We’re Going Around the World. Literally.
Written by Stephanie Langford, Creator of Keeper of the Home
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for so long, and yet now that I’m writing it, it feels surreal and I don’t even know what to say.
For the last several weeks, I’ve been hinting that our family is packing up and that an announcement is coming, so here it is:
This Tuesday morning, our family is getting on an airplane and starting the trip of a lifetime. We’ll be traveling around the world. For one year. With four young children.
One of my favorite parts of preparing for this trip has been the reactions. People either think we’re absolutely insane and could never imagine doing what we’re about to do, or they get a wistful look on their face and say how much they would love to do what our family is doing.
I know your minds must already be buzzing with a million questions, so let me attempt to answer some of them.
1. Where are you going on your trip?
The itinerary still changes from week to week, but here’s the basic schedule at the moment:
- Jan 22-April 16 – Argentina, Uruguay and possibly other nearby countries (Bolivia is on my wish-list)
- April 16- June 16 – Traveling around Europe by train (Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Sicily, Southern France, then into Spain)
- June 16- August 7 – Spain
- August 7- early Sept – Turkey
From that point, it becomes more unsure because we haven’t bought the rest of our plane tickets yet. Most likely it will look something like:
- 4 weeks in East Africa (some combination of Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda)
- 4 weeks in India or Israel
- 8 weeks in Indonesia
- 6 weeks in China and Hong Kong
- 2 weeks in Australia
- 1-2 weeks on a South Pacific Island (Tonga, perhaps?)
This Google map shows the places that we anticipate we will visit during our trip (if you can’t see all the pinpoints, use the zoom out button to see more of the map at once).
View The Langford Family Round the World Trip in a larger map
2. Will you keep blogging?
Absolutely. Keeper of the Home will continue on as usual, with all our regular writers, the phenomenal team that helps me to run the site, and I will still share weekend links and write posts as often as I can.
I will share about our trip somewhat in the posts that I write, although I”ll still focus more on the types of healthy living and homemaking topics that you’re used to reading here.
I will, however, be blogging about our trip elsewhere. We’ve launched a new blog (literally, just launched this week) called EntreFamily Travels, where both my husband and I will write.
We’ll be documenting our trip, sharing photos and videos, keeping friends and family up-to-date, as well as sharing our experiences and thoughts on this journey, as well as explain the logistics of how we’re making this trip work with two businesses and four young children.
3. How can you afford to travel for a year? Are you loaded?
Nope, and we haven’t received an inheritance or some financial windfall, either. The main reasons that we can travel for a year is that we are completely debt-free, we are giving up all of our expenses in Canada (selling our vehicle, giving up our rental house, etc.), plus we will continue working and running our businesses while we travel.
We won’t be traveling in the typical tourist sense, because we want to go a little slower, keep working and homeschooling, stop and rent apartments for weeks and months at a time, cook most of our own food, use public transportation, and live like locals as much as we can. That alone will keep our costs much lower than a regular vacation.
Essentially, our earnings from the work we do while traveling and the fact that we’re keeping our expenses low allows us to live on what we earn. We’re also trying to avoid particularly expensive places to live, we won’t be renting a car very often, and we certainly won’t be out sightseeing every day.
We have had to work very hard over the past couple of years to save up money for upfront costs, like our plane tickets, trip gear and that sort of thing. We’ve also gotten creative and found ways to earn extra money to boost our savings for a few things we really want to do (like 8 weeks traveling around Europe by train, and my husband taking an adventure tour to Antarctica).
4. How can you do this with four small children?
I won’t lie and say that I think it will be easy. There have been so many considerations to make for the fact that a) we’re traveling as a fairly large family with 6 people, at least large compared to the average family size in many of the places that we will be visiting, and b) our children range in age from 11 months old up to 8 years old.
In other words, we still live in the land of babies that require semi-regular naps, toddler tantrums, developing taste buds, and childish squabbles.
(and on the flip side, we get to delight in perpetual knock-knock jokes for airplane entertainment, uncontrollable giggles, being our kid’s favorite playmates, and wide-eyed childish wonder)
Bringing small children also means that we have less manpower when it comes to carrying baggage (and we’re backpacking, so that’s a big deal), we’ve had to plan our homeschooling to be entirely digital (due to lack of space for packing books), we have to consider sleeping arrangements and accommodations costs much more carefully than most budget travelers, and a myriad of other things, like how exactly do you diaper as you circle the globe?
5. What made you want to take a trip like this?
There are so many reasons for this trip, I decided to write a post on our new blog with 25 reasons why we’re taking our children around the world.
6. Why now, when the children are still small? Why not wait until they’re older?
There are multiple reasons but among them I would say:
- Because we know that we can do it now. Our businesses, as they stand right now (though it’s taken some work to get them to this place) can be run remotely, through the internet and phone calls, allowing us to earn a living while we travel. We have this golden opportunity to do this without having to save up for 10 or 20 years first. What if our circumstances changed a couple years down the road and by hesitating, we had lost our chance to do it while we could?
