kids who were between the ages of 6 and 12 at the time.

By 2008, after two years of very careful budgeting and planning, they were finally ready to start moving slowly through Europe.

  • They had sold their house.
  • Sold or gave away most of their stuff and put what little precious things they wanted to keep in a little 8 x 10 storage unit somewhere in the U.S.
  • They also did a bunch of other logistical things for their trip.

They really thought they had it all figured out but the Millers didn’t plan for everything.

To be fair, they couldn’t have planned for what was about to happen.

Around the end of 2007 , jobs were slowly disappearing.

The economy was about to take a dive.

People would have a hard time finding jobs and the unemployment rate would reach record highs.

No one, including the Miller’s knew this was happening YET.

As far as the Millers were concerned, all was good and going as planned.

They left for their trip and then one day during their trip, in October of 2008, the stock market crashed and with the exception of a few thousand dollars in various checking accounts and their retirement funds, they lost all the money they had saved up and were supposed to live off of during the trip.

They lost all of their money.

Most people would be devastated by this but a funny thing happens to some people. They either shrivel up defeated or it brings out this internal tiger that wants to beat the odds and make you fight.

Time In Tunisia To Make A New Game Plan

The Millers didn’t run back to the United States to lick their wounds and try to rebuild their old lives. Instead they settled in Tunisia for the winter to regroup. They knew they didn’t want their adventure to end but they needed money to continue so they used their time in Tunisia to figure out how to make some money far for their adventures and beyond their one year gap year that has allowed them to travel the world with kids in tow.

MONEY How Much Do They Spend?

You might be surprised to learn that it costs the Millers less than $36,000 per year to travel the world with kids as they do.

That breaks down to about $100 a day, $3000 a month or $16.60 per day per person. They are almost always under that regardless of continent.  That’s less than most people spend in the U.S. who just stay put in one place. This surprises most people because, they think it’s expensive to travel.

I think the main reason people believe travelling must be expensive is because their only point of reference is from taking expensive vacations. Vacations are only expensive because it involves staying in expensive hotels, eating out every night and paying top dollar for costly tourist and site seeing activities in a short amount of time. But that’s a post for another day.

So how exactly do the Millers support themselves?

You could say that losing all that money in the stock market crash was pivotal for them because it forced them to create a location independent income stream that they didn’t have before.

In fact, Jenn and Tony said that they see that market crash as a blessing in disguise because it pushed them outside of their comfort zone and forced them to really evaluate what they wanted to do with their lives. During their 3 month stay in Tunisia to regroup, Tony and Jenn decided to turn the skills they had acquired from their former professions into a portable income that they could earn from anywhere in the world.

The Solution To Their Money Problems: It’s a team effort

The majority of their income comes from Tony’s work as a Filemaker Database developer and designer. He has contracts with big companies you’ve heard of, and little ones you haven’t. He also creates iOS and Android Apps for small companies.

Jennifer’s work converted nicely to travelling too.  She is a teacher by training but has done educational consulting and curriculum design for the alternative schooling market for over a decade.

Now she writes freelance for the home-school and travel markets, which really is great because it’s something she enjoys doing anyways but gets paid to do it. She also co-created an online class and workshop with another long term traveller; Nancy Vogel of FamilyOBikes.org. The course is called Dream: Reboot and it helps people define their dreams and then helps them turn those dreams into a reality.

BAGGAGE

Hannah-Beach

No surprise, the Millers have to travel light. No bags with wheels for the Miller’s.

They each have their proper travelling backpack and a smaller day-pack for the buses, ferries, trains and planes.

In their packs they each have three outfits, two swimsuits, a jacket and a rain coat. Computers for work and school. Toys for the kids, knitting for Jenn, a hand coffee grinder and press for Tony.

OH, I almost forgot, Hannah, their now 16 year old daughter plays instruments. They carry a guitar, a mandolin and a fiddle for her and she plays for hours each day. It’s amazing I tell you. I want to meet this girl.

What About The Kids?

edventurekids

Right the kids. I know a lot of you are thinking if it’s not the money then it’s the kids that are preventing you from living your travel dreams.

Honestly, I believe this is just a mental block that we are brainwashed into believing. I mean, if you want to travel with the kids but feel like you can’t because it might hurt the kids future think again.   As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best educations you can give your kids if you can do it.

