Two summers ago, my wife and I sat together one night on the couch talking about “what if we just traveled?” It had started with a conversation about possibly moving to Ireland for work, but had morphed into “how can we make it happen?” The idea of world schooling was new to us and the thought of being completely nomadic was just starting to grow in our brains. But we started to get excited, and it spawned into us making plans and doing more research.
Our excitement grew as we dug into more about it. We started getting serious and taking real steps to make this dream a reality. The whole family loved to spent hours talking about the places we wanted to go, what we would see, how amazing it would all be. We got our passports. We told our families. We put our house on the market. I told my employer. And then in April, it all happened. The house sold and, like that, we were boarding a plane to a new adventure.
That adventure has seen us…
- Successfully selling our house and a large portion of our belongings in Seattle.
- Embarking on an adventure around the globe that has so far included 8 countries, 45,970 miles in the air and another 4619 miles on the ground.
- We celebrated birthdays in Australia, Greece and Mexico.
- We had our first Christmas away from all our family.
- We’ve dipped our toes in the Pacific, Southern, and Indian Ocean. Not to mention the Mediterranean and Caribbean Sea.
- We’ve seen orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, kangaroos, koalas, emus, wallabies, sea lions, seals, and wedge-tailed eagles in the wild.
- We’ve found that lemonade means something different everywhere you go.
- We’ve gotten sick on 4 continents.
- We circled the globe in 202 days…which means we didn’t break any records.
That excitement we had in planning our nomadic world adventure carried us through several months of travels. Mostly because you’re just amazed you pulled it off! You’re in a new country, seeing amazing things. You share pictures of your adventures and everyone tells you how amazing it all looks. But then life sets in.
You don’t leave life behind. You’re not running away from it, you’re just living it a different way. And so, after that glow of excitement wears off and you find yourself in a place that isn’t as exciting, suddenly you come face to face with life again. It is at this point that you question every decision you made and wonder if you’ve just screwed everything up. How do you regain that excitement or at least that drive you had when you made it all a reality?
That was where we found ourselves while we were in Kuala Lumpur and Athens. Wondering what we were doing and if we had made a big mistake. I think most families that choose this life have this debate at some point. But how do you get passed that?
Find what you really love about this life, and embrace that. Whatever part of it makes your family happy, focus your travels and plans around that. For us, it was people. Meeting and bonding with other families has been our favorite part of our travels. And it was that realization that gave our travels new life.
Instead of plotting courses to places we felt “we should see,” or “ we planned to see,” we started plotting our course to places that we could connect with current or future friends. Whether it’s staying for six weeks in a world schooling hot bed or sharing a house in Wales with a family we met in Bali, we have prioritized people over places. The places still do matter, but they are secondary to how we use them to connect with others.
We are also focusing on Spanish speaking countries, as we all want to become bilingual, and Spanish seems like the most logical first step. We have fallen in love with a lot about Mexico, and each time we have a successful Spanish interaction there is an excitement about learning the language.
We went from a low point, where we were doubting everything, to a place where we are excited about what lays ahead and the many people we will get to connect with in the coming year.