- We’ve spent the past 5 years laying the foundations for our businesses, with one of our primary long-term goals being more time together as a family (especially more time with Daddy) once they were well established. These five years have been rewarding and a blessing in many ways, but also more exhausting than I can say. Starting and building two businesses from the ground up requires an enormous amount of sweat equity, lost sleep, and sheer tenacity. We want to actually reap some of the fruit of what we’ve been sowing, and for us that means extended time together as a family while our children are still young.
- Carpe diem! Seize the day. There is never a better time to take a risk, to begin an adventure, or to step outside of your comfort zone than now. Achieving our goals and plans for tomorrow begins by stepping out in faith today. We’ve always said that we wanted to travel with our children, to teach them to dream big and trust the Lord to do amazing things, to instill in them compassion and a generous spirit through seeing and serving others, to encourage them to be entrepreneurial, innovative and courageous. What better time to start living out our values as a family than right now?
Would you like to follow along with us as we travel?
You can find our new family blog here.
If you’d like, you can receive our free email updates each time we put up a new post, or subscribe by RSS feed. We also have a Facebook page and even a Pinterest board.
Our first flight leaves this Tuesday, January 22nd. We’ll fly first to Miami, FL for a brief layover where we’ll visit with family that live nearby, and then on Wednesday morning we’ll catch our first international flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At this point, we have an apartment booked in Buenos Aires for one week, and then? We’re just going to see what we think once we’re there, and make a decision about where we’d like to spend our first 6-week stint, settle down in a small city or town, start working on our Spanish, and get a feel for Argentine daily life.
Beyond that, well, you’ll just have to come and read the blog. 🙂
How crazy and fun! It sounds like a wonderful adventure! Good for you!
We live in Hungary, near Budapest, only about 3 hours from Vienna. If you decide to head this way, let us know! Budapest is really beautiful that time of the year!
Wow! I wish you a wonderful year. You have no idea what you’re getting into, 🙂 but it will be a total life-changer.
We spent two years in the Netherlands with 3 little ones and settled in to live with the people rather than as tourists. It was absolutely amazing in many ways.
Congratulations that you can do this, business-wise. You’ve made a lot of good choices over the years, and now they are paying off.
I am so excited for ya’ll! I’m an expat living in Germany and have been following your blog for the last couple of years. Are you coming through Frankfurt am Main? If so, I am south of there… I’d love to host you guys or give any info you might need for major sight-seeing in our area (south Hessen/North Baden W?rrtemburg/south Nord-Rhein-Westfalen.
I can definitely say Germany and Switzerland are awesome in the time of year you’re coming, but make sure you have lots of warm clothes you can layer… it’s sometimes still cold in June and I found that out the hard way when I moved here almost 6 yrs ago from Alabama. Went from 100?F temperatures to 40?F! It didn’t warm up that year until the end of July. Even Z?rich was cold!
Organic/whole foods are pretty easy to find here. Look for “Bio” and you’re good. 🙂 But, as far as getting fruit/veg that time of year, you’ll do better with fruit stands than purchasing in stores, unless you go somewhere like Alnatura or Tegut. (Ok, I’m biased, but the first thing I learned here is that the fruit/veggies in stores often go bad really fast and have fruit flies.) You’ll find a lot of flower stands and fruit stands in fields in our area from April-September, selling everything you can imagine.
If any of you guys have gluten issues, make sure to contact the DZG (dzg-online.de) – they are very helpful!
Ya’ll have fun!!! (of course, I know you will!)
When I was 28 , my hubby 33 and our only daughter was 3 , God called us to the mission field. We sold our house in 2 weeks ( a God thing!) and packed everything we needed to live in Ecuador for a year in 6 large suitcases. Our mission: find some property to buy for Teen Missions International in somewhere in the Andean region of Ecuador. Our assets were: someone would pick us up at the airport, we could speak Spanish, and God was with us. That’s it. No idea where we would live long term. Didn’t have a car. Only had a plan.
Although I speak fluent Spanish (I am from Puerto Rico) Spanish in every Spanish speaking country has a different accent (even within a country depending on the region!! ) and there are many synonyms for words. For example- In Puerto Rico- I always said “guagua” for bus. In Ecuador, “guagua” is the Quechua word for “baby” Imagine the looks I got when I would ask : “Where do you catch the baby?” 🙂
6 years and 2 1/2 babies later (I was pregnant with our fourth) when we returned to the States full time, all of us had grown in ways only God can when He places you in situations where you just have to TRUST HIM. My children look at home videos of their time spent in Ecuador and wistfully exclaim “I wish we still lived there.” It was incredibly hard at times for my husband and myself, but it was also something we will never regret. One of the things I am so glad we did was take those videos. My children were small (the two youngest were 3 and 1 when we returned to USA) and don’t have their own memories of what they experienced.
Since then , we have returned for short term mission trips to Ecuador (2 -4 weeks in the summer) and my children have experienced what life can be like for people outside the United States. They also understand being flexible and trying new food and being uncomfortable at times is part of life and many other lessons all of us need to learn along the way.