The Millers obviously feel the same way because their main goal in travelling was the KIDS EDUCATION and to introduce their kids to the world. They want to make the most of every second they have with their kids because according to Jenn, childhood evaporates at an alarming rate and they don’t want to miss it. They want to walk the world with their kids and create memories together that will change lives.

Still not convinced?  Here is what the Millers had to say about home-schooling on the road.

“I think, if there’s one thing I’d like to say to parents who have the dream of traveling with their kids but are afraid to for some reason (education, socialization, relationship issues, whatever) it’s that they should step back from the fears and walk forward toward their dreams.

I was raised travelling and building log cabins and eating turtle and porcupine and black bear as a tiny child. My parents took me out of school as a little kid and again as a teen to travel extensively and it is the BEST thing they could ever have done for me. Your kids will LOVE you for the experiences the world gives them and THANK YOU for being brave enough to swim against the tide.

My teenagers love their life and already have the perspective to realize what a gift their uncommon childhood is. It’s hard when the whole world is doing “one thing” and your heart is pulling you in a totally different direction, but those dreams are inborn and unique and meant to be chased. Life is meant to be an epic Technicolor adventure, not a greyscale photocopy.
If my life broadcasts one message, I hope that’s it: Don’t be afraid, LIVE your dreams.”

Hannah and the boys each have their own blogs which you can go and visit. I just loved reading Hannah’s blog. She writes wonderful stories . http://www.edventuregirl.com (Hannah’s blog) ttp://www.havebrotherswilltravel.com (the boys’ blog)

Here is an excellent article that Jenn wrote which I think says it all about homeschooling.  http://www.vagabondfamily.org/blog/road-schooling/roadschooling-highschool/

When Will Their EdVenture (educational adventure) End?

According to Jenn, they plan to travel full-time for at least another two years.

After that, they plan on building a house in Canada on some property Jenn’s family has there. They even have their eye on a boat in Canada that the boys would like to spend some of their teen years sailing down into the Caribbean, perhaps.

What Will They Do After Their Travelling Adventure Is Over?

Jenn says that they may never work “real jobs” or live a “normal life nor do they have the desire to live the status-quo.

I really love this attitude myself. I think living the status quo is perfectly fine if that is what you really want. But more often than not, we follow the status quo because that is what we think we MUST follow.

Want To Slow Travel Around The World Like the Millers?

I asked Jenn to give me her top tips for families who wanted to travel like they are and here is what she said.

  1. Stop making excuses for why you can’t do it, and DO IT. Don’t waste time, live your dreams.
  2. Create a location independent career, or income streams. Funding is the biggest on going challenge, once you get that sorted, it’s easy.
  3. Surround yourself with the “right” people. Seek out people who are doing what you want to be doing and bravely introduce yourself and ask for help. You’ll be amazed at how many people will move mountains to help you forward on your dream. (I will. Ask me!)

The Miller’s are also very evangelical about encouraging other people to live their dreams and create a passion driven life for their families.

They spend a lot of time helping people forward on their dreams for free.

If you’re interesting in learning more about the Millers you can visit their blog  www.EdventureProject.com.  It really is a good read full of fascinating stories about their family and the lessons they learn on the road.

Jenner wrote an ebook. Bottles to Backpacks: The Gypsy Mama’s Guide to REAL Travel With Kids… with her friend Keri Wellman, in Germany and they are working on a second one that is in a totally different vein.

What Do You Think?

Personally, I just love the Millers story because they are yet ANOTHER great example of what the human spirit can accomplish when you really put your mind to it.


The Millers are my 8th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

susan-michael whitehead family sabbatical mexico

Want To Live In Mexico? Find Out how An Adventurous Family Of 7 Did It.(Series #7)

Susan and Michael WhiteHead family sabbatical in Mexico

Have you ever dreamed of leaving it all behind to live in Mexico or Costa Rica?  Think you have to be rich or save a bunch of money to support that new life?  Think you need to spend years planning it? Think Again. The WhiteHeads are an ex military family of 7 who decided to take action on their dream of travel. Kids and all. Find out how they did it.

Lured by the warm weather and beautiful beaches, every year thousands of people from around the world travel to Costa Rico and Mexico for a vacation.

Many of those same people dream about what it would be like to trade in their lives for a new life in Mexico.

