Category Archives: travel with children

“We just want to take a break and to experience the world and other cultures and people together with our children”, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway told the press the other day.

haakonmette

The Norwegian Crown Prince family

We, of course :-) , think they’re doing the right thing going traveling the world and spending time together as a family. The parents call it “an educational trip” and say they want to teach their three children, aged 4, 6 and 13, about diversity, show them a bit of the world, that there are many different cultures and ways to live.

They will be away for two months (which probably is a really long trip royal wise) and will take care of the education themselves. I love the fact that the royal family of Norway will be homeschooling :-) !

There has been criticism to this trip (of course) and especially to the fact that the children will be taken out of school. Arguments like “they will fall behind” are not to uncommon, and this especially I find really unrealistic and unconsidered and the total opposite of my own experience.

There’s obviously a growing trend of parents taking their kids out of school for a one or two weeks holiday which I think is great. A couple of weeks is of course not exactly a long term trip, but at least a chance to spend time together as a family for a while in a new environment and experience something together. Usually a one or two week trip doesn’t require any special focus on the school issue. You just let go of everthing and take a break.

When you’re away for months though, most parents usually give the school issue much more focus. If the kids go to school when you’re at home, you might get plans to follow and material to bring. If you’re used to homeschooling, you just adjust your way of learning to the new situation. But either way, you will probably spend a lot of thinking and focus on the kids learning and it will be a big part of the trip.

And that’s the big difference between going away for a week or two compared to taking a trip for 6 months or a year (or two months for that matter). It’s another way of thinking and it’s a different way of living. And when you travel long term, when the trip is a part of your life, you will see things to learn everywhere. You will experience everything as “education” and the amount of things a child (and you too) will learn when you’re out in the world is massive. Because, as someone had commented regarding this royal trip “the school of life is really the one that’s most important”.

So, I’m really curious to follow this family on their new adventure which will start at the end of November. Now they of course want to be as private as possible and don’t want any involvement of the press, but at least it will be interesting to hear about their experiences when they get back and to see if they have changed in any way.

Come to think of it, maybe we should ask for an interview when they get back! Yes, we definitely will!

Enhanced by Zemanta
So, finally they’re on the road! Our friends, the Reichert family, have now left old jobs and schools behind them and are now full time travelers! After having dreamed about it, talked about it and worked hard for it, their new journey (in every aspect) has now started.
We’ve just had them visiting on their way up north. And not just north btw, but about as far up as you can get on this earth, northern Norway.  If you’ve been following us here you probably know that for this family, it’s all about oceans and photography and this passion is what will be leading their way now.  They have now taken the leap to live on what they love and their first project will be to meet with a marine biologist in Lofoten and do a project together with her. I think this is so great and when they were here, we talked a lot about all the things you can do and learn from when you travel together full time as a family. How everybody can participate on different levels in projects and fill a function, how what you do feel “real” and how your family feels “whole”.  I also love how Gabi, the mother, expresses it when she talks about how they’re into this together, all five of them, which, in the world of photography, obviously isn’t  the most common thing, and if people don’t like that, too bad for them…
We ourselves have done many, (well, most) things together as a family and it has been interesting to see peoples surprise many times when they expect you to be there as one adult and we turn up all five of us 
Well, I’m really looking forward to see their new photos. If you haven’t seen what they have done before, you must have a look at some amazing pictures here, in one of our previous posts about them.
By the way, Gabi, the mother, recently won a very big photo contest with one of her seaweed pictures (I wasn’t to surprised )
To me, it’s just so inspiring to meet with people who take what they love so seriously so they take the leap. I think it’s fantastic, and courageous; to actually leave a safe income, school, family and friends to do something more with their lives than just living an everyday life (and longing for something else) and I wish them everything good on their journey. May they find great places and people along the way, sell loads of pictures that’ll give joy and inspiration to others and just have lots of fun together!
For more pictures check out their blog (and if you read German you can also follow what they write )

So, finally they’re on the road! Our friends, the Reichert family, have now left old jobs and schools behind them and are now full time travelers! After having dreamed about it, talked about it and worked hard for it, their new journey (in every aspect) has now started.