Would I do what you are doing knowing what I know? No way 🙂
Would I have done it at your age? With no idea of what lies ahead? Absolutely!
Would I do what you are doing now with my children the ages they are now? (17,13,11 and 9) Definitely yes!
Godspeed to your family!! Our family will be praying for you!!!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!!!
Sounds totally awesome! We are a military family and have lived in Germany, Italy and now in Korea. Living in another country for even a short period of time is such a wonderful, eye-opening educational opportunity. Have a blast! Stop in Korea and say hello!
I’m so jealous! Sounds fabulous. I will definitely be following. What a great education for you all.
Completely, totally, awesome. 🙂
ARGH!!! How EXCITING!!!! I literally want to get up and bounce around with joy for you and your family. What an EXPERIANCE!!! My husband is in the military and our family will be moving to Italy in late April/early May. We’re super, super excited, and though our ‘stint’ will be two years and more settled than your adventure, we definitely plan on traveling all around Europe. These are going to be memories for a life-time for your children (and mine!), steeped in new cultures, learning new ways and broardening their horizons in ways previously unimagined. Best of luck on your travels. Dreams DO come true!!
I think this is completely wonderful! I took two small children to Africa for a wedding a few years ago and the guide book said about plane travel: No matter how bad the flight is remember that there is only a very small chance you will ever see any of those people again!
That gave me comfort when my children were fussing a bit.
I hope you have a truly wonderful year and will sign up to the new blog straight away!
We are getting ready to move our family to Brazil to do mission work as soon as our visas are released. I’m sure we’ve experienced some similar emotions. We have 6 young children, from ages 2-10, and often we get strange responses from people who this we’re crazy. 🙂
I’m curious, will you go into detail on your other blog about your choices for homeschooling? We are going digital as well, for the same reasons, and I could use some advice.
I always knew you were awesome. This confirms it. Blessings! Jessica
This is very exciting! My family (husband and 3 kids-4,2,and 6 months) is about 4 weeks away from returning home after living for 6 months in Switzerland. You ask awesome or insane- and the answer is both. I am constantly describing this adventure as a “good challenge.” Traveling (actually being in motion) with littles is harrying. We have only stayed away from our apartment a couple of times and focused our weekend travels on day trips. The past week I have begun to feel ready to return home, but your announcement has reminded me to finish strong- enjoy everything I can about the experience. If I may be so bold as to offer you advice- stick to a basic routine as best you can and stay connected with the meaningful people in your family’s life. I’m sure you will have a wonderful adventure and your family will grow even more connected and be strengthened for it. I will definitely be following your new blog.
I think it is fantastic. My eyes are turning green I’m so jealous. It is one of my dreams. I follow several other families’ blogs that are doing the same. I’ll look forward to reading your posts. May God bless your travels.
Wow, that is so exciting. I don’t think you’re crazy, although I do think you are braver than I! I completely agree with the Carpe Diem theory, life is short and you never know what could come up if you decided to wait until the “right” time. I will look forward to following your travel blog. Blessings to all of you.
So excited to follow along with you!
I fall somewhere between those two typical reactions. An adventure like this isn’t really on my bucket list, but I don’t think you’re crazy either — I think it’s an amazing opportunity for your entire family! I’m looking forward to hearing more not just about the practical aspects but about what you learn along the way as well!
You are going to have a great year! Traveling and experiencing other countries and cultures is amazing. When you start children at an early age, they grow accustomed to traveling. My younger brother and I have been traveling since we were infants. We spent summers in the Netherlands with family until we were in high school. My husband has traveled extensively with his job and has seen many amazing sites. As a family. we have traveled throughout the southern US and hope to visit the Netherlands again this year. The best of luck to you and your family.
This is fantastic!!!!! I am totally following your new blog. I lived in Argentina for two years. Buenos Aires is fun; I lived in La Plata (40 minutes south of Buenos Aires). My favorite cities in Argentina are on the west coast along the Andes (Patagonia): Bariloche, San Martin de Los Andes, and Junin de Los Andes, Mendoza; though I also really like Iguazu Falls. Pucon, Chile is a fun stop, too. ENJOY!!!!!
Wow, I love this! It’s awesome to see that you guys are going for it instead of putting it on the back burner.
We are missionaries in the Philippines with our 3yr old and 17month old. So yes, we have traveled with little ones. 🙂 I definitely think it is easier than most make it sound, but it certainly does have its own challenges. Yet it has way more rewards! People definitely open up to you more easily when you have children and it seems more opportunities abound to sit and visit with people when you have little ones running around.
Excited to follow along on your great adventure on the new blog!
I just got a buzz of excitement for you! This is a wonderful opportunity and I am so thrilled for your family. I will deff be following the blog and living through your family vicariously. We have always wanted to travel, but finances and circumstances have not allowed. So as you say, carpe diem!!