Very few actually take action because of all those pesky hurdles you have to jump over to make it happen. Things like how would you support yourself? How would you keep up with the kids education? Where would you live? Not to mention the fact that you would have to learn a whole new language (Spanish).m

I found a couple who jumped  over all the hurdles and through a few hoops. And they did it with 5 kids between the ages of 3 and 14.  They aren’t rich. They didn’t sell off a bunch of Google stocks to make it happen and they didn’t plan the move over several years either.  They hustled and were persistent.

Snap Shot

The WhiteHeads of www.familytravelbucketlist.com

  • Number Of Kids: 5 kids  (14, 11, 9, 6, 3)
  • Educating Kids: Homeschool and Spanish language tutor
  • Type Of Travel: Long Term, Slow Travel, International
  • Length Of Travel: Since 2011, 1 Year +
  • Where Travelled: Costa Rica, Mexico:—> Atenas, San Jose,  Chapala, Mexico.
  • Challenges: Initially adjusting  to a new location and learning to cook without all the convenience foods found in the US
  • Finances: internet marketing clients, sale of previous business, digital products, kindle books, new travel magazine, teaching English online.
  • Where To Find Them Online: Facebook: www.facebook.com/familytravelbucketlist, Online Travel Mag: www.realfamilytravel.com

 

FamilyTravel Bucketlist

Since 2011, Susan and Michael Whitehead and their 5 kids have been slow travelling in and around Mexico and Central America. So far they have lived in Costa Rica, Atenas, San Jose and now Chapala, Mexico.  

Their goal is to travel indefinitely and knock as many things off of their family bucket list as possible before the kids leave to conquer the world on their own.

Living in 4 places might seem like a lot in such a short amount of time, ~12 Month Period. But thanks to the U.S. military, the WhiteHeads are no strangers to moving around. This adventurous family of 7 has had the pleasure of living all over the U.S. starting in Wichita Kansas, then to Milton Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and then back to Texas again.

A Chance To Settle Down

It wasn’t until they broke ties with the military that they decided to plant some roots in one place.

That place was Eastern North Carolina. There they set up their version of “THE DREAM LIFE” which included a 9.56 acre rural farm, chicken coops, plenty of land for the kids to play on, fresh blueberries, apples, pears  and more. You get the picture right? Susan and Michael also home-schooled their kids. Life was pretty good.

You would think that they would welcome the routine and comfort of one permanent place after bouncing around to so many different locations.  So what happened? How did they end up living in Mexico?

The Travel Bug

Wanderlust happened.

It’s true, once the infectious travel bug bites, the uncontrollable urge to see and explore more of the world takes over. No matter how much you try to fight it, no matter how much you try to push it aside, it is always there. If you deny this urge, horrible things can happen like regret and wondering “what if… ”

At least that has been my experience and that is apparently how the Whiteheads feel too because  after 3 years of living their idea rural life, they felt that inevitable pull of their wanderlust spirit too.  They longed for somewhere new to explore AGAIN!

Time To Make A Dream Come True

At the time, the economy and the country seemed to be taking a turn and they no longer viewed the U.S. as the BEST place to raise their children. That is when they started to take action on a new dream which was actually an old dream that they had put off for a long time. Susan and Michael always dreamed of travelling and showing their children the world.

First Steps

So Susan and Michael began to actively take steps to reduce their possessions and the anchoring effect of having a lot of stuff has on a family. 

They also started to grow their online businesses that they hoped would eventually help support their lifestyle and life of travel.

Lightening Their Load

They sold most of their things, gave away the rest and stored some of their keepsake items like photos at Susan’s parents home.

They now own 99% less than what they used to own which makes it easier to travel the world as a family unhindered by “THINGS”.   They each have 1 backpack plus they carry an additional 3 suitcases for other miscellaneous items totaling a whopping 10 bags for 7 people. That’s pretty lean.

What About The Kids?

costa rica with kidsThe kids were already being homeschooled so education was not really an issue. Susan and Michael decided to get the kids a language tutor which has worked out pretty well.

Money Money Money

The biggest surprise Susan revealed to me is that when they embarked on their travels, they didn’t have a ton of savings and have had to really hustle to finance their lives.

Now they have more income streams than ever and plan to add more and more as time goes on which include internet marketing clients, sale of a previous business, digital products, kindle books, Travel Magazine and teaching English online.