The Reichert family – full time travelers

Full time travelers – Gabi, Gunter and the kids Esra, Noah and Ami with their campervan just leaving our place to travel up north

We’ve just had them visiting on their way up north. And not just north btw, but about as far up as you can get on this earth, northern Norway.  If you’ve been following us here you probably know that for this family, it’s all about oceans and photography and this passion is what will be leading their way now.  They have now taken the leap to live of what they love and their first project will be to meet with a marine biologist in Lofoten and do a project together with her. I think this is so great and when they were here, we talked a lot about all the things you can do and learn from when you travel together full time as a family. How everybody can participate on different levels in projects and fill a function, how what you do feels “real” and how your family feels “whole”.  I also love how Gabi, the mother, expresses it when she talks about how they’re into this together, all five of them, which, in the world of photography, obviously isn’t  the most common thing, and if people don’t like that, too bad for them…

We ourselves have done many, (well, most) things together as a family and it has been interesting to see peoples surprise many times when they expect you to be there as one adult and we turn up all five of us :-)

Well, I’m really looking forward to see their new photos. If you haven’t seen what they have done before, you must have a look at some amazing pictures here, in one of our previous posts about them.

By the way, Gabi, the mother, recently won a very big photo contest with one of her seaweed pictures (I wasn’t to surprised :-) )

To me, it’s just so inspiring to meet with people who take what they love so seriously so they take the leap. I think it’s fantastic, and courageous; to actually leave a safe income, school, family and friends to do something more with their lives than just living an everyday life (and longing for something else) and I wish them everything good on their journey. May they find great places and people along the way, sell loads of pictures that’ll give joy and inspiration to others and just have lots of fun together!

For more pictures check out their blog at www.blog.5reicherts.com (and if you read German you can also follow what they write :-) )

One of Gabi’s photos

One of Gabi’s photos

Enhanced by Zemanta

“I want to take my girl of 10 on a gap year”: Emma Thompson puts travel before school.

Emma Thompson

Extended World Traveler to be, Emma Thompson, in one of our (especially our daughters) favourite movies “Sense and Sensibility”

This is the headline of an article someone just sent me. I was really thrilled to see that Ms Thompson obviously follows our blog and has read our recent post “Why do kids need school when they can travel” and quickly taken some action on that (you can always dream) :)

I’m sure the family will have a great time together during their traveling year. And I’m convinced that Gaia, the daughter, will learn loads of things (well, the parents too of course) that’ll benefit her for the rest of her life.

As we have mentioned over and over again, first hand experiences of the world give kids knowledge they can never acquire in a class room. When you see different places with your own eyes, hear sounds with your own ears, experience wonderful (and less wonderful) smells with your own nose, things become a part of you in ways that you never come close to, reading about them in books.

Not to mention all the meetings with different people that take place when you’re out there, traveling the world. People from other cultures, religions, colours, with other political views and who live under totally different circumstances than your own.

Obviously, and sadly, the “National Association of Head Teachers spokesman” who’s quoted in the article, doesn’t have much experience from traveling with kids. Nor does he/she seem to be very informed about how children really learn. It’s good to be aware of, that as a potential long term traveling parent, you can be met with remarkable ignorance from school officials. I assure you though, that when you’re away on your trip, and see how your child is developing and learning and thriving, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing!

Way to go Emma! Have a great trip!

You can find the article HERE

“Do not let school get in the way of a good education”
– Loesje

Enhanced by Zemanta

A while ago I wrote about “Travel with kids – challenge or opportunity” and since this is an area that’s dear to my heart, here’s some more.