Wow, your post almost brought me to tears. What a wonderful opportunity for your family! How I would love to have this experience someday…but, as it stands now, my attorney husband can barely afford to take a week of vacation and cannot work remotely. Treasure this time and Bon voyage!
You are wonderful parents to do this for and with your children! They will never be the same, always better for it. Vaya con Dios, and enjoy your year!
So jealous of you! Our family of 6 lived in Hong Kong for 4 years (housing there is absolutely insane, cost and size wise!!!!) for hubby’s job and we are working out details to move to Switzerland now. It has been an amazing experience; one that changes you forever. I can’t wait to follow your story and live vicariously through you. God’s blessings to you and your family.
What a wonderful opportunity! So glad you are going for it. Have a wonderful trip. Excited to ‘follow’ you and share it with my children.
You are doing something that I have always wanted to do! I admire you for doing it especially with four kids. I can’t wait to read your adventures and how you incorporate your lifestyle and homeschooling while traveling abroad. Thank you for sharing with us. Have an amazing time.
Your 11 month old is going to be so bummed when he/she can’t remember anything about this amazing experience that you family will be talking about for a lifetime.
Estoy muy celoso!! Que disfruten su viaje! You should check out Chile or Peru while in South America. Machu Picchu is on my bucket list. Definitely go see Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Amazing!
BTW, Stephanie–this is my husband. 😉 He’s a Spanish teacher.
can i tag along? 😉 sounds like an amazing excursion! btw, my sister-in-law is leaving today as a foreign exchange student & going to argentina for a semester. how interesting that i “know” several people heading to argentina in such a short amount of time! =) blessings as you travel!
You will so love it!!!! We traveled around the country for 11 months in our 240 sq ft camper and while we had our ups and downs all 4 of us made it home alive. LOL! Loved, loved, loved homeschooling on the road.
With your ages, worry less about traditional school work (books) and learn more about the areas where you will be. Even at 11, a couple boxes of flash cards for everyone’s math will suffice.
Have the most amazing time. My sister will be in South American for a couple months – I’ll have to send her your blog and maybe she can show you around done there (she loves the area as well).
Exhausting but awesome!! It will really help that you’re going to land in one place for several weeks at a time. We spent 3 months in Brazil this past fall with our two young ones (2 and 5) and it was a great experience. We’d love to do more traveling once #3 gets big enough (currently in the womb!) Have fun!!!
I love this! It is definitely challenging to travel with 4 kids but oh what an experience! We recently spent sometime in Costa Rica. I am excited to hear about your adventures!
This is AWESOME! We would love to do this sometime, but we don’t have home businesses, so I doubt that will happen. 😉 Way to have a goal and then do it! Looking forward to following you along!
This sounds amazing! So excited for you and your family! I’m looking forward to following along on your travels!
Sounds exciting! Feel free to visit us here in Shell, Ecuador. You can read more about our adventures serving at Casa de Fe orphanage (www.lacasadefe.org) at our blog, http://lifewiththesekids.blogspot.com 🙂 Happy Traveling!
You should come up to see us in Nicaragua….. really inexpensive….
Sorry, gave you the wrong email the first time…. got typing excited!!!
Your children will look back on this with great memories, I’m sure!
My family and I live in Istanbul. Let me know if you have questions or need help with accommodation. I’d be happy to help as I know the joys and challenges of traveling with little ones.
We’ve always wanted to do this, but haven’t been sure about the logistics with kids. Plus, twins are due in April, but I can’t wait to hear how it goes for your family! It will surely inspire me to plan that trip!
What a great opportunity! We take every travel opportunity that comes our way because it’s such a wonderful hands-on learning experience for our kids. We just got back from a week in New York while I filmed a Food Network show. Traveling with four kids, the youngest being 6 months and the next oldest under 2 years was pretty interesting! The flight from our home town to New York had problems and a 3 hour flight ended up taking us 24 total hours of travel time before we got to our destination! Not fun, I can tell you that much. My advice? Always get an airline seat for the toddler. Babies do okay as a lap child but energetic little boys need some room to wiggle!!
My Mom and her family did this when she was in college. She took a year off of college. Her parents sold their car and house and he quit his job. Then…they traveled around the world for a year, a full year. Sounds like it was an amazing experience. We still hear the tales of how my uncle when tiger hunting with the maharaja’s son, they rode camels and drank pina coladas. They were amazing at stretching their budget, and rented places for weeks and month at a time as well. They bought cars and then resold them. My Grandpa was a handy man so he’d usually spend 10-20 hours fixing up a car over a month and then resell it for a profit! Impressive 🙂 Have you thought about purchasing a car from a rental company and then selling it back? It’s a lot cheaper than just renting a car…food for thought.
Wow! Your post came at such a great time for me. My husband & I are trying for baby #3 after a long debate of how 3 or 4 kids could make traveling, homeschooling, providing for more difficult. We have been dreaming of doing something like this & it is so reassuring to know it’s do-able or at least attemptable (can’t wait to read all about it). We will be debt free, aside from student loans in 3 months. So hopefully I can keep taking your blogging tips & resources to set ourselves up for something this amazing soon!
