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Feb
07

10 Reasons for Long-Term Travel With Children

1. Spending time together. My number one goal for our trip is to simply spend time together.  Like most fathers, Mike works outside the home five days a week.  When he is not at work he is usually still busy working on our house.  I’m really looking forward to spending all of our time together as a family.

2. Become closer. For some families, spending 24 hours a day together could be disastrous, but for us it will be amazing.  Mike and I want to be with our children.  We want to watch them growing and learning together.  We want to be good role models for them and begin and end each day in each others arms.

"Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconception that I'd like to see you be or do. I have no desire to foresee you, only to discover you. You cannot disappoint me."

3. Learn about the world. We already follow an unschooling approach to homeschooling.  I want to take our unschooling to the next level by worldschooling our children.  We will learn about the world by seeing and experiencing it up close and personal.

4. Follow our passions. I want to study yoga, learn Tai Chi, and take cooking classes.  Mike wants to continue to learn to play the guitar and to take time to do his art (pencil drawings).  I want the children to learn anything they fancy from being a mahout, to art and music classes, to martial arts.  This trip will afford us the time to follow our passions.


5. Do less chores. Housework, yard work, maintenance, bills….they will all go out the window.  Our lives will not be usurped by all the mundane day to day chores that owning a home involves.  Sure we will have to find restaurants to eat at, places to sleep, and markets to get groceries, but all that will be an adventure not a chore.

6. Yell less, love more. I am a much better mother when Mike is home.  We work so well together and can tag-team in our parenting roles.  Two on two is a whole lot easier than one on two!  The combination of having Mike with us 24/7, not having my days filled with chores, and following my bliss will make me a better person, a better parent, and a better wife.


7. See the world through the eyes of my children. This trip will be much different than any of our pre-children travels.  We will have to move slowly and not pack too much into our days.  We will be forced to approach things differently to keep our kids happy, healthy, and entertained.  Seeing our children’s wide eyed wonder as they behold places and things that most kids only read about will be so rewarding.  A reason to travel in and of itself.

8.Getting to know the locals. We are going to have an edge over other travelers when it comes to befriending locals.  Not only will we be staying in the places we love for one or two months at a time, but we have something to immediately bridge any cultural gap….our kids!  Asians, in general, LOVE children.  From what I have heard, traveling with children is the best icebreaker there is.  People will come up to us and start conversations and when we immediately win them over with our charm and wit, we may even get invites into their homes!

9. Volunteer. This trip I want to give back.  I’ve really been inspired by Got Passport, an American family living in Thailand that co-ordinate and promote volunteer opportunities.  I want to foster a spirit of service in my children and in myself as well.

10. Lose weight, feel great. The Asian diet is the best in the world.  I will get to eat fantastic and fresh food (and I don’t have to cook it!) and I will lose weight!  The traveling lifestyle is also a very active one as you are out and about every single day…..unless you get food poisoning but hey, food poisoning makes you lose weight too!  (Sick joke, pun intended, I really, really don’t want food poisoning.)

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32 comments

4 pings

  1. Matt says:

    What a great list! So many of these things are what we are hoping for as we plan our year overseas in Indonesia. Homeschooling is definitely something we are looking into. Learning and experiencing more about the world is exactly what I want for my kids.

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      I took a look on your blog, trying to see what ages your kids are but couldn’t find it. If you are going away for a year I think unschooling is the best option as long as you are comfortable with it. I can’t imagine having to carry workbooks and textbooks in my backpack, they are going to be heavy enough already!

      1. Matt says:

        Our kids are ages 8 and 4 (soon to be 5). I’m very intrigued by unschooling and definitely want to explore it more.

  2. Keri says:

    Your family is an inspiration! Good for you, starting this while the kids are young–time goes by too quickly. Best of luck, and I look forward to following your journey.

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Thank you so much Keri! I’m glad you stopped by!

  3. forrestblogging says:

    What a brilliant post! It encapsulates so much of why I like travelling as a family, but also much of what I am aiming for as a family in the coming years. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Thank you forestblogging! I’m smiling from ear to ear!

  4. Shelly says:

    We are getting excited along with you Amy. We have been fortunate to have experienced not one but two, 6-week journeys with our kids by our side 24 hours a day and have reflected on that more than once. Not too many families can say in a whole life time that they have ever had that experience. You will be so amazed at what your children will get out of this – so cool for you 🙂

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Thanks Shelly, for being so supportive. I really hope we can meet up in Asia next winter!