To travel with kids is a lot of fun. You can take the opportunity to practice being a bit less serious for example

To travel with kids is a lot of fun. You can take the opportunity to practice being a bit less serious for example


Why am I so eager to convince you to take your kids on that dream trip of yours? Because it’s so worth it! For the kids and for you. I’m of course not talking about that short get away weekend by yourself or with your spouse. I’m talking about going traveling and traveling for a long time. When you travel with kids and go out into the world, there are a few things which could be good to have in mind though:

Take your time and travel slowly. Don’t be in a hurry. Be very generous with the time you reserve for both your travels as well as your stays. Also, trying to cram in as much as possible to see and do may not be the best starting position for a relaxed and fun family journey.

Adjust to the kid’s age. It is a totally different thing, traveling with an older teenager or with a newborn (and with one child or four ).The younger the kids (and the more there are of them), the slower the pace I would say. Really young children can keep themselves busy and be fascinated by small everyday things and you can take the opportunity yourself to learn from them and experience the world from this perspective. The older they get the more you’ll of course be able to communicate about what you want to do and where you’ll want to go. Here you have plenty of opportunity to practice communication and negotiation, or consensus, skills. And I mean that! See it as a way to strengthen both your kids and your own abilities to listen and to be considerate as well as to express your desires.

Be in the present. This is also something you can learn more about from your kids, and the younger they are, the better they can teach you. Traveling and being away from all the musts and should is the perfect time to practice mindfulness and just taking in what is. This is also the best way to keep kids calm and relaxed (not to mention yourself). And don’t worry, your trip won’t be uneventful and boring, rather the opposite (and you can be sure that all kinds of unexpected, unimaginable things will show up). You’ll learn how fascinating even the smallest thing can be and you’ll experience how it is to feel really alive.

Remember that “the journey is the goal”. Well, this is very connected to the ability to be in the present. When you’re in the present, you realize that everything that happens along the trip is part of your journey , not just the end destination some 2 or 4 or 7 months ahead. And everything that happens along way, all of it, that’s what the journey is about.

These are things we have been taught ourselves by our kids when we have been traveling with them and the more we have been able to follow this, the more relaxed and fun our trips have been.

I’m sure you recognize by now, if you have been following us for a while, our story from our first long term trip. We left Sweden in a very stressed state, having got rid of house, company, school as well as a bunch of limiting beliefs. Our trip out into the world, where we should be “free” and have the time of our life, continued in this stressed state. And everything went wrong. The campervan broke down, we got sick, got lost (on many levels), the kids were bored and were fighting….

Not until we could let go of the expectations of everything we were going to do and see and be as well as slowing down the pace considerably, things changed. And this took time. Several months actually. From there on, we were able to take the days as they came, we could really listen to each other (and hear) and we got better at seeing the big things in the small. Whatever we did, it always worked out in the best way because, whatever happened, it just was the best way. Yes, we did have the trip of our lifetime!

So to travel with kids can really be an opportunity to learn to live your life in the best of ways and of course, this approach does not have to stop when your trip is over. I think it’s a real advantage to be able to live in a more mindful way in our times, either you are travelling the world or being at home dealing with your everyday businesses.

Taking things as they come  - if the plane is delayed, you can always watch a movie

Taking things as they come - if the plane is delayed, you can always watch a movie

It just strikes me how rare it is to find families who actually travel long term. Looking at the travel community on the Internet you pretty soon realize that families are very rare. Sure there are some to be found but in comparison with all the young backpackers or single couples they are for sure a minority.

To travel long term could mean waiting for a bus in Byron Bay, Australia...

To travel long term could mean waiting for a bus in Byron Bay, Australia...


Why is this? Can it be that the common belief that you have to be young and single to be able to travel long term is so strong that families just don’t think it is possible for them? Or is it the lack of financial resources that stops families from taking off? Maybe it is the strong belief that kids has to be in school in order to be able to learn anything at all that is the main obstacle? Perhaps it could be that families just aren’t interested in longer journeys? Or is there some other reason that we haven’t mentioned?

We would really like to know what you believe is the main reason.

As you may know from previous blog posts we strongly believe that to travel long term can be very good for you and this definitely goes for families as well. Personally we are just so grateful that we as a family took off on that first longer journey many years ago. It had a major and, in our point of view, positive impact on our whole life. And we are convinced that many more families would benefit if they did something similar.

