Recently, many conversations start with a question like this:
“Are you guys having a garage sale?”
No, we are downsizing because we’re going on a long trip.
“Wow! How long?”
At least nine months.
There is usually a moment of silence then the questions begin.
Where you going? What are you doing with your house? Are you traveling with a church group? How much will it cost? Who is helping you plan it? The questions go on and on and on. I understand. I had many of the same questions 14 years ago when I met a woman who told me about her experience traveling with her kids around the world for 12 months. I was amazed, excited, in awe, and full of questions.
I see now that it was that conversation, 14 years ago, that planted a seed that has grown into our own reality. Over dinner throughout the years, our family has dreamed, planned and discussed the what if of a trip like this.
We don’t have all the answers, but here is what we know so far about three of your most common questions.
1. Are your kids going with you?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! We wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind on such an adventure. They are both at an age where they will be able to appreciate what they see, experience, and learn. Fortunately, both kids are fully on board for the trip, and we have included them in the decisions about where to go, what to see, what to bring and, most importantly, how they will continue their education while on the road.
2. Where are you going?
This was our first step. We each wrote down our top four choices. Fortunately, some of the top picks overlapped so we had about 10 – 12 solid locations of must-sees. As we talked through the locations on the list, we ruled some out (as a family) because they were either places we could go on a separate trip or they weren’t safe for travel at this time. Here is our itinerary, as of today: Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, South Africa, Morocco, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Ecuador, and maybe Brazil. Obviously, we are well past our original 10 – 12, but we will figure that out as we go.
3. Where will you stay and how will you get there?
Travel between continents will be by plane. We’ve been advised to book travel as we go along instead of buy the popular Around The World tickets. We will keep our plans flexible so we can extend or shorten our stays in a given place. Once we are in a country, we will use local transportation in whatever form is safest and most convenient.
As for lodging, we will use the international hostel system, which is quite impressive. In some places we may also try couchsurfing and homestays. While volunteering, we will stay where the volunteers stay. This trip is not about staying in 5-star locations around the globe, it is about the adventure and experiences, so that is where our money will go. When we stay in a place for an extended period of time, we may look for an apartment or home to rent.
This nine-month adventure is just that – an adventure. It will have its ups and downs, but what all four of us know and believe is that we are meant to do this and we can’t wait to meet people, learn about cultures, get outside our small boxes, and experience what this world has to offer.
In my next post, I will answer some of the other questions we are often asked: schooling, costs, and packing. If you have a question you are dying to ask, post it here or on Facebook. I love questions because sometimes they lead to new thoughts or ideas. Ask away!