Blog Posts

Where we talk about experience and give advice for Family Adventures.

Do you have an excuse or are you making an excuse?

I know, I know, touchy, touchy. Here’s the reason for the bold, in-your-face, slap of reality: I woke up this morning asking myself that very same question. Do I have any excuse or am I just making an excuse? You see, for over a year, my lovely wife Rachel, has done nothing but encourage me to write. I think sometimes she’s made it her mission. “Get up early, I’ll make the coffee.” “Stay up late, I’ll stay up with you.” “I’ll keep the kids quiet.” “Schedule a specific day, whatever you need.” She has done everything in her power to encourage me, short of grabbing my hands and hitting them on the keyboard. and for some unknown reason, I just can’t get the motivation. What I have been able to generate, with some proficiency, is excuses. “I can’t” “I’m too busy” “I’m too tired.” “I’m busy running a full time construction company.” “There’s so many other blogs that: look better, sound better, live better, you name it.”  Everything. If there was an excuse factory, I would seriously be running it (or coming up with an excuse of why I couldn’t) It hit me this morning right square between the eyes, I don’t have any excuse. No real one anyway. And since that thought hit me, I can’t think of anyone else who actually does have an excuse either. Every time I think of some situation that might be an actual real-life excuse, I instantly think of someone who has overcome a situation that seems impossible for most average people to even wrap their head around. I mean really, really think about... read more

Family Travel Interview

Last week, I had the honor of being interviewed by “Suitcases & Strollers” a travel blog aimed at helping parents hit the road with kids. Aimee sent over a list of questions, and while I thought it was going to be easy, some of the questions had me scratching my head! I thought it would be useful to post here as well so, read, apply, rinse, repeat! :)   1.The names and ages of your kids? Our kids are: Maggie, 20; Levi, 19; Emma, 14; Lily, 10; Zoe, 8; and Miles, 4 2. How long have you been travelling on the road? We left the US for a total of 5 years, lived in Costa Rica for 16 months, and from there, bought a sailboat in Greece and lived on the boat for 3+ years. We left in early Spring of 2008 and returned in November, 2012   3. What inspired you to quit your day job and take you entire family on the road? What did you want to achieve out of this? We were burned out of the ‘status quo;’ acquiring more and more, and for what?! We wanted more quality time from the few years we get to spend with our kids. We were on the treadmill, and felt like life was being lived for us, we knew we wanted something more, but couldn’t really put our finger on it. We had loved to travel before kids, and the thought of traveling with our kids seemed like a great ‘sabbatical’, to recharge our batteries, and connect with our kids. We looked at it as an investment into... read more

The Problem with Family Travel

Today I learned a lesson I thought I had learned before, but I think I’d forgotten about. I remember the same knot in my stomach I learned it the last time, so I immediately recognized it for what it was and it triggered the memory all over again. It has to do with one HUGE problem with family travel that is rarely talked about or usually even thought about until it’s too late. The problem I’m talking about has to do with raising independent confident kids through travel. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for any length of time, you know I usually ask each parent and guest about how their kids are affected by family travel. I’m genuinely wondering if they had the same fears that we did before we traveled, and that I assume most parents have when it comes to the thought of taking your children out of the ‘normal routine’  and globetrotting into the unknown. Everything races through your head from kidnapping to getting lost in airport/train station/ whatever! Just plain ol’ unfounded, baseless fear! You probably also notice that the guests usually reply with something like: “We saw our kids burst out of their shell” or, “They have become so confident as young adults because of all the adjusting they’ve had to do with meeting new people, new cultures, interacting more with adults, etc.”  or “We’ve been blown away with how grown up our kids have become from world travel!” All true! Which is really, genuinely fantastic! I mean, that’s the point we are after! Why do anything if it’s not going to... read more

Can I Do This?

You might be looking through these pages, listening to these families, and thinking to yourself: “That’s great for them, they already had: ______, they already knew: _____, that’s how they were able to make this family travel thing happen.” There are most likely a million, probably more, excuses of why it is next to impossible to overcome the doubt and the naysayers, and simply stay on the path you’re on. I won’t argue with you there, it certainly is easier to continue doing what you’re doing. Chances are you have built a pretty comfortable life, a community, and you’re mid-swing in your career, what’s going to happen to that?! I also won’t lie to you and tell you family travel is easy. There is simply no way that anyone can convince me that family travel is easy. It is anything but easy. If you are looking for easy, you may as well navigate to another website right now, because that just isn’t the case. Family travel is tough. It’s tough from the first steps, and there are parts all the way through where you a re wondering, “What was I thinking?!” So what’s the point? Why bother with family travel at all if it’s so hard, so out-of-the-box, so risky? Because it comes with such an amazing REWARD! Because it is so rewarding to look back on what your family will be able to accomplish, how you were able to experience amazing adventures, see amazing people from around the world, and how you became something larger than yourself! That’s why, that’s what all of our 20-some-odd episodes are about. Families... read more

3 Tips for traveling with Youngsters!

She was so excited to see water coming out of the ground! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about traveling with young kids under 5 years old is to slow it down. They don’t care about the museums. They didn’t care that we were at the Vatican City. They were excited to see a small patch of grass out front to run and play tag in! I asked my sister Zoe what she remembers most about our trip to Malta when she was 5- She can’t remember any of the buildings or churches we saw, she only remembers this little water fountain she played in, with her 1 year old brother, while we were scouring the map for a place to eat. That was her favorite memory! Running and playing and getting soaked in this huge, historic courtyard. I think we ended up going to eat and coming back for about 3 hours while they played. They had so much fun and our whole family decided that was one of our favorite days in Malta. Young kids will be happier and enjoy travelling SO much more if you go at their pace! Now I’m not saying the kids should run the trip. But from my experience you can enjoy the trip a lot more when the young ones are enjoying themselves. Here’s My Top 3 tips for traveling with youngsters #1-Go Slow. Plan only 1 (maybe 2) things to do/see per day. Face it: You wouldn’t take them on a shopping marathon back home so don’t go crazy sightseeing with them while in a new country or place. It’s... read more

Legal Stuff: Visas

The world is full of red tape, that’s pretty much all there is to it. It can be overwhelming, and unnerving setting out on an adventure not knowing what the legal requirements are going from place to place. Your mind might flash with visions of your family winding up in a Turkish Prison, or being interrogated in a dingy room somewhere. I hope this article sheds a little light on our experiences, and what we’ve learned from several years of family travel. First off, it’s important to keep in mind, that most likely, unless you’re planning to visit North Korea, the people you will encounter at the borders are just like you and me. They have families, they are staring at the clock all day, waiting to get off work and go do something else. It’s actually something to keep in the front of your mind as you go, because if the opportunity present itself, you can ask them about their hobbies, their family, whatever to lighten the mood. It works! I can also attest to what else works: just the fact hat you are there with your family. I’ve been in many border crossings, visa offices, whatever, and the mood is  way different when I’ve brought my kids in then when I haven’t. That’s the whole point of family travel! Fixed travel plans or flexible schedule? It’s sometimes difficult if you will be traveling for an extended trip, not necessarily planning out every step of the way. If that’s the case, you can’t research every country beforehand to know their visa requirements, their bureaucracy, or what you will be... read more

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