The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The K&K Podcast, and Kylie brought up a topic from a podcast she had recently listened to - the topic of traveling with children. The podcast is The Family From the Heart and in episode 50 they discuss Cliff's idea of traveling/living outside of the US with the whole family. They would sell everything and move to different places for 3-6 months each, for 2-3 years. The children would be around 7, 10 and 13 when the trip started. I listened to the podcast myself, it was the first one I had ever listened to so I don't know much about the family but the vibe was good.
This obviously isn't my typical type of topic to discuss, and I have no children so maybe I have no business discussing it, but I thought it was really interesting. I don't know if it's becoming more popular to do extensive travel with children, or if I'm just noticing it more, but it seems like it's getting more popular for Americans. There is a show Six for the Road about a family of 6 who bought an RV and are RVing around the country. The 6 in the World blog is about a family of 6 who sold everything and traveled around the world. When I was growing up a vacation was a weekend trip to Amish Country in Pennsylvania, this seems really fascinating to me. Ok, as a child we did take 2 cruises and go to Disney twice, but otherwise it was just Amish Country. It took me a long time to find out I had a passion for travel.
I think my concerns about it are that the oldest child will be a teenager, which is a time when kids really start to connect with their friends. But with technology today the oldest daughter would be able to keep in contact with friends. Also, I wonder if the youngest will be able to really appreciate being in the different places. But just like every adult gets something different out of travel, so will each child, no matter the age. I suspect they'll look at it as a special time once it is over and hopefully during the trip. But other then that, I think there is so much opportunity for the children to grow - travel does that. I used to listen to a podcast called A Year In Europe, the year is over, but it was interesting to hear the journey they went through. Learning how different people live in different places and then to come back home to the US and to see how different we really are from Europeans. I think no matter where they end up the kids could learn a lot. And their experience will be so unique from other people they encounter in life.
I think this trip will require a lot of planning, and the involvement of the kids. I've only listened to the one podcast, but I think they will include the kids. I don't think they'll learn a language in 3-6 months as they've stated they wish to do - A year in Europe didn't seem to learn more then some basics when they spent a month or more in a country. But they will learn about how different people live, and take in some of the good things and integrate them into their lives. Even though they seem to be seriously considering home schooling while away I hope they will stay somewhere and put the kids in school for maybe an entire school year, or at least part, schools vary so much from country to country, even from school to school here in the US. That could be a great experience for the kids. But too many schools might be overwhelming for the kids, not just adjusting to how different schools work, but also meeting new kids so often. There is such and opportunity for them to grow as a family and as individuals. Yea, they can and will run into some problems and roadblocks, but as a family, if it's done rightish, I think it could be great. I wonder if I can get them to adopt me as a 4th child?
- I'm a 30 something who loves to travel. I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels. I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt. I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney. My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.