Good Luck! Wish you all the best! Your kids are going to love it!
What an amazing opportunity! I wish we could embark on a journey like yours. We recently visited Spain for three weeks with our (at the time) 15-month old. It was a wonderful experience and we’re looking forward to traveling with our children as often as possible. I’m sure you already have a great plan for Spain, but I highly recommend visiting the Alhambra in Granada (one of the highlights for us as adults) and Nerja if you can afford some beach time. We also stayed in Seville, but looking back wish we would have spent more time relaxing and enjoying in Nerja. I wish you and your family safe and happy travels!
This is exactly what I’ve been telling my husband I want to to before our oldest graduates! One year around the world, schooling as we go. volunteering in places, doing odd jobs in others. Archaeological dig in The holy land? check. Hired on to help with the grape harvest in France? check. learn to ask directions in Greece? Ok! So excited for you, I will surely be following your new blog, and taking notes on the logistics and fundamentals. Kudos to you for taking the Dive head first while you can, instead of saying “I wish we had” later. Have fun, and stay safe!! TAKE PICTURES !!!!
Wow, that sounds very exciting for you! I can’t say though that I have any interest at all in doing the same, but I am so happy for you that if this is your dream, that you get to do it. I think that is wonderful.
I had been wondering what you were planning!
The only travelling I’ve done with my children is many long distance trips to visit family, many of those trips where we’ve made various stops.
We’d like to do a cross Canada trip, maybe more likely one coast or the other. However at this point we have other priorities. Its something though that we are keeping in mind considering once our current priorities are dealt with (mainly the debt we are dealing with).
I will be curious to see how things work with the children. Do you know of or have you read of anyone else who has done this? Not that you need to have, and there is always a first person/family to do something! I have a lot of questions but I will see if you answer them in your other writings.
How amazing Stephanie! I’ve heard of this site that you can live in people’s rental homes/rooms in their homes across the globe while you do some work for them- usually for their farm or garden for weeks or months of time. This is a great opportunity and know y’all will have the time of your life! Safety and prayer for you guys as you start this great adventure!
This is absolutely amazing! I would love to do something like this. We have traveled with 4 of our (now 5) children. We spent 2 weeks last year in Ethiopia, mainly in the rural south and absolutely loved it. The kids then ages 6-12 did fabulously and are begging to go back. We’re saving…
I live in Mexico City, Mexico. If you want to visit Mexico, we have an extra house you can stay in. Seriously! Enough room for the whole fam. My husband and I are missionaries here. AND I grew up in Langley, BC. Completely random I know, but if you want to practice your Spanish and see some pyramids, come!
Crazy, crazy, crazy! But such a GOOD crazy! Blessings on you and your family as you go. Looking forward to “travelling” with you along the way. Thank you for bringing us along.
We traveled with 4 children for some 8 months back in 2005/2006. They were a bit older than yours: 11, 9, 6 and 4. We are from New Zealand and our first stop was Hawaii, where we spent 3 months in Kona, on the Big Island, doing a DTS with YWAM. Then it was 8 weeks in Israel. I can highly recommend Israel! It was such an amazing place and great for the children too.
Our last few months were spent in Europe (I’m from the Netherlands), we were in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, mostly visiting friends and family. So our travel schedule wasn’t as exciting as yours but it was still a huge adventure. The then-4yo doesn’t remember much of it but the older three children do.
If you make it to New Zealand, let me know 🙂
God bless and safe travels!!!
No Portugal? 🙁 I would be happy to meet you and your family.
Sounds like an adventure and I’m sure you’ll love it and learn a lot from it. Plus it’s precous time with family and memories that wo’t eve go away!
How incredibly awesome, inspiring, and yes, insane this sounds! The trip of a lifetime. Way to go, seizing the moment and doing it. I can’t imagine! But would love to see all those places. 🙂 I will definitely be following on the new blog!
Oh, and if you are on the lookout for places to serve on your way around the globe, I have friends who do missions and other work in Ecuador, Uganda and Tanzania and would be glad to get you more info if that’s something you are interested in.
Wow, I had the biggest smile on my face while reading this. I think it is fantastic & I am so excited for you guys! What a wonderful opportunity! Seeing other parts of the world and living in different cultures can completely change your perspective on life. What a blessing for your kids, as well! Praying for safe travel for you all!
AWESOME!…and insane:) But since when did God’s will always make sense to our finite minds? As missionaries who work with the Sinti (Ethnic Gypsies in Germany) we travel a LOT, with small children, even spending weeks at a time in a camper. Yes, it is sometimes crazy, especially when too many naps are missed, or everyone decides to mess up their last three outfits a week before we can access a washing machine:) But overall, the experiences you are bringing your children, and opening their eyes to the rest of the world of PEOPLE and places and languages is priceless!