The cost of living in Mexico is a lot less then the U.S. and they are able to live quite well for under $2,000 per month. That’s for everything; food, rent, medical, clothes, tutors, sight seeing… EVERYTHING.

Not too bad if you ask me.

Want To Live In Mexico Too?

I asked Susan to give me her top tips to families out there who wanted to travel like they are and here is what she said.

  1. Find some way of making money remotely before you go.
  2. sell your stuff and take a leap without letting dream stealers convince you that it can’t be done

So what do you think about the Whiteheads?  Do you think you could do what they are doing with 7 kids in tow to live in Mexico?  Leave your comments below. Ask Susan and Michael questions by leaving comments below as well.


The Whiteheads are one of many families featured on this site. See also other amazing Families & Couples Who Are Making Their Dream of Long Term Travel A Reality. 

Want to get featured on this site like the WhiteHeads? Do you know of someone whom I should feature?  Please fill out this form and I’ll post the story here..

Could You Slow Travel The World For 8 Years As A single parent? Lainie Can:Interview: (Series #6)

Lainie & Miro slow travel the world
Meet Lainie, a beautiful single mom and her son Miro who set out on a mission to slow travel the world letting inspiration be their compass. They started their travels in 2009 when Miro was just 10 years old and they intend to keep on travelling for a total of 8 years.

Lainie and Miro are my 6th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Lainie, was nice enough to take time away from her busy travel schedule to answer a few probing questions I had for her.

Snap Shot of Lainie and Miro

You can follow along with their travels on their site www.RaisingMiro.com where they share their adventures from the road of life.

  • Number of kids: 1
  • Educating Kids: Un-schooling and world schooling
  • Type of travel: Slow Travel
  • Where: To date; Central and South America with inspiration as their compass.
  • Length of travel: Travelling since 2009 with the goal of travelling for a total of 8 years until Miro (son is 18 ish).
  • Challenges: letting go of the consumerist lifestyle, money.
  • Finances or how they fund their life: Started out with a couple of years of funds from savings and selling their stuff but now rely on donations and advertising from their site. Lainie also founded Project worldschool– a temporary learning community where you can send your teen to gain the benefits of a group educational experience. It mainly attracts un-schoolers and world schoolers but all children are welcome.

raisingMiro.com: slow travel the world

How long have you been travelling?

We have been slow travelling through Central and South America. To date, we have explored all of Central America and have visited Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Our three year anniversary will be on July 1st, 2012. Want to celebrate with us?

How long do you anticipate travelling for.

Wow, that’s like asking me to plan for the future and that’s something I really don’t like doing. We have said we will travel until Miro turns 18 (and I subsequently will turn 50) but that’s just because the mind wants to have some criteria of gauging things. But in actuality, it’s an open ended trip and we travel as long as we are inspired to do so. Miro may not want to travel with me after 18 or he will and neither of us have no way of predicting the future. But I can say with confidence, this is our lifestyle of choice and it works for us.

How Did Your 8 Year Travel Adventure Begin?

I am a former California business owner who had worked in the advertising, marketing and branding industry for 20 years in total. In 2000, I started my own agency focusing on brand strategy, graphic design and messaging exclusively for green-eco companies, non profits and conscious business.

One of the reasons I started my own agency was to remove myself from the destructive consumerist advertising world and do work for ‘good’.
In 2008, the economy sank in California, so instead of choosing to struggle, I decided to opt for a change for both me and my son. I closed my agency, gave away (or sold in some cases)  all of our possessions and set out to travel the world with my son. That was the opportunity we needed to live the life we were dreaming about, talking about and advocating for others. The real opportunity to make personal change. Today, 3 years in, we continue to choose travelling with no plans, no agenda, and inspiration as our only guide.

Why did you decide to live this way?

We sort of fell into the long term traveller’s lifestyle. Initially, we planned on travelling for one year, but as that year anniversary mark came closer and closer, we both decided to continue our travel lifestyle as long as we were inspired to do so.

Before we set out, our perception of travelling was very different.

Before we set out, we were in a ‘defining’ mind-set and it seemed very important for us to have a plan.

Before we set out, it seemed scary and unknown.

Before we set out we defined our travels ‘doing’, instead of ‘being’.

