What on Earth are we doing? Why we want to travel with young kids.
Some people think we’re quite mad to be leaving our beautiful home to go travelling with young children! The kids won’t remember it anyway, will they? Aren’t we scared that they will be unsafe? What about their routine? What about work? What about our family and friends?
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We can be together as a family more
Firstly, thanks for all of those concerns, but please know but we have been thinking about it and researching it for years, and we’re very excited about finally doing it! We have trust in ourselves and faith that we can make it work. We have faith in the goodness of most people, and of course we won’t be visiting places where there is an active war going on. And we trust in the resilience of kids, and that creating a lifestyle that gives us more time together and more adventures and opportunities beyond our hometown will be the best investment we can make for our family. We will stay in touch with our family and friends! We will take photos and videos and journals and scrapbooks to record everything we want to remember. We will be safe and happy and most importantly, together, and that’s what we want.
We understand that extended travelling a somewhat unusual path. However it is becoming more and more popular as people have found new ways to earn money online, and less and less satisfaction with the standard life of working too hard to pay off a mortgage, and seeing each other very little as they lead their busy lives. We too are quite sick of all that! We can’t wait to spend more time together, to discover new places and cultures together, to learn and grow and challenge ourselves, together. Living as a family means much more to us than having school and work being the primary focus of our lives. We want to live it in a connected and happy way, following our interests, learning and experiencing the world, and making a difference as we go.
We can earn money as we travel
We believe that we can create money as we travel, which supports what we are doing and still leaves room and time to achieve all that we want to achieve. Being tied to a job for ‘security’ is no longer a reality. Ant and I have always known that we are able to create work for ourselves, and have been confident to leave well-paying positions with nothing to go to. We have created small businesses out of nothing, and learnt lessons from those that didn’t succeed as well as those that did. In my early 20’s I once left a job deliberately without another to go to, and gave myself a few week’s holiday at home before I even started looking. I was successful in finding another one when I was ready, and was actually employed as a contractor for my previous workplace for a few weeks while I was finalising my new position. (And I got paid more than double what I had been earning in that time too!)
We can give our kids the best opportunities for learning
This travel is strongly tied to our philosophy for home educating our kids, which is allowing them time and opportunity to explore their passions, providing resources they may need, and especially facilitating experiences that they can draw from. We then get out of the way of their learning, just as a parent does when a baby is learning to walk. We make the environment safe and provide support and encouragement, but ultimately, the baby has to do the work and will succeed in learning their new skill when they’re ready. This is sometimes called Natural Learning or Unschooling, and the many people who are travelling at length as part of their children’s education have been dubbed ‘Worldschoolers’. We are excited to be joining the Worldschooling phenomenon and having the whole world for a classroom!
We trust that our kids will learn what they need to, when they need to, to the extent they need to at that time. The experiences and the autonomy to discover what they mean to them are the core of our home education and travel plans. We believe this helps them to know themselves deeply and have confidence in themselves, as their interests and what they have discovered for themselves matter the most. I have plenty of ideas that I hope they will enjoy or learn from as we travel, but they may not like a certain place or learn what I think is interesting, and that is quite ok.
For example, Dante might not learn much about sea turtles as we volunteer at the Juara Turtle Sanctuary, but he may discover that he loves to snorkel. We can follow that interest as we travel on, and it is just as valid and provides just as much stimulation as learning about turtles would. Actually, it provides more opportunity for him, as he had the freedom to choose that interest and thus he enjoyed it and learnt from it from his own free will, not from coercion. No way is the right way, and if we prescribe outcomes rather than provide open experiences for our kids, we shut down their potential and the love of learning that comes naturally when following their own interests.
We trust that it will all work out fine!
It seems what we are doing all comes down to trust! We trust in our ability to create whatever life we desire. We trust our kids to learn and grow and thrive in a somewhat unconventional lifestyle. We trust that the world is mostly a safe place, and that most people have good intentions. We trust that our love and connection to each other are the most important factors in having a happy, healthy family. And we trust that we can change it all in a heartbeat if we need to.