  5. Diane H. says:

    Great list! We’re five months into our “year off” and although we’re doing it slightly differently (Europe instead of Asia) we had many of the same aspirations.

    I’m delighted to report that many of them turned out – the time together is great, getting to know the local people is incredibly interesting and the kids make that happen, and seeing ancient Roman and medieval stuff with the kids is great. We’ve even lost weight on the cheese and wine diet – Really!

    The one thing that didn’t work out for us was #5. We have enjoyed that we’ve cut a lot of noise out of our life and so have less to do, but all the stuff we do have to do takes FOREVER. Little things like buying a new pair of shoes for a kid who had a growth spurt takes a really inordinate amount of time since we don’t know the stores or the sizes or the brands or… Hope that one works out better for you!

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Diane, Thanks! Hopefully it does work out better for us! I’m sure there will be a steep learning curve but I hope that since we plan on settling down in many places we will be able to figure out where to get things. One thing that is nice about Asia is that it is just so cheap! I’d love to take my kids to Europe and we have actually talked a lot about doing it. We have decided to leave it until they are a little older though, and until we have a bigger budget!

  6. Talon (1Dad1Kid) says:

    Love your list and all so true! Although from what I’ve heard Chiang Mai isn’t the place to lose weight. LOL

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Ha Ha! I guess I’ll have to exercise some restraint!

  7. Tracy Burns says:

    Great list! I wish I could say I yell less and spend more time playing with the kids than I used to … but then Colin is working while we travel. Some weeks he is around a lot and it is bliss – two of us to parent, we’re chilled and I can be the mum I would like to be … then we’ll have a couple of weeks where he is working non-stop while I’m trying to entertain two kids in a small hostel room with limited toys or dragging them around a foreign city by myself … not the best way to learn to yell less. This year my big aim is to work on that and get back to being the best mum I can be!

    As for the loosing weight on Asian foods … Chiang Mai wasn’t too bad actually provided you don’t buy the Thai donuts after dinner and drink too much of the cheap beer! Penang is the killer – the Indian food is just amazing but it’s so oily and creamy!

  8. worldschooladventures says:

    Thanks Tracy. I totally sympathize with you. I know how hard it is to have most of the parenting responsibilities but I can’t imagine having to do it in an unfamiliar environment without all of the toys and games of home. You must be fabulous at thinking up distractions and games to keep the kids entertained!

  9. Nadine Hudson says:

    Dear Amy
    As always, beautifully written and beautiful thoughts and photos. May I quote some of your points on our blog with a referal to your blog? I have been writing on a piece about similar topics (about what some of the replies above said as well…. just because we travel doesn’t necessarily mean more time with and for the children and doesn’t mean less stress, unless we are willing to really really really let go and have time to learn to do nothing and to have no plans, but more about that in the article I am preparing, we have seen so many stressed travelling families in the hotel we were running). Please let me know if that would be okay.
    Also, your last entry about Edna was funny. Had I read it a few weeks ago (BEFORE we came to the US) I would have wondered what the big issue was with a car free life – we haven’t had a car for a long, long time), but travelling in the US now, we understand that not having a car is indeed a big challenge over here. Good for you.
    Thank you Amy and family for sharing all this with us and I keep hoping to meet you one day.
    Nadine and fam.

  10. worldschooladventures says:

    Nadine, yes, you can certainly quote me with a link back to my blog!
    So far not having the second vehicle has been OK. We just have to plan things a little bit more and realize that we won’t be able to do as many things as we are used to. My friends have been very helpful in getting me to and from Yoga classes and my mother has also been very helpful by picking up groceries for me and giving me rides when I’m in a pinch. I’m looking forward to spring for the good weather so we can walk into town more often.
    I’m loving your funny posts on the cultural difference in America! Hope you are having lots of fun exploring. 🙂

  11. Sabina says:

    Your kids are going to be so advanced in their lives. They’ll understand things of which even most adults have no concept. I would have loved to have had an international upbringing. You should have more kids so they’ll benefit too 😉

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      That is certainly part of the plan…..to raise them as global citizens. But we are definitely done having kids. We tried to have our kids as close together as possible so that we wouldn’t have to wait so long to travel. We wanted them to be old enough to walk longer distances, communicate with us, be potty trained, and not be putting things in their mouth (still working on that with our youngest.) We are happy with our little family of four and I can’t imagine starting the whole process again!