But being on the road, our perception of life actually shifted and we have learned to live in the moment without the need for plans, that life and traveling were not scary at all, and it was ok to live at a slower pace guided by inspiration and doing the thing that bring us joy.

What were or are your biggest challenges to living the way you do.

I am not sure how to answer this. I suppose the challenges have changed as we’ve changed. In the beginning it was letting go of the consumerist lifestyle we were once accustomed to. We no longer measure our value through what we have, now we are more interested in having experiences together. We are always challenged with money as it relates to freedom, but at the end of the day, we always have enough. Other than that, living a life based on inspiration, no plans, no schedule and no stress does not really allow for many challenges.

How do you deal with your day to day challenges?

As all things, we deal with things as they come. Miro and I have learned to be really open and communicative about our feelings, wants and desires. We are experiencing the world together and we rely on each other. We also make all decisions about what we are doing and where we are going together.

How would you describe the way you travel.. Slow travel, RTW travel, Nomadic or multiple ways?

We do slow travel. Sure, you can call it RTW travel or nomadic as well. I don’t mind. But we like to call our style of traveling as visiting locals. We are visiting, but we are living in local housing versus staying in tourist accommodations. We eat local and play local and have a full immersion experience. We stay as long are we are inspired to stay, and pack up and go, when we are inspired to go.

Single mom lainie and son miro slow travel the world

Can you tell me more about being a ‘global citizen’ (something you talk about a lot on your web site).

I truly believe borders and boundaries are a thing of the past. There is only one citizenship that holds value, and that is “global citizenship”.

I come from a background of activism, which I no longer subscribe to. In the past, I strived to change the world, make a dent is issues that mattered to me, usually surround civil rights, peace and the earth’s health. This activism was a huge part of my education in compassion. However activism strives to change the world from the outside. Through traveling with my son, I have discovered that all change happens from the inside out. In other words ‘being’ the compassion can effect the world just by virtue of being in the world. By being compassion and interacting and through interacting with the adults and children we encounter, we cannot help but to effect our collective future.

Whether someone chooses to extend that further and volunteer, that’s fine. But it’s definitely not necessary. For us, we both have a lot of passion for animals and my passion for nurturing children has rubbed off on Miro through our latest volunteering experience, where we actually spent two months reading to children, getting them excited about stories and imagination and learned that Miro is a very good teacher. All of our experiences have been in one form or another of serving as we try to immerse ourselves within the communities we settle in.

We live like visiting locals but no matter how hard we try we will never be mistaken as a local. So we embrace our differences and live each day with respect and gratitude for the communities we live in.

Another way we immerse our selves is through learning as much as we can about the history and culture and local rituals, sometimes in the form of cooking, or learning about the local crafts and other times through volunteering. Most of the time though, the best strategy for immersion has been to participate within a given community by being present and connecting through smiles.

How are you educating your son while you travel?

As we started our trip, I had no idea such a thing called Unschooling existed. However I noticed Miro was talking about geography, sociology, history, economics, mythology, language and second language, literature, math, science. I sat back one night and realized how brilliant the idea of having the world teach my son was! Engage in life and children (and adults) learn!

Soon thereafter, I discovered the formal name for what we were doing as ‘unschooling’. In some circles it’s called ‘Radically Unschooling’, ‘World schooling’ and Road schooling. There are similar principals to each of those ‘disciplines’ which is based on child-led learning. This is a radical departure form homeschooling circles that teach a formal curriculum only in the home environment.

The philosophy behind unschooling is that children will learn what they need to know when they are ready and want to learn it and this flows through every other aspect of life. The whole essence of unschooling is that children, when empowered, will learn based on their individual interests.

I’ve seen games spark Miro’s interest in mythology, quantum physics, history and culture. We’ve had an open platform to discuss humanity, violence, and choices because of video games. I’ve also seen Miro’s research skills improve as the internet and Google are second nature to him. I didn’t like going to the library to research when I was his age because it was so overwhelming for me. To have the library at your fingertips is a drastic change for this generation.

I have discovered first hand that by virtue of being in this world, we can’t help but to learn. Children learn naturally and retain so much more when they are engaged and leading the process themselves. I realized this just by observing an empowered Miro blossom daily. As a result of my unschooling education, I am growing as Miro teaches me how to be a better and more effective parent in the process.

I have written about unschooling extensively on our site, and I invite you and your readers to read more here.