But I guess not everyone is as convinced about these benefits as I am or we would definitely find a lot more families on the road. Maybe our whole point of view on life and society in general is just very differently from most other families? Maybe what we see as benefits are obstacles for others?

• We just love spending a lot of time with our kids. Other parents my think they would go crazy if they had to spend that much time with their kids.

• We believe that long term traveling is great for strengthening the family bonds. Others may worry that their family couldn’t survive a longer journey and that they would end up “killing” each other.

• We think that the real life education that our traveling has given our kids is invaluable and nothing any school could ever offer. Others could worry that their kids will fall behind if they miss a couple of month of schooling.

• We think that the freedom and break from the very common peer pressure in schools gives the kids a good and well needed chance to develop their own personality. Others may think that time away from their friends could be harmful for them.

We would really appreciate if you took the time and gave us your opinion in the comments below on why so few families are actually embracing the opportunity of long term travel. The more families and kids that get to experience the world firsthand the better it is I believe.

Just to finish off I want to offer a couple of quotes. First this from the book “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss:

“Far from being a reason not to travel and seek adventure, children are perhaps the best reason of all to do both”.

And then Nancy from www.FamilyonBikes.org who said something similar the other day when we spoke to her and asked her why they were doing this, traveling with their twin boys on bikes from Alaska to the south of Argentina. She said:

“We wanted to take advantage of their childhood and go out and do something now.”

That opportunity won’t ever come back for sure!:lol:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

To travel with kids, or to travel as a family, can for some seem like the ultimate challenge. To others, like ourselves, it’s just the greatest of opportunity for learning and growing together.Traveling together for a long time gives you the opportunity to get to know your family members and to see who they really are. In many families today, you don’t know your family members very well. You spend so much time away from each other, at work, school, at different activities and when you get home, you sit in front of the computer or the TV. And then, what’s left? How much time do you have every day to connect to and communicate with your spouse and your kids?

TLong term travel with kids is so worthwhile...

Long term travel with kids is so worthwhile...


Sometimes, when things doesn’t go the way I expect, or want and hope for them to go and I start blaming myself for not having done this or that in the right way (I know in theory, this is not the best of things to do, but I’m not perfect, yet:lol:) I often end up thinking. “at least I won’t regret not having spent enough time with my kids”. My family has had a big priority in my life and a big part of our time together we have spent on the road.

When we talk to people about this, we’ve realized that many are concerned that spending a lot of time with their family would make them crazy. Maybe they’d even come back ready for a divorce?

What we’ve found in reality though, it’s usually the opposite. When you go on an extended journey, you leave most of the different sources of everyday stress at home. You get rid of the things that stand between yourself and the other members of your family: all the stuff, the activities, the obligations. What you have left is just yourselves and your adventure. Now you have the time to see who this person you sometimes meet in the hallway on your way out really is.

When you travel, you will be away together in new unknown places and situations. You’ll create new circumstances that can help you to break old negative patterns and habits that are connected to your life at home. You will experience loads of interesting things together. You will get plenty of opportunities to practice cooperating with each other since problem solving is a natural gift of every long term trip:lol:.

And sometimes, the road isn’t just easy to walk on and the sun isn’t shining and things aren’t very fun, but this will be part of your journey together and oftentimes, the “worst” situations are the one’s that’ll create your warmest memories.

Doing some long term travel with kids and spouse is just so different to being at home and if you haven’t done it, it can be really difficult to imagine what a “boost” for your family life it really can be.

