How we decided to go on a RTW trip with kids
As you might know, we are in the middle of planning for a round the world trip with our family, including three small children. This trip has been a long time coming; around eight years in fact. In 2009 Patrick and I backpacked around South East Asia looking for a charity project to start working for as volunteers. We had decided that we would go out and serve for the first year of our marriage; then we received the wonderful surprise that we were expecting our first baby, Esmae. We asked if we could bring her with us to work in Thailand anyway but unfortunately the charity didn’t have accommodation to suit a baby, so we put our plans on hold. Over the last eight years we have constantly thought about travelling and serving abroad with our kids and last year decided to apply to an international mission agency. Although we loved going through the interview process and they searched hard to find a placement for us, they now try to prioritise local people taking job vacancies over foreigners, which is something we wholeheartedly support. It just means that we are needed less! There are also a surprising number of visa issues that popped up like little roadblocks; did you know that to serve in Afghanistan or Nepal you need a Masters degree? Us neither, until recently!
So anyway, after the agency told us that there was nothing for us at the time, we were fairly surprised and a bit disappointed. We couldn’t get rid of that little niggle that told us that we needed to go back and that there would in some way be opportunities of serving abroad. Combine this with an intrinsic rejection of the idea that we are born to go to school, get a job, pay off the mortgage and live in relative peace for a short period before death, and we had a fairly clear idea of what we wanted to do. But how..?
For years we have been working at building up digital skills that allow us to work remotely, and it is only in the last few months that we have finally been able to look at our finances and say ‘ok, we can maybe make this work (if we eat rice, rice and more rice!)’. We have no desire to be rich financially; for us, time well-spent and good relationships are the treasures that won’t rust and are therefore the things that we invest the most in. As well as a desire to find a project or projects whereby we can help people, we also want to give our kids the richest education and childhood possible. For us, going on this round the world trip means more time together, more time focusing on the things that matter and memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.
We love hearing about other families’ travel and service stories so please drop us an email, find us on Instagram @adventuretravelfamily or comment below!
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Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.