Lainie and Miro are my 6th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

An ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Some travel just for a year while others have been travelling for more than 5. These are not lottery winners or rich people. They are just ordinary people like you and me who made travel their goal and decided to work at that goal to make it happen. I hope it inspires you to do the same no matter what your goals are.

What do you think of Lainie and Miro’s story?  Leave your comments below.

five amazing couples who travel the world

5 Inspirational Families Who travel long term with their kids: Series #1

Meet five amazing couples and families who travel full time (in this ongoing series).

Not only are they making their dream of extended and long term travel a reality. they are doing it despite having kids, despite not being rich and despite all their obstacles and challenges.

1- The Dennings of Discover Share Inspire

  • Number of kids:  5 kids ( Under 10 years old)
  • Type of travel: Road Trip In a Veggie powered truck and slow travel.
  • Where: Alaska to Argentina
  • Challenges: Internet connectivity. Balancing work time, education time etc..
  • Finances: Currently use their savings but their long term plan is to grow their online business.

image 
The Dennings are homeless on purpose. They are living in a veggie powered truck and are travelling from Alaska to Argentina with 5 kids in tow. That’s right, FIVE KIDS, Five. 

I think you are going to be in total awe with this amazing family and what they have done so far. The Dennings don’t just want to live abroad, they want to explore the world. Since 2007, they have been determined to create a location independent lifestyle so that they can live the way they want to. Who doesn’t right but they have gone to great lengths to make this happen and in a very interesting way i might add.

They’ve simplified their lives to the bare essentials. No mortgage, no utilities, nothing except their truck and what they can put in the truck. To fund their lifestyle originally, they were living off of an income but they lost that in 2008. Now they live off of their savings and have all they need to continue to live simply – which they are more than pleased with. However their long term strategy is to grown their online business which is already generating some money. They even have a few products teaching other people how to design their own lifestyle like they have.

The Dennings are a special case and it looks like there is no end in site for their adventure. Their latest adventure is taking them across North and South American. They ‘live’ in their truck when they are traveling in between places but whenever they get a chance, they stop and rent a place so they can stay longer. The last time i spoke to them they were renting a house in Panajachel, Guatemala and were there for almost two months. Before that they spent 7 weeks in Bacalar, Mexico. Go read about them at Discover Share Inspire and you’ll never say “i can’t again”.

2- The second family is the Burns Family of Our Travel Lifestyle

  • Number of kids: 2 (Under 8 years old)
  • Type of travel: Slow travel 6 months travel and six at home base in Malaysia
  • Where: Goal is to travel the world
  • Length of travel: 1+ years
  • Challenges:
  • Finances: They started their own a web programming company which the run completely online.

image


The burns family say that they are a pretty average family of four who decided they weren’t happy with their lives in suburban Australia. They were trying to juggle careers, maintain a house, pay the bills, have a social life on the weekends and most importantly, still finding time for to be with their children. They decided they needed to do something different with their lives.

They considered a bunch of options including career changes, selling the house and moving from the suburbs to a smaller town and even considered  finding work overseas. But none of that seemed like the right answer. in late 2009 the Burns decided to take ACTION and act on a long-term fantasy of long term with their two young children.

The Burns didn’t have a huge savings so they opted to use the skills they had which was web programming and set up their own business online. Exactly two year after they decided to take action and pursue their dream of long term travel, they set up a house in Penang Malaysia to use as a base to travel the world from. They aim is to spend 6 months of the year in Malaysia and 6 months of the year travelling. They also have a great site for other travelling families and couples to meet called Vagabond Family.  I joined it myself and love connecting and reading about other families. It makes me feel less fringe and more normal.

3- 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure is our third family

  • Number of kids: 1 (Under 10 Years old.)
  • Type of travel: Slow travel
  • Where: South America, Asia, and who knows where else
  • Length of time: 1+ years
  • Challenges: Single Dad with a special needs son
  • Finances: Started teaching Scuba Diving, various jobs writing, photography and medical transcription

1 dad 1 kid 1 crazy adventure   Our next family is a father son team.  Talon is  a single dad to an amazing 10 year old boy named  Tigger.  The fact that he is a single dad travelling is simply amazing but what really blew me away was what he told me about his son. You see his son has special  needs. I’ll tell you more about something amazing that happened in a bit.

