The moment we told our families and friends we wanted to take our kids travelling full-time around the world, we were met with mixed emotions, questions and comments. Sharing this news isn’t the easiest when others don’t understand your decision or feel the same way you do about travelling.
When my husband and I had travelled before having kids, we had never felt so free. We aren’t highly experienced travellers, nor had the chance to travel multiple times, backpacking the world. But boy, when we did travel, it felt amazing.
Unlike at home, you have work to attend to, deadlines to meet, bills to pay, constantly thinking about the future, errands to do, places to be etc. You barely seem to keep up with yourself and prevent yourself from falling over.
But when you travel, you feel like a huge boulder has been lifted from your back and you can finally stand upright for the first time. You live for each and every moment. The only worries are, what to do for the day, how you will get there, what to eat, where to sleep and how much money will be left for the next day. You are constantly thinking about the present rather than planning 1month, 6 months or even a year ahead.
We want to live in that present moment all the time, and we don’t feel we can do that settled in one location within the UK.
Having said that, it may sound surprising to hear that travelling full-time isn’t an easy decision for us to make. It isn’t just the two of us anymore, there are 5 of us, including our family dog, who of course, wouldn’t be left behind! But, for my husband and I, it feels like the right choice and best opportunity for our family.
Our families and friends all have huge concerns surrounding healthcare, safety, financial security etc. What they forget is that, of course, we too have these concerns and more about choosing to take our children travelling full-time.
- Whether they will enjoy travelling full-time
- Will they miss home
- Will they gain as good an education travelling as we could provide them at home
- Ensuring family relationships are still strong
- Will they eat the local cuisine
- What about keeping on top of their child vaccinations
- What if something happens to us whilst travelling, how will we keep them safe
The list is never ending when it comes to worries relating to our children and travelling full-time.
Now, we could either look at this list and allow it to stop us from living a lifelong dream. OR we could ensure plans and precautions are in place to answer each of the above.
We chose to do the later. When we have sat down and thought about our children and how much they love the outdoors, new adventures and being hands-on with animals and nature; travelling just seemed to make so much sense.
Ultimately, you just have one life. You never know unless you try.Kate Winslet.
Even so, it is still difficult to shift other people’s negativity towards our decision, though I am sure it comes from a place of genuine concern and love for our families wellbeing.
My husband and I have created a list of the reasons we feel travelling full-time will benefit our children, more so, than staying in the UK. Not only does this list help us to see clearly and reaffirm our decision, but it also helps everyone else understand what travelling full-time will provide our children and the quality of life they will have on the road.
We hope that by sharing this list with fellow family travellers and future road trippers, it will provide you with comfort and benefit you in seeing how much your children have to gain through full-time travel.
See the World
Of course, first on the list is an obvious one, to be able to see the world for themselves. This planet has so much to give, and a huge percentage of people, never see further than the immediate area in which they live in, let alone the rest of their own country of travelling beyond the border.
To be able to take our children travelling around the world we appreciate, is a privilege. But we work just as hard as everyone else, both bringing in full-time incomes to support our family.
The amount of new experiences they will gain each and every day is something, not even money can buy. To be able to see amazing monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Angkor Wat, you cannot gain the same emotion witnessing them in real life compared with looking at pictures in a book.
Our children adore animals and will be able to see lions, elephants, monkeys, snakes, etc, all in their natural environment. They have the opportunity to really appreciate the variety of species this planet has to offer.
Quality Time Together
This is a key one for us, rather than just having that hour on a morning and night around a 9-5 job, but to actually spend all day every day together whilst they are young. That is extremely precious to us. You only have 18 summers with your kids before they’re all grown up and we want to make the most of every moment whilst ours are young and actually, want to spend time with us.
Presently, my work is solely online and so, other than a few hours each day, I am able to spend the rest of my time with our children. My husband currently works for someone else and so is not present as much as he wants to be. However, he is also building his online business for when we take to the road.
Not only does this mean we both will be providing two incomes whilst travelling, giving us better financial security. It also means that we can choose when we want to work, allowing us more time to go on adventures with our kids and create memories they will have for the rest of their lives.
More to Life than the 9-5 Grind
Many people grow up and have it embedded within them by society that they
- Go to school till they’re 18 – doing as they are told, following rules, undergoing lots of high pressured tests
- To then either go on to university or
- Get a full-time job – working for someone else with deadlines, often high pressured job, to earn a minimum income whilst the profits go to one or a few people at the top of the company.
I only recently found out that life does not have to be this way and I don’t want my kids stuck in this miserable loop either. Yes, it is great for some people and many people are happy with their 9-5 job, security and predictability.
