Traveling the World, with Kids
My husband Pierre and I decided to travel the world (or at least part of it) with our two young kids for one or two years—or more, if we can swing it. We had both always traveled: before we met, together, and after having kids, but we ached to make travel—and an active lifestyle—more longterm.
Even though we lived comfortable, secure lives in Silicon Valley, California, we longed to be free from the burden of our daily routine and obligations, free from constantly chasing the clock. “This is not our lifestyle!” we would say at night, exhausted. “This is not us!”
So, we saved our money, cut expenses, pulled the kids out of school, and in December, 2014, went to live the lives intended for us. No use waiting for the kids to grow up. We had to seize the moment now, while we were still energetic and healthy. Also, we struggled to have our kids, and now that they were finally here, we wanted to spend as much quality time with them as we could.
Over a four-month period leading up to our departure, we sold, gave away, or trashed 90 percent of our belongings--everything we had accumulated through 12 years of marriage and two kids, now ages 4 and 9—in exchange for what we expected would be the experience of a lifetime. We let go of our home, our school, our community, and said good-bye to our friends, an exhilarating yet scary experience.
On December 28, 2014, with four large suitcases, four backpacks, and one “electronics” bag, we left California. We started our journey with the familiar, first traveling to Switzerland, where my husband is from, mostly to care for his ailing mother. After three months, we shed one suitcase by donating our winter clothes to refugees and headed to Spain for six weeks, staying mostly in Grenada and Barcelona, places we think we might live one day. After that, we headed back to the U.S. to fulfill my husband’s dream: to tour as many national parks in the western U.S. and Canada as we can in three months (while we still had our SUV and camping gear, stashed at a friend's house).
We are ending the U.S. phase of our travels now and will soon head to Southeast Asia, where our dollars will go far and the culture is immensely rich. We first plan to return to Thailand, where we spent two amazing months with our kids in the summer of 2013, and also visit Vietnam, Laos, Borneo, Bali, New Zealand, and more.
I intend to keep working a little along the way, to maybe push two years into three. Meanwhile, the kids are getting an exceptional education. In addition to “world” schooling, we also want them to see that there is more than one way to live life, that there are in fact almost infinite perspectives and possibilities. We also hope they will learn to give back and discover their own passions.
I figure our main business now is to collect experiences, live our adventures, and stuff ourselves with so many rich memories, our perception of time will open and expand, exponentially--as it should!
Follow our adventures at www.mylittlevagabonds.com!
Bio: In addition to writing about travel, Cindy Bailey is co-author of the Amazon top-selling book, The Fertile Kitchen® Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Optimizing Your Fertility (www.fertilekitchen.com), and her fertility story has been nationally televised on NBC and CBS. Cindy is also a former newspaper reporter, freelance writer, and award-winning owner of Bailey Communications, a corporate writing consultancy.