If you think it’s impossible to travel with 1 child…
… you should definitely keep reading!
We continue with our new blog post mini series.
An Austin Adventure family left everything to travel the world for 1 year. And here’s the best part. They travel not with 1 child. Not with 2 kids. No, not with 3 either. With 4 kids, people!!! If this story doesn’t convince it IS possible, then I don’t know what will.
Meet An Austin Adventure
Today, we are talking to Erin and Paul behind An Austin Adventure. They are originally from New Zealand. One day they decided to sell everything and embark on adventure of their lives. Around 8 months ago they left their cosy home and started traveling full time. Yes, with kids! The goal is 1 year, but who knows what next destination will bring!
They started from Auckland up to Los Angeles in the U.S. They drove across the States before flying out to Europe 3 months later. They are due to be in Asia shortly, where they will travel around for the next 5 months.
Doesn’t it sound like a dream?!
“It was time to invest in our family instead of a bigger house!”
Nomad Diaries (ND): What made you leave your everyday routine and embark on this adventure? What preparations you needed to do?
An Austin Adventure: We realised we were placing far too much importance on ‘things’ and far too little on the relationships that matter. It was time to invest in our family instead of a bigger house!
We also felt a sense of freedom once our youngest turned 3. A little less overwhelmed; we could finally do something different after having babies for so long. So we nervously set a date, sold our house and all of our things and left 7 months later.
“On travel dates, we are in survival mode”
ND: You guys travel with 4 kids! 4!! What is your secret to stay sane? Do you get any time for yourselves?
An Austin Adventure: Im not sure we are sane, haha. But we do have a lot of fun together.
Our routine changes depending on where we are and how long we are there for. On travel days we are in survival mode. Think: iPads, snacks galore, sleep when you need to, late nights, followed by lazy mornings. If we are settled somewhere for longer, then we can get some exercise and do some school work.
Haha, and no — we don’t get a lot of time alone together, or alone. But our children are pretty good at entertaining themselves, so we often get 10 minutes alone here and there.
ND: Your kids are at school age — how do you deal with them being out of school? Do you homeschool them while you travel?
An Austin Adventure: We don’t ‘homeschool’ as such, a better description would be ‘world school’. We knew when we left that it would only be for 1 year. And with the oldest being 10 and the youngest 3, we knew we weren’t harming them by taking them away from school. We believe we are giving them a greater experience by traveling and seeing the world. We learn language, culture, history of each country during everyday activities. Followed up by journal writing, reading and spelling when were not exploring the surrounding area. If we go a couple days without doing anything we don’t stress, there is plenty of time for school in the years to come!
ND: Do you think you will want to settle back in NZ after your adventure ends? Will it be easy to go back?
An Austin Adventure: When we were planning this trip we always said to each other, if an opportunity arises and we are able to live or work abroad, then we would go for it! This adventure is for 1 year, so we will be heading back at the end of January 2018. Then try to settle back into the everyday living… But, I am sure it will not be easy after living this amazing lifestyle for a year!
We would absolutely love live in another country if that was ever an option for us. For now, we really liked Austria or Croatia..
ND: Do you ever regret this journey and leaving your ‘safe’ lives behind? Anything you would do differently?
An Austin Adventure: I get little pangs of guilt when the kids tell me they miss their friends. And, I do worry a bit about how we are going to settle back into New Zealand after returning. But, no, we don’t regret anything. I actually feel really proud of the decision we made to get rid of it all and do something that is out of the norm.
Also…when we travel, I sometimes question our decision because… I am petrified of flying! The kids and Paul love to fly, so it’s just me sitting in the corner chanting ‘be fearless’ quotes to myself.
“The memories we are creating together are worth all the little lows!”
ND: Can you share 3 tips you for people that are anxious about traveling with kids?
An Austin Adventure: Our tips would be…
- Pack light — you don’t need as much as you think! Especially if you are following summer.
- Travel slowly. Your all likely to enjoy it more if you go slower, spend longer periods in one place.
- Take a decent life jacket or floaties for the younger kids if they are not competent swimmers. We LOVE to swim and having our younger two in life vests made jumping off boats and swimming in gorgeous natural springs an enjoyable stress free activity for everyone.
- Accommodation – book well in advance for busy seasons. Sometimes you can find crazy discounts on Airbnb when you book early and for longer period of time (if you want to stay in 1 place for a few weeks, for example). You can use that house as your base and make day or even over night trips to the surrounding areas/ countries (Europe is great for that!).
Travel with kids really is an adventure, it has its ups and downs just like home life. But this way you are together more often than at home. Plus, the memories we are creating together are worth all the little lows!
Why We Love this story
For their courage to leave their home behind and live out of the suitcases for 1 year. For the minimalism and love for experiences, not things. For bravery to travel full time with 4 kiddos, around the world. For the ‘be fearless’ chanting :)
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Photo credit: Erin @ An Austin Adventure