I am totally for plastic free, and non-disposeable in my home, but I have learned while travelling (especially where space and resources are limited, that ziplock baggies in all sizes (to separate each child’s underwear, socks, ponytail holders, dirty clothes, contain possible leaks etc. are invaluable. Also, I did use wipes occasionally on the road, but just having some little washcloths to pour some water from your water bottle onto are a real help when traveling (Unless you do wipes).
And yes, you can get by with a lot less than you think. Each summer after our travelling season is over, and we are out of our camper, I wonder why I don’t just get rid of 75%of the stuff in our house, since I’ve lived all summer without most of it!
God bless you on your endeavor and use you in each place you land and travel to spread His love.
How exciting! I won’t pretend to place myself in your category, but when our oldest was two and our second was four months old we packed up and moved to England for a while so my husband could do research for his PhD. We only had two, only went to one country, it was only a little more month, and everyone spoke English. But it was still a wonderful adventure that our family and friends thought we were crazy to be on! (Funny to get a passport for a one-month old! That was a tricky picture!) But we have the best memories of immersing ourselves in the culture. And living with very little stuff – clothes for one week, dishes for one meal, the only “entertainment” for the baby being the new world around us on long walks, it was so wonderful and freeing. We did it so our whole family could just be together, and I tell people it really wasn’t overwhelming at all. Just like kids are surprisingly adaptable, grownups can be too! Hope your trip is wonderful. Can’t wait to follow along.
wow! so exciting! what a dream come true. really looking forward to following along on your journey of a lifetime 🙂 God’s richest blessings and guidance be yours as you step out in faith, trusting Him for each day’s adventures.
This is so exciting! Wonderful! Inspiring! I love the idea and I will certainly be following your family around the world!
Oh my goodness! I am definitely in the jealous camp!! 🙂 We would also love to do something like this someday, and it will be a sweet reward for you both, from all your hard work. Travelling everywhere is expensive (it’s what I prefer to spend my money on, too) but it is NEVER wasted. Ever. Best of luck to you!
And oh, how ironic, that within a month, we are finally moving up to BC (!!!) after all our years of waiting to move back, and now you’ll be gone for a year. Darn! We’ll have to meet when you guys get back. Can’t wait to read more on your other blog. EEEY so happy for you guys!
Add me to the jealous camp too! It’s definitely a dream of mine to do this with my kids (they are similar ages to yours, also 4 of them :). Have you checked out http://www.discovershareinspire.com? They have lots of great travel tips. They are currently slow traveling from Alaska to Argentina. What Ana amazing opportunity for your family!
I should add about the website I posted…they are traveling with their 5 kids, all under 10.
This trip sounds fabulous! Our family spent one year in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia to help a missionary. We had six children at the time and it was– amazing, inspiring, faith growing, and difficult at times. We wouldn’t trade that year for anything. Our youngest child had just turned three and our oldest was sixteen. She is now a spanish immersion first grade teacher. Our three older children speak beautiful spanish. My husband and myself, well not so much, but we can hold our own. We were completely immersed in the culture of the village, spoke no spanish when we arrived, developed deep friendships, and the Lord so graciously protected, provided, and stretched our entire family, and our little boy, now six, was “made in Bolivia.” We have an ongoing ministry we started, providing information about caring for babies and children, and gospel materials to mothers with newborns. The information is distributed in the hospital. We have great contacts if you are interested in Rurrenabaque and Cochabamba. I’ll be praying for your family and the Lord’s blessings.
I was just thinking yesterday (not for the first time) about how amazing it would be to take a year and just travel. I can’t imagine it coming together for us (but maybe I’m wrong!) – but I will sure enjoy reading about your adventures!! God bless you on your journey…
Wow! I am very happy for you and your family and wish you a wonderful time! I love to travel, but we cannot take a longer time off, unfortunately. My husband works as an assistant pastor for a church, which has many wonderful blessings but makes being gone very difficult.
I am from Germany and married my (American) hubby eighteen years ago, so I moved halfway around the world with all my stuff. I have been back to visit many times since, but the fall of 2011 was the first time we all went to Germany as a family, with our kids being five and seven at the time. We only had two weeks, so we met family and friends and saw some amazing places in the Rhine Valley, where my hometown is. Just that short time showed me how important it is to show our kids that there is more to the world than our own little bubble. I am so amazed at people I meet here who have barely even left their state, much less seen another country. We learn so much about people, culture, history by traveling. I find we also learn a lot about ourselves, how we react to the unknown, what we believe in, what scares us or strengthens us. It seems you have a good idea of what you want and plan to take your time, which is very important. You cannot get a feeling for a place if you don’t take time to stop, look, listen, and immerse yourself into every day life.
I am looking forward to your updates, and no, I am not the least bit jealous…(grumble grumble).
Have a great, safe trip!
This. Is. So. Cool.
