Tag Archives: long term 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.


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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Just sent the girls off to England (with different flights) so I’ve visited our nearby airport twice during the last days. It’s interesting how that part of the world suddenly has become like a second home to them (well, to all of us). Being used to traveling around, the UK feels really close, in more than one sense.

”Homes” along the road in Mumbai, India - traveling gives you perspective

”Homes” along the road in Mumbai, India - traveling gives you perspective

Anyway, I picked up a new magazine for that local airport – Take Off- and found some interesting articles. One, “Journey of life”, which I found especially exciting was written by the airport priest, Mattias Bähr (didn’t even know they had one there). He talks about all those internal and external journeys you can experience at a place like that. People on their way somewhere, both physically as well as mentally. We ourselves love to talk about traveling, and especially long term travel, as a life transforming event, so I totally agree with him there.

I also like the way he uses the airport as a metaphor for life and want to quote him on that:

Sometimes people stop me on my journey. An airport security inspector or someone else who wishes me well, would inquire if I really need all the “life luggage” that I am carrying around. “Luggage” that diminishes me; like prestige, never ending anger, discouragement and envy, would be a relief to just leave behind. Perhaps the journey, the vacation, meeting new people and places will give me the opportunity to reflect over my luggage and get my life into perspective.

And here again, I couldn’t agree more. This is also our own experience and something I want to emphasize, traveling really makes you get perspective on your life and helps you to become a better person! Imaging if we just could look at our everyday lives as if we’re on a constant round the world trip, with minds open to the “new” (to everything that is, because do we really know everybody and everything as well as we think?). We would get innumerable opportunities to reflect on who we really are, what we are doing and what we really would want to do, not take everything for granted and be more open to looking at things in a different way.

For me, it’s an interesting thought, a bit zen like I guess, and it does require quite some practice. And in the meantime, we can always rehearse this way of looking at the world by traveling around in it and bring the new perspectives back home, can’t we?

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A while back, we wrote about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman who travelled the world on their motorbikes. One of our comments about that was that when they went on their adventures they left their families at home :-( .

Ready for the big adventure...

Ready for the big adventure...

So today we were very pleased to hear about a similar adventure to their Long Way Down trip from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. This time though, it’s two Swedish families who are leaving from Sweden but with the same destination in mind. 4 adults and 4 young children under the age of 10 on this 8-9 months long road trip through Europe and Africa. They are not riding motorbikes though but two well equipped Land Rovers.

You can follow their journey that started today on: www.smallbigexpedition.se

It sure is an amazing adventure they´re setting off on. Maybe not something that all participants will remember but for sure an experience that will influence their lives in one way or another.

Please don’t be intimidated by this great adventure – it might not be for everyone. These families are well experienced travelers looking for something extra ordinary. For most of us though a more traditional long term journey will offer enough memorable experiences to satisfy us.

We hope to have a reason to come back and tell you more about this expedition and maybe also offer you an interview later on.

“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

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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!

How does one get the money top travel long term? Or like a recent question that we got from a German lady who wrote:

“I love the idea of getting out of the rat race and spend my whole life travelling. But there will be food and gas that I have to buy. Where do I take the money from, when I’m not working?”

It is a very easy question to ask but much more complex to answer. It really depends on a lot of factors and your personal situation.
We are all unique with unique talents living our own unique lives. Therefore there is not one answer available that suites all. And as long as you are hoping for someone to give you the one and only answer you run a big risk of being disappointed. What works for us may be impossible for you or the other way round.

A very sad thing we have noticed through the years when we’ve been asked these question, is that our answers may even be more discouraging than encouraging. We can literally see the light and hope vanish from people’s eyes as they hear our answer and they often say something like: “Well we can’t do that”. They take our answer as the only way and then they use it as a reason to why it is not possible for them to do it.

And this happens no matter what our answers have been. Through the years our circumstances have been varying and accordingly so have our solutions been different to how we have made it possible to travel.

It is very important to us to do our best to support anyone who has a desire to go on a long journey. All our long journeys have been extremely rewarding to us and we wish that more could have a similar experience. That is basically why we started writing a book and also this website in the first place.

So nowadays we are very careful to offer quick solutions that have worked for us. We believe it is much more helpful if we can support, encourage and inspire you to find the quick solution that is tailor made for you.

To do that you will basically have to take a look at your own situation and also what you want your extended journey to look at.

We have met so many long term travelers through the years. From the wealthy ones, who stays in hotels and eats in restaurants every night to those traveling on a very limited budget and gets away with spending less money than at home. Yet others even make money traveling and can literally return home to a bigger bank account than they had when they left. Actually, money doesn’t have to be a problem after all… Even if you doubt this we are convinced that it is definitely a possibility for you to.

Someone said:

” You don’t need money to make money – you need creativity”.

We would change that to:

“You don’t need money to travel around the world – you need creativity”.

Our book: Extended World Travel is our attempt to, in the best way possible, support you to create the dream trip of your life, the perfect journey that suites your personal circumstances.

For you who are really determined to make your trip happen and are interested in getting some extra support, Maria will soon start to offer travel coaching. This will of course for natural reasons be a very limited offer and only on a first comes first serve basis. If you want to you can express your interest in an email to Maria at maria@extendedworldtravel.com .

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).


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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