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We meet many people who say they’d love to travel, but always have an excuse about why they can’t. Having children is a big one as most people assume that once they start a family long term travel becomes impossible. It may make things more challenging but there are plenty of families who are doing it. When we meet family travellers on the road we are always impressed by how mature the kids are and are convinced that exploring the world is an amazing education for children.
If you are still not sure it’s possible then prepare to be inspired by these family travellers.
Family on Bikes
Nancy and John Vogel and their twin boys Daryl and Davy (aged 8 on their first trip) have spent a total of four years cycling 27,000 miles through 15 countries. Their first year long trip took them around the USA and Mexico and they have just completed an epic three year adventure from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina. Having travelled through South America by bus ourselves we know how steep and rough the mountain terrain is and are in awe of what this family accomplished.
Christine Gilbert and her husband Drew have been travelling the world as digital nomads since 2008. Last year Cole was born but having a new born baby hasn’t stopped them travelling to Colombia, Thailand, Bali, India and next up Africa. All the while they’ve been filming an ambitious documentary about digital nomads (with no previous filmmaking experience) – impressive stuff!
We had the pleasure of meeting Lainie and her 12 year old son Miro in Medellin, Colombia. They’ve been slowly travelling through Central and South America since 2009, volunteering, couchsurfing and immersing themselves in the local community along the way. Miro wasn’t like any 12 year old we’d met before: articulate, funny, fluent in Spanish, comfortable hanging out with adults and with great taste in hats! Read our interview with Lainie for more insight into their travelling lifestyle.
A favourite post: A Parent’s Guide to Unschooling on the Road
The Future is Red
Last year we stayed in Salta, Argentina with Leigh, Noah and their six year old daughter Lila (who speaks Spanish better than all of us). They left a hectic New York life behind and spent three years travelling the world before settling in Salta. They’ve just bought a house there and set up the Cloudhead Art Foundation, hosting artists in residence in their own home. What a great environment for Lila to grow up in!
A favourite post: How to Couchsurf as a Family
The Got Passport family moved with their seven year old daughter to Chiang Mai, Thailand and are using it as a base to explore SE Asia. They do lots of volunteer work, including matching up volunteers with available opportunities in Chiang Mai. The city has become quite a travel blogger hub and they have set up Team Chiang Mai as the focal point of these connections. They’ve made us very tempted to join the team later in the year.
Travels With A 9 Year Old
Theodora set off with her nine year old son in January 2010 with plans to travel for a year. They fell in love with Asia, discovered unschooling was way better than school and scrapped their round the world tickets. Since then they’ve scuba dived with sharks, learned to surf, released baby turtles in the ocean, motorbiked across Indonesia and countless other adventures.
1 Dad, 1 Kid
This single father and son team have just started their world travels in Mexico. They have an ambitious plan to travel slowly through Latin America before settling in Thailand and continuing their adventures from there.
Lea and Jonathan Woodward invented the term ‘location independent’, meaning that someone can work from anywhere in the world as long as there’s an internet connection. They’ve had this freedom since 2007 and have taken advantage of it to live in exotic parts of the world. When their daughter Mali came along in 2009 they continued to travel and before she was one had lived in the UK, Thailand, Italy, Dubai, Turkey and Scotland. They are now based back in England taking shorter trips abroad. Their website is packed with useful resources for aspiring digital nomads, with or without children.
This family of three have been on their open ended world adventure for nearly five years now. They combine months based in one place such as southern Spain or Penang, Malaysia, with periods of faster travel, often by RV around Europe. Their daughter is sometimes home-schooled and sometimes attends local schools – most recently a Chinese language school.
A favourite post: How to Do Extended Travel & Mini Retirements
Our Travel Lifestyle
This Australian family set off to travel 16 months ago with two children aged 2.5 and 4.5 years. They wanted to spend more time with their kids and escape the rising costs in Australia. They travelled all over Asia and are now settling down for a while in Penang, Malaysia.
A favourite post:Travelling with Two Children Under 6: Insanity or a Great Idea?