Let me first tell you how their journey began. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to travel or live abroad and their story is a great one.   In May 2011, after years of working in intensive care, trauma, and with the dying, Talon left his traditional work life to embark on a round-the-world trip. Now you would think that they at least had a ton of money in the bank right? NO!!!  Talon and Tigger began their journey with $900 in the bank. Talon has been very creative in how he manages to support he and his son from doing medical transcription and writing to photography.  He even became a scuba instructor while in Honduras which has helped them bring in some descent money. Talon says their expenses usually average about $1,000 USD a month and says he could even cut it down further if he wanted but doesn’t because they really enjoy eating out.

His son Tigger has done so well that he is now off all his meds. Talon attributes the marked improvement in his sons anxiety and sensory issues to the amount of time he spends with his son and “world schooling”. His sons progression has reaffirmed and eliminated all the doubts he used to have and he is now 100 percent positive that his decision to live abroad, travel and home-school his son was the best decision he could have made for his 2 man family.

4-  International Cravings

  • Number of kids: 2 ( Under 5 years old)
  • Type of travel: Expats living in one place.
  • Where: Guangzhou China
  • Length of time: 1+ years as of 2011
  • Finances: Dad works remotely as a web designer. Mom teaches English. Created a product online, teach and run a web based business.

image Our fourth story is another family and rather than living nomadically and constantly travelling, they chose to stay in one place, China.

Their story is similar to the Burns in terms of why they chose to live abroad. Basically they were a family that was tired of waiting for the right time to travel, the right time to experience things, enough money to do it all, and tired of waiting for the pieces to fall together so they took action to make it happen.

In Feb. 2011 they moved their family of four to Guangzhou China. With two small children (1 & 3 at the time) there were many things that they were unsure of but they knew one thing for sure and that was that they wanted to go on adventures with their children and experience the world as a family. They have made some amazing friends and have had some unforgettable experiences together.

Mom says that  the ability to give her her older child the opportunity to learn Mandarin and experience a culture at such a young age has been both fun and exciting. Now both of their children speak Mandarin and their almost 5 year old is fluent.  Mom told me a funny story; Their 2 yr old son has learned potty training “split pant” style and she just thinks it’s hilarious watching him flip back and forth.

Dad of the family is a web designer and asked his U.S. company if he could work remotely. Something that before they never would have dreamed of asking. Mom of the family completed an online TESOL certificate before moving to China so that she could teach English while living abroad. While living in China they lived on $16 a day per person….much cheaper than their U.S. cost of living.   They have also spent a month in Thailand and hope to experience more of Southeast Asia while we can. Check out their story at www.internationalcravings.com

5- Man vs. Debt, The Bakers

  • Number of kids: 1
  • Type of travel: Expats living in one place.
  • Where: Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Thailand
  • Length of time: 1 + years
  • Challenges: Had over 18,000 us dollars in consumer debt that they paid off.
  • Finance: Sold his crap on eBay and got out of debt. Now makes a living online and can literally work anywhere he wants to when he wants to.

image   Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt  is probably the most famous modern day family i know who decided to leave it behind for a few years to travel. If you haven’t heard of Man vs. Debt than let me fill you in.

In 2008 after the birth of their daughter, Adam Baker and his wife Courtenay spent a year selling all their crap and paid off over 18,000 dollars in consumer debt. Then In June 2009, they left for what was to be a year in Australia, but quickly turned into more mobile travels through Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and finally back to Indiana.

Now Adam and his wife are running several business online, have several products that help other people do the same thing they did and he’s not done yet. That’s it for now. Stay tuned as i add to this growing list of amazing and inspirational families and couples who left it all behind to travel or live abroad.

What Do You WANT?

So…. do you WISH or do you WANT to lead a location independent lifestyle? Are you willing to TAKE ACTION and are you DETERMINED to follow through? The next time you say I wish I could travel but can’t,  I can’t, I hope you think of these five families who despite having kids, despite having debt, despite not being rich or whatever reason you keep telling you that you CAN’T, they did it. Because they did they took action and had determination.

 


Part of an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Some travel just for a year while others have been travelling for more than 5. These are not lottery winners or rich people. They are just ordinary people like you and me who made travel their goal and decided to work at that goal to make it happen. I hope it inspires you to do the same no matter what your goals are.

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