O.M.G I read this on my iPad and shared it with my husband, since traveling is a passion of ours as well. Although, since our daughter goes to private school here, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to travel for a year.. Any way, I am SO thrilled for you and yes, if you decide to visit India, please know that we will be THRILLED to host you at our home, for as long as you’d like:-)
All the best Stephanie! Will be traveling with you on this one:-)
That is amazing! That is something I can only dream of doing! Good for you guys! I think a lot of us dream about being able to do that and it is great that you are able to! My husband (who is originally from Mexico) and I really want to have our kids be able to experience other cultures and to get an idea for how others live. We hope that when we are done having kids and they are a bit older that we will be able to take them to help in other countries at least once a year.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I am one of those people who gets that wistful look in her eyes when I think of traveling around the world. My hubby and I did several international trips before kids, but we’d love for our girls to experience the world like this one day! (Although, I’d admit, I may need enough $ to hire a nanny to come along! LOL!) I will be living vicariously through you this year! So humbled and honored to be on your team here and be able to follow along on your journey through your new site! Praying for you and your family and jumping with excitement!!! 🙂
When I was 18 my parents took myself and my 4 siblings around the world for a year. My youngest brothers were 11 at the time. They sold their house, their business and used pretty much all their money on the trip. It was the most amazing, worthwhile experience and I am humbled and thankful that they took the chance. You will have an extraordinary experience (both good and bad), and I wish you all the best for your adventure.
I started reading your post, opened my mouth wide, and literally couldn’t close it. I’m sure you realize how incredibly AWESOME this is! Very inspiring! I am definitely following your new blog and telling others about your adventure!
I don’t dream of ever doing something like this, but we definitely want to travel with kids when they are older. You’re brave to do this with such little ones! I would go mad! We’re working toward being debt-free, but it’s a long long road till then. We’re also building an online business right now, well, I am. It’s a lot of pressure. I only have 2 kids now, but it feels like a juggle. I am so thankful to be able to be home with them. Loving that eventually this online business will open up traveling opportunities because I can definitely work while traveling.
So excited for you and your family! What an incredible opportunity! Good for you for preparing in so many wise ways too! You’ve already taught your children so much about travel (in regards to going into this being debt-free, planning ahead and all the other things you’ve done up to this point) and you haven’t even boarded the airplane yet! I’m excited to follow your family as you travel and hopefully get some ideas for the possibility of my family doing this one day soon!
We packed up our family when our oldest were 3 and 5 and moved overseas for a two year commitment in missions work. What a blessing to our family! And we traveled quite a bit with them over holidays and long weekends- choosing apartments over hotels and public transportation over rental cars whenever we could. Though when small like that, they can share beds and meals, too, when traveling tourist-style, which is very helpful! There were many games of duck-duck-goose waiting for bus connections, and planning huddles before trains came in- “You’ll hold that and Mommy’s hand, and you’ll hold that and Daddy’s hand and when the door opens,…”, and picnic lunches in parks or squares watching the locals. Wonderful memories of loosing a tooth in this place and celebrating a birthday in that place, and so forth. The only caveat of it all, I’m afraid, is that we’ve never felt at home since, even after returning “home”. But then this world isn’t our home, is it? Perhaps that’s one of the more important lessons to learn. Travel light, treasure the memories, and enjoy the adventure! God bless you!
I am beyond impressed! What a trip and experience for each of you. Congratulations on your big leap and may your family be a huge blessing wherever you travel.
So exciting! I can’t wait to follow along with your journey! So jealous too! 🙂
Wow Stephanie, this is simply amazing! I got goosebumps just reading about it! I wish you a safe and fulfilling journey and time away. As someone who grew up overseas, periodically traveling the globe, I have to say I have no interest whatsoever in ever traveling again myself, but I will be eagerly following along with you all through your other blog (that I just subscribed to :-)) and will be keeping you guys in prayer for sure. I have no doubt this will be the epic adventure of a lifetime, and your kids especially will have so many incredible and priceless memories from it.
God bless you all!
Wow. Brave, adventurous souls! I’m too content on our family farm in the middle to want to travel afar. We fly cross country once a year and with 4 kiddos, under 5… it’s a test of my sanity. 🙂
What a cool dream you are fulfilling though and I hope it’s as amazing as it sounds.
So happy to see this announced and can’t wait to follow along! Will be praying for you as you leave on Tuesday.
I read this and I had to look away and breathe for a minute. Like walking into a huge quilt show where you’re so gloriously overwhelmed that you don’t know where to look first. This is so fantastic! I seriously could not be happier for you if you were my best friend. I hope you have the time of your lives – and we will follow along and be inspired!
Love this. SO glad that you are walking out my plan that I have been holding onto for 15 years now, even before I had kids. I am encouraged ! You bet I will keep up with your travels!!
This is a great idea! As someone who grew up overseas and just moved my family overseas again, I truly believe it’s a great experience for children. Will you be visiting any Christian workers or getting any ministry perspective? Like I said, we just moved Shanghai. Learning our way around is a HUGE challenge, and we speak a little Chinese, so do be prepared for many, many frustrating moments (I’m sure you know that). And feel free to look us up if you stop in Shanghai and are looking for people who live there to help out. We should have things more figured out by the time you get here.
