“Travel makes one modest—you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustave Flaubert
You might say our family was birthed from a love affair with travel. I’m Tsh Oxenreider, and I’m a writer, entrepreneur, mother of three, and a wife—these have been my gigs for the better part of a decade. But before all that, I was Tsh, the short Texan girl living in war-torn Eastern Europe, teaching English to teenagers and suffering from a mad crush on a bearded Oregonian living the next village over.
In 2000, Kyle and I met in Kosovo, a tiny country in the former Yugoslavia. We can etch an X in the dirt on the spot where we first said hi, a nondescript path two miles from the Serbian border and otherwise a blip of nothingness on the map. (This specific village isn’t even on most maps.)
We both returned to the States after our respective gigs ended, married soon after, and welcomed our first child, Tate, to the world four years, six months, and ten days after that fateful day we met.
And in all those early days, we knew we wanted to explore the world together, hand in hand with a brood of kiddos. It’s in our DNA.
We lived in Turkey from 2007 to 2010, an experience that taught us a massive amount about ourselves, the world, God, and what defines our family. Our life was lived in an everyday high-rise apartment overlooking the Aegean Sea; date nights were glasses of çay and plates of baklava on our balcony while our clothes line-dried in the breeze next to us. On warm Friday nights, we were serenaded from our bedroom window by distorted Middle Eastern wedding music screaming from speakers until 2 a.m. Life was different and dirty and complicated and magical.
After that season, we returned to Austin, then moved to Bend, Oregon a year later, where we most recently lived for three years. Our work can be done anywhere, so we enjoyed the privilege of running businesses from a deck chair overlooking the Deschutes River, and we grew to love a motley crue-style community of misfits and independents living in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been fun.
The kids are homeschooled/lifeschooled/worldschooled, so really, the bulk of our life is summed up in one word: freedom. Not freedom from responsibility, or community, or hardship—but freedom to serve, to explore the world, and to be who we’re made to be, untethered from conventionality or status quo. Freedom to humbly be available to do anything God brings to us; to be a blessing to others.
Starting September 2014, we’re location-independent and strapping on backpacks for a round-the-world adventure! Yep—two adults, three kids, a backpack each, exploring the globe and going where the wind takes us. First stop: China. Here on the blog we chronicle our journey, along with our tips for packing and planning, the relational and emotional significance of traveling with kids, and how to do it without going insane. Or breaking the bank.
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- First overseas trip: Latvia and Russia, 1993
- Places most excited to visit: Croatia & Denmark
- Read her posts
- First overseas trip: Albania, 1999
- Places most excited to visit: Morocco & Scandinavia
- Read his posts (soon!)
- First overseas trip: Turkey, 2007
- Places most excited to visit: China & South America
- Read her posts (soon!)