For us, however, this is not the life we want nor want for our children. We want to show them that if you have a vision and big goals, you can achieve them by working consistently and not giving up when it gets tough.
Both my husband and I are doing just that, building our own businesses working for ourselves. We chose what career we wanted to do, when we work, which clients we want to work with and what to do with the money e.g. reinvesting into the business, savings etc.
No more anxiety having to call in sick to look after poorly children.
No more stress not wanting to go to a job that simply wasn’t fulfilling.
No more working our butts off for someone else to take a huge cut from the work we spent time producing.
We want to encourage our children to dream big and reach high. Nothing can limit them but themselves, if they choose to let it. By doing this ourselves and successfully running our own businesses, we can show them that it is possible.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.Anonymous.
Life Isn’t All About Money
In the world which we live in now, it is very materialistic. Many people are focused on who has the biggest house or the latest mobile phone.
Have you heard of the saying ‘Money can’t buy you happiness’?
Well, it’s true. Money helps, it really helps and can go a long way, especially if you have found yourself in a stressful situation of not having it. But, is spending £20000 on a new car really worth the countless months/years you spent saving to spend it in a matter of seconds?
We want to show our kids that life isn’t all about pretty, expensive items or whether you shop at Aldi or Waitrose.
Time is the one and the only thing in life you can never ever get back. How you spend your time, rather than how you spend your money, is what’s important.
For us, showing them different places, cultures and spending time together as a family, is truly valuable. We hope to help them appreciate the little things in life through the people they meet and the experiences they gain along the way.
A hugely important element of travelling full-time for us, is to ensure our children gain as many opportunities as possible to learn, experience and explore other cultures. It isn’t just about trying different local cuisines or learning a new language. We want to offer them the chance to experience other cultures for themselves.
- Visit important and historic monuments.
- Participate in traditional festivals.
- Learn about different religions, visit religious buildings and have the opportunity to participate in related activities.
Being able to learn about others from a young age will help educate our children. They can learn about those different from themselves first-hand rather than how people are portrayed in the media. We can try our best to minimise discrimination and prejudice based on how a person looks, dresses or their religious viewpoint.
I know it doesn’t make a huge difference to the rest of the world. But if we can do our part and bring our children up to be open and accepting towards others, we can start off a chain of events. One act of kindness leads to another, then another.
Learn a New Language
Yes, you can learn the basics of a new language from apps such as Duolingo from your phone. But wouldn’t it be so much more fun, to learn on the go from locals WHILST travelling?
Kids especially are like sponges. It won’t take them long to pick up new words and phrases. It could become a great family activity to learn and practise a new language together.
We recently visited France for a family holiday, stopping at a few less touristy towns before arriving at our campsite near Paris. During our time in these towns, we found communication to be extremely challenging. My husband and I can say the bare minimum in French. It was actually quite embarrassing not being able to read a menu in a restaurant or order a drink.
- My husband and I really want to build our own confidence and language skills in order to
- Respect local people through demonstrating we’ve made an effort
- Be able to communicate independently, not relying on digital translators or people to be able to speak English
- Make friends wherever we go around the world and build long-term relationships
- Demonstrate to our children the benefits of learning a new language
Now just to decide which language, to begin with?
As you may know, if you have already visited GeorgiMae.com, we plan to Worldschool our children for the foreseeable future. In a nutshell, it basically means we won’t be sending them to a formal brick and mortar school. They will not follow a strict or pre-made program, online or through textbooks.
We will simply focus on topics and content that they demonstrate an interest in. Their learning will be child-led, rather than adult led. We do introduce skills ourselves, such as learning their letters or how to count. But, we don’t push this or set aside an hour on English and Maths every day, as an example.
The great aspect of being able to Worldschool is just that. We can use the environment around us, the animals and people we meet to form the basis of our curriculum.
For example, if we returned to Thailand with our children we would take them to the Elephant Sanctuary near Chiang Mai, as they both love animals! This could lead to all sorts of educational topics such as:
- Focusing on the letter E and sound /e/ for elephant
- Counting the number of elephants
- Looking at which is bigger/smaller
- Features of an elephant e.g. 2 big ears, 1 long nose, 4 feet.
- What do elephants eat
- What do they like to do
- The environment they live in
- Elephants behaviour
- Why there is an elephant sanctuary
- How we can help to look after elephants
- Draw an elephant
- Make an elephant from recycled material
- Create a poster – Save the Elephants!
- Products made from elephants – Ivory = bad. Paper from Elephant poo = good.
