Tag Archives: extended travel

“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!

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They say that if you have a really strong why, the how will very much sort itself out.
Of course you can apply this for traveling as well. If you’re very clear about why you want to do that 6 (or 3 or 12) months trip, you can be sure to start finding solutions to obstacles that stand in the way between you and your journey. Some questions you can ask yourself to strengthen your why are:
What specifically motivates you to do some long term traveling? When you think about traveling, what is it that makes your heart beat a little faster?
What do you want to experience?
What do you see your trip to lead to?
Who do you want to be when you get back?
What is your biggest motivation to travel?
Contemplate this for a while and get yourself a really strong why!

They say that if you have a really strong why, the how will very much sort itself out.

Of course you can apply this for traveling as well. If you’re very clear about why you want to do that 6 (or 3 or 12) months trip, you can be sure to start finding solutions to obstacles that stand in the way between you and your journey. Some questions you can ask yourself to strengthen your why are:

What specifically motivates you to do some long term traveling? When you think about traveling, what is it that makes your heart beat a little faster?

What do you want to experience?

What do you see your trip to lead to?

Who do you want to be when you get back?

What is your biggest motivation to travel?

Contemplate this for a while and get yourself a really strong why!

We dreamt about Fiji, and made a reality of that dream – how about you?

When you’re considering taking some time off and go traveling the world for longer periods, months or even years, here are 10 advices we’d like to give you.

1. Have everything taken care of at home

Have everything taken care of before you leave, your home, car, pets, bills….Don’t drag your everyday stuff and concerns with you on your trip.

2. Leave home at home

Having things taken care of at home makes it easier to let go of all that and be present in your journey. So you can just immerse yourself with all the new along the way. You’re supposed to be here now, not there!

Since you've got the time now, make sure all the travelers in your group can have their needs met. Maybe playing in the sand for a couple of days (weeks?) is important for some...

Since you've got the time now, make sure all the travelers in your group can have their needs met. Maybe playing in the sand for a couple of days (weeks?) is important for some...

3. Take your time

Chances are you are living a pretty hectic life normally, at home. Don’t bring that stressful pace on the trip! It may take a while before you can get rid of it (usually a few weeks) but when you start to relax, stay in that state and experience the world from there.

4. Plan according to the traveler’s ages

Are you traveling with babies, teenagers or both? Take your time to figure out how you can make your journey so that every body’s needs are met, and don’t forget your own!

5. Don’t cram too much “doing” into your trip

There’s this belief that you always have to “do” things for things to happen. Rest assure, when you’re traveling for months, or more, things will undoubtedly turn up and give you opportunities to experience interesting things and adventure. So, try to give the “being” a bit focus too.

6. Be open to changing plans along the way

Even if you have your plans, maybe you actually didn’t know what you really wanted to do or where you wanted to go when you were at home. Or maybe something totally unexpected turned up along the way, a different situation or a new idea. Don’t be afraid to change your plans and follow new roads. That’s what traveling is all about.

7. Stay in the present

Experience what’s here and now. Look around. Listen. See. Try to be HERE and not there, at your next destination, tomorrow, next week, or back home again. Remember, the more you’re here, the more you’ll experience (and it doesn’t have to be “big” things).

8. Respect and try to have a true interest in the people and the customs of the places you are passing along your journey

Also remember, most people are usually more interested in being genuinely listened to than to listen to you (although sharing about your country and your customs of course is part of it).

9. Forget the “my country is the best in the world” mentality.

Even if that’s what you’re thinking, at least before you set of on your long trip, strive for seeing positive and interesting things with every place you’re visiting. What can you learn from people and places that you can bring home and make your own place even better? And what can you share with them that can make their place even better as well?

10. Embrace challenges and see them as part of your trip (or maybe even as the purpose of it).

When you’re traveling long term, challenges turn up. You can choose not to see them as difficulties though, but as opportunities to grow. And surely, these situations will be some of the things you and your family/co-travelers will remember the best and that will help create that strong bond between you. So embrace your learning opportunities!

Happy Travels!

There is a common belief among many, who haven’t tried it yet, that your marriage or the relationship with your kids wouldn’t survive if you did some extended travel together. For us, this is not our experience at all. And neither the experience of almost all the travelers we have met throughout the years. On the contrary, the vast majority of them say that traveling together for longer periods can be a great way to improve relationships (those who don’t think so, often agree that their relationship wouldn’t have survived even if they’d stayed at home).