Wow, what a great plans! I don’t think that I would be that brave, traveling around the world with four small children, but it sure sounds great! I don’t see the Netherlands on your list, but feel free to contact me if you need an address or good places to stay over here. Have a great trip!
Wow! Talk about the adventure of a lifetime!!! I can’t wait to follow along with you through your blog! Safe travels!
You are CRAZY! But that’s really neat that you are willing to embark on a grand family adventure. Just getting through the upcoming days with newborn twins and an 18-month-old sound like plenty of adventure for me! I hope you have an amazing year and can’t wait to follow along via your new blog. Godspeed!
What an awesome idea! You’re going to get so much out of this, and so will your kids. But I am shocked not to see Japan on your list! I highly recommend visiting Japan if you’re going to be in East Asia anyway. I’m living on an Army post near Tokyo, and would be happy to help with your plans.
I am living in China I may not be here still when you make it but I can give you a great foster home to visit if you would like it is right out side of Beijing in a small village.
How exciting! Yes, crazy, but a good, adventurous crazy! We always talk about traveling when we reach retirement, but it would be so much better to experience some of that now while we’re young enough to handle the adventure. 🙂 Looking forward to reading about your experience!
We travelled with our 14 month old around the world for 4 months – it was the best experience we ever had. we also wrote a blog – people thought we were nuts before we went but after they read our blog more and more of our friends also realized you can travel with kids. Though we did not have four kids – just the one – there are some challenges but the reward for travelling with your child is amazing – we met so many more locals and had so many more positive family experiences then we would have had travelling without our child – we went to egypt, vietnam, cambodia, thailand, indonesia, fiji, new zealand – and we survived some long overnight train trips doing it as well! have a great adventure!
I am so excited for you all and am looking forward to following your adventure!
May I ask why it says “54 weeks…” on your Entr?Family Travels subscription site?
Have loads of fun! We lived in England with three little ones for 2 years and did tons of traveling. Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, a little bit of Belgium, etc. Would have done more had we not had to relocate early for work reasons. We would both go back in a heartbeat! As far as having the three young kids on the trips, you just learn to manage and get it done…somehow. 🙂
You go guys! My husband and I are on a trip around the world now (its been 11 months, only 3 more left!), with no children and its been amazing! God bless you as you go!!!
What an awesome adventure! This is so cool! I have four little ones and would love to do this if it were ever possible. Many blessings For an incredible trip!
I follow you on face book and didn’t see this post! You’ll do great! I will follow your new blog! If you go to Tonga I was in the peace corps there and meet my husband there! All of his family still lives there on the main island and Nuiatoputapu! I’ll tell you all the yummy food to eat that I miss! :()
Come to Peru! We live here in Arequipa and it is beautiful (and much cheaper than Argentina). Sounds like an awesome adventure and right up my alley.
I’m so excited for you! I went on an 11 month mission trip to over 11 countries a few years ago with the World Race & Adventures in Missions. It was amazing! But ever since I arrived back in the States, I’ve been itching to go again, to serve more people in more places. My husbands way more of a homebody than me, and since we have a 13 month old plus wanting to expand our family, traveling doesn’t look to promising anytime soon. BUT, your journey is inspiring and gives me hope. My concern is taking my child from her grandparents and family for a long period, that would not go over well AT ALL! And I can only imagine those long plane rides, and crowded bus trips!!
So so cool 😀 My parents bravely took my two younger brothers and I to Papua New Guinea for two years (with lots of travel along the way), when we were all in elementary school. It has had such a huge and lasting impact on my life.
My husband and I spent 2011-2012 in Uganda – if you’d like contacts or idea for visiting East Africa, let me know!
Amazing and exciting! We’re doing something similar. My husband and I and our kids are moving to Morocco for a year – because we can! I have a few planning months left before we actually leave but am overjoyed at the opportunities it presents. Weekend in Paris? Why not! Cruise to the canary islands – yes! I hope to follow your homeschool journey as this is what I will be doing with our oldest and it’s all new to me! Safe travels!
Wow! Czech Republic. Please tell the country hello from me when you are there. You will be going there at the perfect time of year. What a blessing! Enjoy every minute of your long, long trip and make sure you eat lots of the delicious food they have in the Czech Republic. You will have never tasted anything quite like it!
Invest in quick dry underwear and a few shirts
long skirts, cardigan and a scarf are a must for mama
tiny, handmade finger puppets are the best travel toys
always have something to eat and drink on hand
best advice I was ever given was that if you freak/stress out about your kids’ behaviour while on a bus/train, others will start to as well. Most observers take their cues from the parents.
I was born and raised overseas and am raising my family overseas as well so travelling (for shorter stints!) is always a part of our lives (=
don’t ignore the middle east – they are the MOST accommodating and understanding to families with young kids. Best.Ever.Travel.
One good thing about going slowly is that you have time to get over jetlag. The political situation could change as you go along though so you may have to re-schedule.