So… you’re traveling around the world, eh?
Yep. Starting September 2014, we started traveling around the world. Pretty cool, eh?
Lots of reasons, but the shortest and most honest answer is this: because we want to. Kyle and I (Tsh) can work remotely from anywhere right now, and we don’t know how long that will last. We homeschool our kids, and they’re still pretty young (we believe it’s easier to travel with kids the younger they are). Even though we loved our home base of Bend, Oregon, we’ve always wanted to explore the world with our kids, so we figured, why not? Now’s a great time to do it.
Wow… you must be rich.
That isn’t a question.
Fair enough. Okay, so how can you afford to do this?
First off, we’re not rich. We’ve been saving for quite awhile on a very average income—this trip didn’t come out of nowhere; we planned it quietly for years. But that doesn’t mean we have big bags of money in our back pockets… we’ve saved up, and we still need to earn an income while on the road.
We’re working the entire trip, so it’s not really a vacation. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s not a freedom from responsibilities or real life. There are bills to pay and mouths to feed, just like there are when we’re living in one place.
This said, we sold our house in Bend before leaving, so our mortgage/rent payment is our housing on the road. Our paid-for car is hanging out at the parents’ house, so gas and vehicle maintenance obligations have transferred over to transportation costs like flights, metro lines, busses, and car rentals. Stuff like that.
How will you be able to work and do school while traveling?
The only real office either of us adults need are our laptops, cameras, microphones, and an Internet connection. The first three items fit in our backpacks, so we essentially carry our offices with us. The Internet is available all over the world—in some places better than others.
School, we’ve found, is fleshed out best when it’s seamlessly integrated in to real life. The kids continue their education via iPad apps, journaling, and lots and lots of books, but most importantly—they’re exploring the world around them, right outside their window. Who wouldn’t rather learn South American history by wandering Machu Picchu, or animal kingdoms and their symbiotic relationships by immersing themselves on an African safari, deep in the savannah? The kids will naturally learn more than we could ever dream—definitely more than from sitting in a classroom.
We’re deeply involved in their education, of course, but it’s just another part of our family life—kids naturally learn when they’re in the right environment, so our job is to mostly stay out of the way, provide the right tools and resources, and watch the magic happen.
We’re also traveling slower than the average single twenty-something who saved up for a year and doesn’t need to work. Sure, we’ll do fun things when we can, but our life also looks like settling in to a guest home, taking shifts working while the other one serves as parent-on-duty, and living life like buying groceries, making friends, and the like. Normal stuff.
We’re all about slow travel, for a lot of reasons.
How long will you be traveling?
Right now, the plan is to be mobile from about September 2014 to July 2015. But since we’re location-independent, we’re open to slowing down and parking somewhere longer-term, if that makes sense for us. We’ll just see.
What did you pack?
What do your kids think?
For the most part, they’re great—but the younger ones also don’t realize how unusual this is. Our oldest, Tate, is sometimes a little sad when she thinks about her friends and her things, but it never outweighs the excitement of travel. In fact, she’ll be writing posts soon about traveling from a kids’ perspective.
Reed (age 6) and Finn (age 4) are just happy to be wherever with us, so they’re laid-back. For all of us, home is wherever we’re together.
Where are you?
We’re first in China. We’ll be traveling westbound, in more or less one direction.
Are you scared?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We’re not scared about visiting new places and people or trying new things. That part is fun! But we’d be lying if we didn’t say we weren’t a little bit concerned about stuff like money, lack of adult time away from the kids, super-close quarters, or getting enough work time with solid Internet. But the goods far outweigh the bads, and we’d kick ourselves if we let those negatives stop us from trying this adventure at all. It’s just a year.
Can I come with you?
That depends. Do we know you in real life? Then sure, probably—shoot us an email and let’s talk. Are you willing to babysit a few nights while you’re visiting so that Kyle and I can go on a date? Even better.
Is Tsh still writing at The Art of Simple?
Yep! I’m still there, though not as frequently since I’ll be dividing my time here. I’m still passionate about living simply (obviously), so there’s where I’ll share my non-travel thoughts. And of course, we’ll continue to post our fabulous team of writers there.
Will Tsh still be podcasting?
Of course! Though it’s not quite as frequent as I like, simply because recording a podcast requires a strong Internet connection, and that piece of the puzzle is often unpredictable.
How do I follow along and travel vicariously through you?
The best way to keep up with our adventure is by subscribing to this blog—head here to receive free emails whenever we update the blog.
We’re also pretty active on Instagram—here’s Kyle and here’s Tsh (and our trip’s hashtag is #WorldwideOx). Tsh is on Twitter here, and Kyle tweets once in a blue moon here. Tsh also pins her finds here on Pinterest.
I represent a travel brand—can I contact you about a possible partnership?
Sure thing—head here.