Dolphin

As we see it, extended travel is one of the best things if you want to improve relationships, and a great way to get a strong connection to your kids


In our everyday lives today, there’s not much time to look after our relationships. It’s not uncommon that couples hardly get the chance to see each other because of heavy working loads as well as other commitments. And many parents and children only meet in the early morning or late at night when they are already exhausted or stressed out. Living under these circumstances doesn’t allow much room to enjoy and improve close relationships and make them stronger.

One of the biggest advantages of doing some extended travel together is, as we see it, the possibilities to reconnect with people close to you and rediscover who they are. When you’re away with your near and dear ones, exploring the world, you’ll experience adventure and have lots of fun together and learn new things about yourselves and about the world. And most important of all, you’ll have time!

To spend lots of time together with your children is a good thing. The concept of small amounts of “quality time” doesn’t always work. Have you ever experienced having planned some really fun quality time like Christmas or Disneyland and it turns into a disaster? Expectations can be so high at occasions like that that there’s no way to live up to them.

Going away on a long journey gives you lots of time together. You get the good as well as the bad (whatever that is) and from the quantity time, you will get lots of quality time as well. The times we have spent traveling with each other and our children have almost exclusively been an absolute joy for us. It has brought us closer together and we now share lots of great memories. So for us, traveling has really been a way to improve relationships, and not only within our family, but of course also with friends as well and relatives who have been part of our trips in one way or another.

Traveling together has really helped us to create a strong family bond and if this is something you’re dreaming of too, we think there’s no better way than extended travel!

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

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Yes, at last it’s ready! It has been a long journey to come this far, both geographically as well as mentally.

This is not just an ordinary travel book. It is not for finding out about cheap airlines or affordable hotels. Nor is it a guide to what tourist sites we think you should visit or which backpack to buy. No, what we want to share with you are actually the things that come before all that.

When we have been traveling around the world, we have been asked, again and again, how we can travel with our family and have the lifestyle that we have. We have realized these are things people are much more interested in than the more practical stuff (which you btw can find loads of great information about in other travel books and on travel sites on the internet).

So what we want to share in our book, as well as on this blog, are things that will inspire you and support you to make that dream trip of yours possible in the first place.

The answers to the questions that we through the years have been trying to explain to people, and now are sharing with you in our book, are things like:

• Why traveling actually is good for you. You’ll see how you too can benefit from taking time off and go out in the world

• How to get the money you’ll need to go traveling the world

• How to find the time that will allow you to take months off from your everyday commitments

• What you can do to make it possible to leave your job and go on the journey of your life instead

• How to handle the school issue so you can take your kids out in the world and let them experience things first hand

• How to deal with dream stealers like unsupportive friends, coworkers and family members and instead find the support you need to really be able to go on your dream trip

• How to handle issues you might have around travel and health, travel and crime, or maybe fear of flying – and learn how you can prepare yourself to feel and be more safe

• What you want to do on your trip, how to let your specific interests and needs allow you to indulge in the things that really make your heart sing

• Means of transport and how to get around on your trip, how to find accommodations and, of course, where you want to go. You’ll be excited when you find your perfect way to create your best trip ever

• How to travel and stay for free. How your personal areas of interests and your own network of friends can make your trip both extra fun and interesting as well as extremely economical

• How to continue to live a freer and more independent life even when you’re back from your trip (if you do choose to come back)

ExtendedWorldTravelblog
Read more about the book HERE


We have also taken the opportunity to update this blog to make our mission – to support families (and of course anybody) who want to travel long term – a bit clearer, as well as to make it easier for you, our readers to follow our updates. We hope you like it and of course, we also hope you’ll feel inspired to read our book!

But most of all we hope that you will take your travel dreams seriously and do something about it. To hear from all the people that have been inspired to set off on their dream journey is what really inspired us to finally write this book.

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I’ve had some really interesting reading lately – my old journal from the first time we did some extended travel with our campervan in 1996. Wow, how times flies and how quickly you forget! The struggles we had! And so much fun! Although we had traveled a lot before that, this was the first time we were campers, in our own campervan and totally inexperienced at this. But we learned a lot :lol:.