As you can see, just from one visit, there are so many educational topics and activities we could focus on. But rather than sat in a classroom with 30 other children, either looking at a textbook or watching a video on a small screen – my children will be able to see, touch and feed elephants face to face.
This is just from one visit as well! Imagine how much they could learn in one year of travelling full-time!
It is so easy to get caught up in materialistic things in life, such as buying a house, a fancy car, fashionable clothes, a new hairdo, etc. We have all been guilty of it at one point or another.
Your want leads to a complete desire and feeling of need to have all of the new, shiny things in life. That brand new phone instead of keeping one that works perfectly well. Another pair of shoes when you already have 50 pairs in the back of your wardrobe, just because it was on sale.
But this attitude of needing materialistic things in life is completely toxic. People become dissatisfied with experiences, the people around them and the little things. What becomes more worrying is how easy it is to spread this attitude to our kids.
Our kids grow up from day one surrounded by new clothes, toys and baby equipment. As they grow up, they are bought more and more. Before you know it, they’re surrounded by so many toys, that are easily available to them. So the novelty wears off and they just don’t want to play with them anymore.
My kids are just as guilty of this. We have found ourselves needing to switch toys around into different rooms to make them more interesting and seem brand new. We had also got into the habit of buying them a little something if we went to the shops e.g. a bottle of bubble mixture.
This then becomes the expectation rather than an appreciation. My hope is to change this attitude whilst travelling. We won’t be able to haul 100s of toys on the road with us. So they will have to select which toys they wish to keep and will hopefully learn to look after them better, rather than expecting everything can be replaced. But also to appreciate how lucky they are in comparison to others we may meet on our journey.
Our children know that if we run out of oranges, we can go get more from the shop. If their toy needs a new battery, we can pick some up from the shop. If they break something by accident, it can easily be replaced…from the shop.
It is hard at this stage to teach our 3 and 1year old about how lucky we are and for them to understand this. So I am hoping they will be able to meet and hear of others less fortunate than ourselves and feel grateful for what they have.
Fill your life with adventure, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.Anonymous.
Help Those in Need
Leading on from the above point, during our travels, we hope to meet others where we can make a difference and support those less fortunate than we are. We aren’t millionaires, hell we don’t even earn these 5 figure incomes a month you hear business owners talking about.
But, we do make enough to get by and support our family. We also know that you don’t need to have a lot of money in order to make a difference. Not every method of helping someone else has to involve handing over wads of cash.
We hope, as a whole family, to join in with different voluntary programs along the road. A few projects we would like to participate in are:
- Teaching English (for free) to local school children (I do this as a career anyway online and earn good money so it just makes sense to give some of my time back to others)
- Help build a school
- Sea Turtle Conservation during nesting season
- Volunteer with Orangutans
- Wildlife Conservation in South Africa
- Support local business not-for-profit (my husband is studying graphic design and will be able to support local businesses with branding and creating them a website)
I honestly have the view that time is more valuable than money. Giving up your time to help others is incredible. It can make such a difference to someone else’s life. Whereas money just gets spent. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Yes, you can always earn more, but have you taught local people how to earn more, how to grow their own food, how to help their local wildlife? Time is more valuable than money.
Anything is Possible
With both of us working on our own businesses, we are already demonstrating to our children that they can do or be anything they want to if they work hard enough for it. But in some ways, that just didn’t feel enough.
We wanted to show them that even more. Moving away from a standard way of living, in a house, with bills each month in one location. We wanted to show them the freedom they can have working for themselves and being able to travel wherever they wanted.
Through working for ourselves and travelling full-time, our children can experience things in life many people will only ever dream of. From whale watching to witnessing the northern lights. Feeding elephants to watching a lion in its natural environment.
These were all visions I had as a teenager, the things I was going to see and the adventures I would experience throughout my life. But I was told they were dreams and rarely a reality.
We WANT my kids from the start to see just how anything can be and is possible if they want it to be. They are every part of our journey from working for other people to building up our own businesses and working solely for ourselves. We want them to know that the only limits in life are the ones they put in front of themselves. Remove that barrier and the opportunities are endless.
There you have it, a few of our personal reasons for wanting to take our children travelling full-time. We just feel that, through travel, we will enrich not only our own but our children’s lives. They will be full of wonder and excitement. They have the opportunity to learn from the real world, not through a textbook. And the best part, we get to go on this adventure together as a family, making countless memories for them to grow up with and hold onto for the rest of their lives.
We have nothing to lose and a world to see.Anonymous.
Images credited to Canva.
- Syston Park Farm
- July’s Learning Journal
- Reasons to Travel with Kids: Our Story
- National Space Centre, Leicester
- June’s Learning Journal