- Idea: How did you think about doing this trip?
We took several international holidays in 2010 and 2011 and realized it was easier and cheaper to just keep going than returning to Australia. We loved to travel and there was no need to wait until the kids were grown up.
- Preparation: How did you prepare for it?
We sold our cars, rented out our house and sold many of our belongings. We created a rough itinerary of where we wanted to go in the first 6 months and booked the flights. Once we had done that we had to stick to it.
- How did you finance your trip? If you make a living out of travel, how do you finance yourself?
We saved up a “buffer” so we had some emergency funds if we ever needed them (but never had). I was working as we travelled by running a web design business. So I just needed my laptop and an internet connection to keep an income stream flowing.
- Top 5 experiences – > Most incredible stories?
There have been so many incredible experiences along the way. Some of our highlights are:
- Tiger Temple in Thailand
- Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Hot air ballooning at sunrise over Cappadocia, Turkey
- Walking through Petra, Jordan
- Swimming with sharks in Ambergris Caye, Belize
- Top 5 preferred places and Why?
This is a hard one to answer as each destination we visit is unique and special in it’s own way. Some places are memorable for the food, others for the attractions, and some for the culture. We love beaches, so many of our favourite spots have been on the sand:
- Boracay in Philippines
- St Kitts in Caribbean
- Vathi, Sifnos in Greece
- Bol, Croatia
- Western Puerto Rico
- The biggest challenge during your trip?
We have travelled fairly extensively before this long-term nomadic trip so we were quite comfortable with the journey. Raising kids on the road has its fair share of challenges, as it would if we were living in 1 place. Probably finding medical attention in countries where English isn’t widely spoken has been our biggest challenge overall.
- What was your most difficult moment?
In Israel my son fell of a bunk bed and broke his wrist. We had to take him to the emergency department in the nearest hospital (which was late at night) and the doctors and nurses spoke very little English. So it was a very frustrating and emotional experience for our whole family.
- What are the biggest learnings on how to travel safe?
We didn’t realize we were travelling without travel insurance for the first 6 months. And when our travel insurance expired we were planning on not renewing it but 2 days later my camera was stolen, so we went ahead with the renewal. That was fortunate because 1 day later we missed our flight due to a traffic incident and the insurance saved us around $1000.
- How was the return?
We haven’t really “returned” to Australia – our trip is open-ended. We did visit Perth, Australia for a short while for a family member’s wedding. Seeing friends and family was great, but we found it was also too easy to slip into old routines and familiar surroundings. So we were back on the road a short time afterwards.
- What changed in you after this trip? What did you learn?
Our learning experience is ongoing. We are learning more about ourselves and more about the world every day. I think each of us is maturing and changing in a positive way because of our travels. We are more understanding, more loving and kinder to people around us. The world definitely feels like a smaller place.
- If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
We didn’t do much research about family travel before we left, so I’d definitely do more research. In fact, we thought we were the only family crazy enough to do this sort of thing. So when we found other families along the way in the same boat, we were pleasantly surprised.
- Favorite travelling quotes?
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St Augustine.
- Inspirations: (Movies, Books, People…)
Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,
Book: The Atlas (I realize how much more of the world there is to see!),
People: My family is by biggest inspiration.
- Any other idea to share:
We get asked a lot if we have won lotto or some kind of jackpot. The answer is simply “no”. We’re just an ordinary family who made a decision to live an extraordinary life, and it’s well within reach of anyone if you’re willing to take the steps. Living outside of the “bubble” we are familiar with forces us to re-evaluate the world and ask questions to ourselves which we may not have before. Travel is the best teacher.
- SOME ADVISE:
- Before going: Create a plan and work out what you need to do. Break it down into small actions and assign a deadline to each one. Make a big commitment like booking a flight or accommodation so it forces you to get things done rather than procrastinating.
- During the trip: Be flexible with your plans. Sometimes the best places experiences we’ve had were spur of the moment decisions.
- After the trip: Reflect on what you’ve done. Travelling fast means sometimes not having the time to just soak up the experience. Let the journey continue internally even if it doesn’t continue externally.