Lessons Learned From Our Family Travels

After a whirlwind six months of international travel, our family has been back in the United States since October. We’re spending Christmas in San Francisco and catching up with friends before we figure out where to head next. As you may recall, our original plan was to travel longterm — up to two years — but for a number of reasons, we’ve since decided that we want to lay down roots here in the US and break up our remaining travel into smaller chunks.

 

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Hiking in Scotland (William Wallace Monument in the background)

When we first started researching longterm family travel, we were shocked at how many families were really doing this crazy thing called “road-schooling”. Selling everything, packing up, and heading out into the great unknown with kids in tow — for years at a time. We found families traversing the continent in motorhomes, finding success in travel bloggingliving in a different country every few months, and even one family who experienced death and still found it in themselves to keep traveling. While their experiences are all unique, one thing I’ve realized from our own travels is that all of these blogging families are a bit crazy. By that, I mean they seem like the ones who like to break rules, defy routines, and just want to have fun. I’m now convinced that it’s that kind of personality which makes road-schooling your kids and moving from “home” to “home” seem like no big deal. In fact, it’s that kind of personality that thrives under the chaotic nature of nomadic life. While we enjoyed many aspects of our six months abroad, the one thing we felt it lacked was a bit more structure and routine — two nouns that most traveling families would probably consider 4-letter words.

All that said, we managed to find a good system that was unique to us. It took us a few months (and few big arguments!) but we eventually found what worked. While we fully intended to continue traveling after summer in Europe, and in fact, had our flights booked for a five month stint in Southeast Asia, we knew our next leg would require a bit of slowing down. We were looking forward to traveling to more “uncomfortable” cultures with completely foreign languages and totally different traditions but had plans to hunker down for two months at a time.

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Tim celebrated his 40th birthday in Basel, Switzerland with friends from all over the globe! I made this shoddy cake in a severely under-stocked Airbnb. Don’t judge.

When a stateside opportunity came up that was too good to pass up, we cancelled our Southeast Asia plans and much to the surprise of our friends and family, landed once again in California. This time though, we opted to live in the heart of San Francisco, which is an entirely different experience than living in Silicon Valley’s capital, the suburban and culture-deficient Cupertino.

In the coming months, we are looking forward to big changes and new opportunities. We have many doors available to us and only time will tell which one we walk through! One thing is for sure, we’re proud to continue living fearlessly. To not get sucked into the rat race of life and instead, do life our way and on our terms. As they say, we only get one shot at this and we are committed to living our lives under the notion of “if you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do with your life?”.

What would you do?

Stay tuned for my upcoming travel posts on my favorite unknown European cities, top travel tips, and more!

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