This was the transport for our first extended travel experince

This was the transport for our first extended travel experince


Like how inappropriate it can be to go over some of the highest parts of the Swiss Alps in the middle of the winter. We started off in a big snowfall (and in the Alps “big” can really be an understatement) and had to put on snow chains (I mean, wouldn’t that have been a sign enough not to go?). Snow chains make the driving very slow though and after a while the roads got better and we took them off. As we wanted to save time (for what? I can wonder) we put the campervan on a train that took us trough the mountain instead of driving around it for 4 hours. Sitting safely on the train was actually a very nice part of this trip, but soon, after having arrived at the end station on the other side it really wasn’t very pleasant anymore. We were now very high up in a place where there was only one choice to go to if you wanted to go further. The road down was very steep and winding and suddenly it also became totally icy. We didn’t have the snow chains on now and the road was so icy, it just wasn’t possible to stop and put them on either. This was one of my life’s most scary moments I assure you! High up on an icy steep winding Alpine road with the whole family in a campervan which couldn’t stop. “I got all shaky” I have written in the journal, and I think that went for the rest of the family as well. Even though the kids were very young at that time, they got the seriousness of it all. Finally, a patch without ice appeared and Magnus could stop the car. We stopped to gather our breaths for a while and thanked the higher forces that we all were alive. Then, with the snow chains safely on and with the speed of a snail, we continued out of this steep icy nightmare.

Snow storm in the morning, Haut Nendaz, Valais, Switzerland

Snow storm in the morning, Haut Nendaz, Valais, Switzerland

Palm trees in the evening, Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland as well

Palm trees in the evening, Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland as well

After having passed through the amazing St Gotthard tunnel, 16 km long, we later arrived in Lugano, in the Italian part of Switzerland. We visited some old friends there and they were kind enough to let us borrow an apartment they had in the middle of this beautiful city. From snowstorms and icy roads, we were now surrounded by palm trees! All in the same country and just hours away!

Our trip continued after a few days and we went to France, where we rented an apartment in the old town in Nice for a few weeks over Christmas and New Year. Then, after France, finally our big goal: Spain! We were so happy to have gotten this far, and first of all we really wanted to visit Barcelona, in the northern parts of the country. To start out, we planned to visit Barcelona’s famous street “La Rambla”. Still inexperienced as we were at travelling with a campervan, we had the somewhat naive idea of just driving into the city and park somewhere along the famous street.

Finally having dinner after a long day of driving. Who says that extended travel is always easy

Finally having dinner after a long day of driving. Who says that extended travel is always easy

I quote from the journal here: “What chaos! Narrow roads and lots of traffic. We got lost before Barcelona. We got lost inside Barcelona. We got lost after Barcelona. Boy have we seen many industrial areas today! Finally reaching La Rambla there was nothing else to do than trying to turn around and get out of the city. Not a parking lot in sight big enough for half the size of our car even, well not a parking lot in sight at all. We gave up and continued without having set one foot in Barcelona. Had “lunch” in the car while driving – at 5 o’clock- bananas and candy! Horrible!”

The rest of that day continued in the same spirit with narrow steep winding roads (we now realized what a mountainous country Spain really is, had never thought of that during our visits there by plane), quarrelling exhausted kids (and parents) and finding ourselves lost a couple of more times. Finally, after having been driving for a whole day, we arrived at the campsite which was our goal for the day. We had then done 70 km!

I quote myself again: “Today I really question if we should go on further south?”

We did go on though. After having taken a couple of days to recuperate ourselves after this first driving experience in Spain, we decided to follow through with our plan, to go to the very southern part, Marbella.

And it’s just so interesting to read this today. And to know, in retrospect, that the rest of this trip actually turned out to be one of the best times in my life, and the rest of the family says the same! After this first challenging part of our trip (I assure you, this wasn’t the only things that happened :lol:) the remaining months of this journey was just like heaven. And I mean that!

Having finally reached our goal, Marbella in Southern Spain. The Mediterranean isn’t extremely hot in January though

Having finally reached our goal, Marbella in Southern Spain. The Mediterranean isn’t extremely hot in January though

So think about this: we were out doing some extended travel and had gotten so far, and we were relatively close to our goal, the South of Spain, and we were also on the verge of giving up. But we didn’t. We did stop for a while to just relax and let go of all the stress and frustration. We took a deeper look at what we really wanted and then recommitted to our goal and continued. Today, I can see this as such a great metaphor.

