I was amazed at how many families we’ve met out traveling the world, growing and learning through experience. I’m impressed with the diversity that are out there!! Young families flying by the seat of their pants, older, more calculated and planned families, young, well organized ones, and older spontaneous ones. Their unique drives, ambitions, and logistics are fascinating. No two are alike!! Some are seeking national parks, others volunteer opportunities to give back, yet others are touring museums or monuments. Some are seeking cultural immersion while others are more driven by architecture, geologic formations, or following job opportunities.
The financing of such adventures is as varied as the people themselves (as one might imagine). Some have sold a business and are living off the proceeds. Or they may be able to run a business from abroad. Others work remotely through the web. Some get jobs at places along the way with their particular skill set. Some families engage in part time travel/work options, either travel 6 months, home for 6 months, or one of the parents goes home, works for the income, then returns to catch up with the team. Maybe they’ve sold all their worldly possessions for a more minimalist approach to life and can now live off of that revenue. I have never met a family that has a rich uncle that just gave them a windfall, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there somewhere. They are just a rarity. Most families work quite hard for the opportunity and sacrifice significant creature comforts and consumerism for the opportunity to engage the world at a whole new level and share that with their children. It’s often a shift in the priority paradigm.
We have met some families struggling as far as relationships within the family, and every family has their “educational moments” with their children that help develop their sense of self, but for the strong majority, it seems that world travel unites the family and creates very strong, healthy families. As you share the common bond of sacrificing for a goal, seeking education, learning through experiences that most other people on earth have never known, you are drawn together. Only your immediate family members can truly relate to what you’ve experienced as your reality. The compassion and friendships that you make along the way, the suffering you see, the sheer hardiness of people living remotely without infrastructure, all etch on the stain glass window of how you view the world. Each individual has a unique window of experiences. Yet these families have similar etchings on many of their panes of glass. Often you will find that the more etchings you have in common with someone, the more you bond and can relate to one another, whether you’re related or not. Realizing this, its easy to see why modern western families are struggling with connections. The parents are framing their windows with work experiences, co-workers, and errands. The children are framing their experiences with school peers, friends, and maybe neighbors or sports teams. If they eat dinner together in the evening, this IS their bonding experience, and while it’s good, it’s not a very strong experience in regard to creating a common goal.
Hearing other families stories is inspiring. How are they doing it? What are their ups and downs? Where have they been? What have they learned? Here are the most recent blogs of actively traveling families. And our Family Highlights to learn more about some adventurous families who are kind enough to answer some very detailed questions about their lives.