  12. Dalene says:

    Hey Amy! I plan on sharing this exceptional post on our FB fan page…as a message to all of our family and friends who have said “Well, I would love to travel, but the kids…”

    I am always in complete AWE when I see families traveling. What an amazing adventure, and an amazing life you are giving your beautiful kids. Very, very inspirational.

    Very excited to be following your journey!

    Dalene

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Thank you so much Dalene, once again I am in awe of the love and generosity of the travel community. I’m so happy that you found us and hope we can inspire some of those armchair travelers!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Congrats on your upcoming journey! Our family recently sold almost everything…and now we’re traveling in an RV across the USA to give daily: http://giveeveryday.com/.

    We decided to do it for many of the same reasons that you listed. #6 especially resonates with me. I love living almost all of my waking hours beside my best friend.

    How old are your kids?

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Thank you Stephainie! I just took a look at your blog and your journey sounds fabulous!
      Isn’t wonderful to be married to your best friend? I know that a lot of couples would hate being together 24/7 but I can’t wait for it!

      We have two boys age 3 and 5. I’m loving the ages they are now, (although I have said that at every age and stage in their childhoods!) they are so much fun!

  14. Rachel Denning says:

    Totally agree! This is what it’s all about.

  15. Nadine Hudson says:

    Dear Amy and family
    At last I had time to add a post to our blog that I had prepared a long time ago. It talks about something, travelling parents don’t like to talk about so much: the more difficult parts of travelling as a family. I have added the link to your website at the bottom and hope it will bring you a lot of readers.
    I also like your latest thoughts. Believe me, we had them many times. What, if we just travelled forever? In Switzerland that usually means giving up health insurance and in some cases even retirement benefits. And what does it mean for our children? I often think what they are missing by not going to a public school with many friends around them. During the many years away I noticed how much worth roots are. And that when we meet people from the same cultural background, there is immediately something there, that is often missing with other people. I wonder now, who our children will share these roots with? I think, dear Amy, as long as we all have many questions and know that we will never really find answers, because they are not answerable and answers don’t even matter so much, we are very normal parents who love our children dearly and only want the best for them. And the love for your children is very obvious between all of your beautifully written lines!

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      As always you are a voice of reason! I really liked your article, and thank you for the link to my site!

      As for my latest thoughts, the idea of spending six months traveling overseas and six months camping through Canada has spawned from the same issues you described. We don’t want to loose any of our Canadian benefits including our awesome health care and we want the children to know their own country as well. If we went with this root we would really have the best of both worlds. We could live in perpetual summer (I am not a fan of winter) but we will still have a “base” and be able to see and spend time with family and friends every year.

      I love the dialog we have going Nadine! We are so different, yet so the same and I feel blessed to have connected with you!

  16. GotPassport Family says:

    Amy, Thanks so much for including us in your post. 10 great reasons.

    Chiang Mai is really not that bad. The thing is that the portions in Thailand are much, MUCH smaller than those of the west. Everything is supersized here unfortunately. Being selective in what you consume will be the most suitable way, IMHO for your body and mind, no matter where you live.

    We look forward to meeting the entire family in person!

    A

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      The first time I was in Asia I lost about 15 pounds without even trying. Of course there is junk food available and some greasy cooking but most of the food we ate was full of fruits and veggies! Plus we were just more active then we are back home, walking everywhere, climbing hills for the view, etc. It was an easy way to get trim! Gained it all back in the first month home though! So much pasta!
      We look forward to meeting your family too!

  17. Avril GotPassport says:

    Amy, Junk food drama was a big battle for me w M at school. We got through it though- after a lot of talking and M ending up in Detention for a week! It had to be done. She was borrowing bahts from her friends and selling her snacks at school. Yes, Drama. Seems more junk food is accessible to kids here. Scary and very unfortunate!

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Ah, kids! At least you fund out what was going on and managed to correct the situation. And hopeful M learned a lesson from all of it! We typically eat healthy here at home, my kids love vegetables and I laugh when I catch myself saying “Stop eating vegetables now, you won’t be hungry for the rest of your dinner!” But they do have a healthy addiction to ice-cream, chips, and candy! (so does their mommy!)

  18. wandering educators says:

    love this! i concur!

  19. Adam Sommer says:

    I completely agree that travel as a family brings us closer together….great list!

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