How often don’t we strive for our goals and on the way towards them are faced with one challenge after the other. At some point we are close to giving up – it’s just too much. We ask ourselves if it’s really worth it. And then, when we can’t take it anymore and are ready to surrender to the challenges , if we just let go for a while and detach, relax, get some new energy and recommit, we lay the grounds for amazing things to happen. If you think back on your own life, I’m sure you have your own memories of this phenomenon. And when you are in the situation of giving up on your dream, try to remember these situations, the times when you didn’t give up, and what that meant to the rest of your life!

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We’re here to encourage you to travel more. But not necessarily on that weekend to Disneyland or on that short vacation to Paris… but to travel long term. Not that there’s anything wrong with shorter trips or going to those places, it’s just not the kind of journeys we’re mostly interested in here. What we want you to do is to go away for at least 3 months, preferable much longer. And we’re not saying you have to travel around the whole world and visit every thinkable country either… Actually, you don’t even have to go such a great distance, just far enough to be able to feel that you’re away, that you are on a real journey.

When you travel long term, you never can tell where the road will take you. Who will you be when you get back home, (if you choose to go back :-))?

When you travel long term, you never can tell where the road will take you. Who will you be when you get back home, (if you choose to go back :-) )?


We’re not involved in any airline businesses, and we don’t have an interest in any travel agencies or hotel chains. What we’re interested in is what improves and transforms people lives. Your life. And to us, long term travel is one of the absolute easiest and quickest ways to do this.

If you have been following us for a while, you probably already know this since we’ve been hassling you about it all the time: “How you get the time to travel”, “How you can travel with your kids”, “Why you should go on that long journey with your spouse”….

We’d like to quote a fellow thinker here: Jeffrey Kottler, psychotherapist, author of more than 20 books, and traveler. In his book “Travel that can change your life” he writes:

“It is sheer arrogance to believe that people in my profession have cornered the market on promoting lasting personal change. Bartenders, hairdressers, taxi drivers, even friends, have been known to help people grow as a result of their interactions. I’ve wondered if real travel agents don’t do the best job of all.

Traveling can bring out in you parts of yourself that can’t be accessed any other way. Always looking for more efficient and effective ways to promote personal changes, I realized that most of the constructive growth I’ve undergone in my own life has not come from books, or the classroom, or even therapy, but from traveling – especially the kind of trip that involves not just the search for new experiences in the world, but also the time and inclination to look within”.


So you see, even the “experts” agree with us!

Now that this year is soon coming to an end, why not take that as an excuse to start fantasizing about where you’d want to travel long term? What would you like this next year to be like for you, travel wise? When do you want to leave on that journey of a life time? What do you want to do when you’re away? How will you arrange for the things at home that need to be taken care of: job, school, home, pets…..? What changes in your life and /or lifestyle do you want this transforming trip to lead to?

It may seem like a lot to deal with and your long journey may feel very far away, but believe us, if you make the decision to go for it, give it some attention and take small steps in the right direction continuously, we’re sure that 2010 will be the year when you’ll experience that dream trip of your life for real!

And continue to follow us, We’ll be here to encourage you on your way. To be able to do this even better, we’re planning some changes of this site. We’re working on simplifying a bit, adding some things and taking out other to make it easier to give you support in different ways so you can become a world traveler too.. So hang on and keep your eyes open for what we can do to help you on your journey to your journey!

When we’re talking about extended travel – of being away from home for a longer period of time – we all have different views on what that looks like.

For some people, traveling for 3 months, 6 months, a year or more, is all about visiting lots of different places around the world. For this group, long term travel is really about the “travel” part. You want to travel around and experience as many different areas and cultures as possible and expose yourself to new impressions all the time.

For others, it’s more about staying for a longer period in one or a few places somewhere away from home. People who are into this version of extended travel may be more interested in living an “everyday” life in a new surrounding different to your normal one and go deeper into that area and that culture.

If you’re interested in this alternative, traveling long term and staying in one or a few places, listen to this person who has some more ideas about this:

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