So, what’s your family life like? How would you like it to be? Imagine yourself 20 years from now. What kind of memories would you want to share with your wife/husband and your children?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

I watched some short films clips we’ve made in different places, and started thinking about how many memories I have connected to them. I guess, when you travel the world, there are so many “unusual” places and situations you experience and this really sticks to your mind. Not that what you do while on the road necessarily has to be better than what you’re doing on a grey November day at home. But of course, colorful (good as well as bad) experiences tend to make stronger mental impressions.
Elephant towing truck
We have lots of memories we share within our family and I think this is one of the things that make us feel very close and connected. There are so many “special” things we know we have been experiencing and we feel very strongly that we have a history together. So, without getting myself too deep into this, I just wanted to point out that one of the really great advantages when you travel the world as a family is that you strengthen the bond between you (there are of course loads of other advantages as well).

I think I have already mentioned that special (horrible) day in Southern France when absolutely everything went wrong. Starting with me and the girls being chased by man eating dogs and our (at that time) 3 year old son disappearing in the dark in this huge industrial area to Magnus developing pneumonia.

It was certainly not a fun day but did we forget about it? No way! And now and then, when we experience some challenge, this is one of the memories that keep coming back. Today, it’s a great example of how things which you may experience as difficult and challenging, really doesn’t stay like that and how you even, after some time, can look upon them with humor and laugh at them.

Anyway, here’s one of the films I watched. It’s from Southern India. We drove past this place where a truck had rolled over and they had to pull it up with a couple of more reliable vehicles, or in other words – elephants. We thought it was very fascinating.

So, keep creating memories together, they’ll last a lifetime!!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Our daughter, Aurora, just celebrated her 19th Birthday (and we couldn’t post this that specific day because this site was hacked!). Since her birthday happens to be during the part of the year when we find the Swedish climate the most inviting, she usually celebrates at home. Often, when it’s someone’s Birthday, we have the “where did we celebrate last time?” discussion. With Aurora, it’s not too difficult since we normally never do any long term travel during the summer, only shorter trips.

Universial studios

Auroras Birthday Celebration in Hollywood

Viktoria is the one who has celebrated most birthdays abroad. She’s born in April and since we often return to Sweden from our winter trips in late April, May or even June sometimes, she’s had many celebrations in different places. 3 times in England, twice in Spain, once in Australia and once in California…

Aron, is born early November, just before we usually leave for the winter, but he has managed to celebrate abroad a couple of times anyway. In Spain, England and in the USA, more precisely in Ann Arbor, MI.

Regarding us parents, who are both born in July, we’re just too used to having our parties in the land of the Midnight Sun. We never travel abroad during July. You can take that as a travel tip: “When to visit Sweden – during the summer!”

German birthday cake

Last years Birthday cake – German style

Anyway, we did recall though, that Aurora actually had spent 2 of her Birthdays abroad. Last year we were invited to a Bat Mitzvah in Augsburg, Germany, at this specific time.

Also, a couple of years ago we were in the USA for just a short trip, around the time of her birthday, to participate the whole family in something called “The Enlightened Warrior Training Camp”, an amazing event that we’ll never forget. Highly recommended for families, or actually for anybody! At the time for Auroras Birthday, the camp was over and we celebrated with a day in Hollywood.

Happy Birthday Aurora!

Visit Auroras blog www.myaustendreamworld.com

Warriors

I’m a Warrior, AHO!

Walk of fame


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • Our Books

    Our book is available both as paper back and as an eBook

    Read more and order here...

  • e-Course

    We have just created this amazing support program for anyone who really want to make their travel dream happen. During eight weeks we will take you from discovering your travel dream to actually having it all set up so you will be ready to go.

    This first opportunity is on the 27th of October and is offered at a substatially reduced price. If you want to join us hurry up because it is already starting to fill up and spaces are limited...

    Read more about it and book your place here...

  • Talks

    To share from of our own traveling independent lifestyle and to encourage and support families (well, anybody) to act on their dreams of doing something different, like a longer journey, we offer two different talks, in Swedish or English:


    Read more about them here...

  • Coaching

    Are you seriously considering taking yourself and your family on that journey of a lifetime, but have now idea where, or how, to start?

    To strengthen your inner as well as your outer supporting systems and to help you find solutions you, at the moment, may not even imagine exist, we have created our special Travel Coaching Program.

    Find out more about it here...

     

Page 1 of 212»