In a Facebook group for worldschooling families, the question was asked:
“What was the specific moment that made each and every one of you say, I’m going to travel the world with my family?”
I started to formulate a post in reply, but my answer got long and I decided it would be better to elaborate here, where I can be as long winded as I want whether anyone ever reads it or not.
I’ve always wanted to explore the world. When I was a kid, I would grab the Travel section out of the Sunday paper each week and read all the stories and study the map showing the flight prices to see which ones went up/down. I watched a lot of PBS documentaries on foreign lands, read my grandma’s many books on things like Jacque Cousteau and the flora/fauna of other places, listened to her records of whale songs, etc. because I was intensely curious about the world and life in other places. I started ordering free travel brochures so I got all the visitor guides and maps in the mail from various states and destinations.
One of my close friends was a girl that I only got to see for one week every summer at Girl Scout camp. Her parents both taught English at international schools around the world and then came back to their house for the summers. We kept in touch via letters throughout the year and I’d mail her favorite cereal to Norway or a postcard to Pakistan, or wherever they were living at the time. I loved hearing about her life in other places and was envious of all the things that she got to see and do.
Only once while I was growing up did my family ever go anywhere, a trip to California to visit family. I dreamed of going everywhere, thought about going to college in England, but instead met my now husband and moved in with him. Shortly after we moved in together, we drove cross country and moved to Miami for a brief while. We were very young and naive and it didn’t work out for various reasons, but it was an adventure and it gave us a taste of life outside our home state. When we decided to get married, we make the decision to have the wedding abroad and pay to bring our family with us to Scotland. It was amazing. In the years that followed we made a few other trips but we weren’t prioritizing travel. We had our son and started to settle into our lives.
But that spark was still there.
We did have a moment. I remember it clearly. We were at the corner kiddie park with our son and were talking about sailing, and how some people were living on boats and sailing the world, getting to travel and have a home base at the same time. My husband lamented that it would be a long time before we could retire to do that when I pointed out that some families were doing it now instead of waiting. I had read about it on blogs like Zach Aboard and Sailing Totem. We realized we could do that too and agreed then and there that we wanted to make it happen.
We started moving intently moving down that path. We took lessons on larger boats (I was already a dinghy sailor and instructor), went to a boat show, read lots of blogs and books, told people about our intentions, aaaaaaand then decided sailing wasn’t the right travel method for us. We considered RVing, went to an RV show, visited various dealerships, joined facebook groups, etc. but that was also not the right fit. Then we figured out that there were families that were just traveling. We read lots of blogs, joined groups, “met” people on Facebook doing similar, and were inspired and convinced it was the right choice. We started putting things in motion to make it happen.
What exactly we’ve done, how we’ve got here, are all things covered on this blog. As a family we are not spontaneous, risk taking types. It has been a long, slow process but we are finally in a position where we are living the dream, are location independent and currently living in another country for two months! We hope to keep traveling more often and more broadly as time goes on.