lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Nomadic life with teenagers – yes or no?

June 29, 2018

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

We have been reading blogs about life on the road, talking to travel bloggers with children, watching Netflix travel programmes made by full-time travel bloggers – and all the while wanting desperately to change our lives.

But there is something holding us back, so many reasons not to go.  A sense of security.  Two “amazing” jobs.  A pension plan.  School.  A community.  Family.

So the question is – do we buy an RV, take the kids out of school, and hit the road, or do we do the “sensible” thing and wait until they leave school – then hubby and I can travel to our hearts’ content?  BUT – so far none of our parents has managed to make it to retirement, so why plan for retirement?  Wouldn’t it be better to get out there and live NOW?

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

The pros of a nomadic life:

  • An opportunity to connect with my children.  We have travelled before and seen amazing things – and the highlight of it all – spending 24/7 with my children. It doesn’t matter where in the world we are, if we are together, we are family and we are happy.
  • Getting rid of the chaos. Our lives are currently in chaos. We both have management positions, we both work long hours and travel.  We “tag-team” parent.  I have breakfast meetings and evening presentations and networking.  We both bring the stress home.  You could say we are role models for successful careers – but to be honest this isn’t the role model I ever wanted to be.
  • Education.  We have taken the children out of school for extended periods to travel before, it didn’t impact on their education at all. In reality, they learnt more, with real-life experiences about different cultures, history, nature, wildlife, and social skills.
  • Personal growth.  We all need to get out of our “comfort zones” to grow.  And it is an opportunity for our children to grow into adults – away from teenage peer pressure and first world problems, an opportunity for them to form their views about life while surrounded by different cultures, and people that are less fortunate than them.
  • Seeing the world.  No explanation needed.

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” — Mohammed

At the end of the day, I am an Accountant.  I am trained not to take risks.  And leaving everything we know, and everything we have worked for is a very big risk.

This is something we have been considering very carefully for the last five or so years.  I thought we had passed our opportunity, that Miss T is too old to live a life on the road – she is a teenager next week!  They like their own space, their own friends.  Her list of “likes” doesn’t generally include having her little sister and parents living in close proximity on a full-time basis.

So I have also outlined my list of cons:

  • Taking our children away from everything they know.  At an age when they should be forming friendships that will last them a lifetime.
  • Funding.  My career is not easily transportable (rules are different in different countries, and there isn’t really much need for a freelance Accountant).  My blog certainly is not a commercial product.  Hubby may have more luck finding some work overseas, and we have a small income from rental properties.  But we wouldn’t be able to travel unless we sell our house OR hubby can work remotely.
  • Leaving our house.  I know it is just a “thing” but it isn’t just a house we can buy and live in – it is one we bought a long time ago, we have spent years renovating it to exactly what we want and what works with us as a family, we love the neighbours, and the girls have grown up here.  We don’t want to sell it.
  • I almost forgot – giving up my amazing job!!! I have a successful career, bosses who support me, I work with amazing people whom I love, and I get to help people.  But my heart just hasn’t been in it since we got back from our last big adventure.

So where to from here?

Well, we are having a few conversations.  We will let you know how we go…

If you have any advice for me about travelling with a family I’d love to hear it!

travel teenagers #nomadiclife

Hiking inside the Grand Canyon

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  • Reply Kristen Kirk July 8, 2018 at 3:05 am

    I have always prioritized travel for my family, and I’ve raised three great kids to adulthood. My girls were homeschooled all the way. If your kids are teenagers already the clock is ticking on the time you have with them, soon they ill be leaving the nest and you’ll be in a bit of shock that the years moved so quickly. Take them now, go on an adventure, let them discover and utilize real life skills that aren’t taught in schools. Show them history, make them a part of it instead of just reading about it. Get your hand dirty digging for dinosaurs in Utah, or diamonds in Arkansas. Show them other cultures, let them see how varied and different the country is. Take them to the great museums to see art produced my masters, and shows on Broadway. You only get one shot at these years, go do it while you can. Lots of love and luck!

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      I love your advice. Yes the clock is definitely ticking. Careers can wait (or not) – but they will only be kids once 🙂

  • Reply Couponing1on1 July 8, 2018 at 4:10 am

    It would nice to get out and travel with your family. If you plan it out accordingly I think it will work out good. I’m sure your kids will definitely enjoy it. You’ll never how it will work if you don’t try.

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you for the advice. I agree the kids would love it 🙂

  • Reply Our travel story July 8, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Every thing in this world has some pros and cons. It’s all about how we take it our life. You have given some amazing points out there. Great work.

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks. Now the hard part – making a decision! 🙂

  • Reply Amber July 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

    If it is something you love, why not give it a short run, but with a plan if you have to come back. I would love to travel but know I could not do it financially myself

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks Amber. A back up plan is a good idea!

  • Reply liveloveandadventure July 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    there is no right answer, really but I’ve learned that “waiting for retirement” is not an option. If it feels like the road is pulling you and you have the ability to home school your kids, go for it! No decisions are permanent, and if you find in a year or two that it’s not the right thing for you, change it. It would be an amazing and educational experience to travel across the country!!

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Fantastic advice thank you!

  • Reply Wander With Ola July 9, 2018 at 1:24 am

    What a great list of points you stated out there. Yup, I believe that there always pros and cons for every step we take. For every “leap of faith” that I take, I always give the thought of WHY I would want to do it. What are the risks and whether what I want to achieve through this action worth the risk (and whether I could afford risking not having what I could’ve gained if I didn’t take the risk). All the best, guys!

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you Ola! I like the idea of thinking about whether we could accept the risk of NOT getting out there and doing it – the risk of staying in the rat race, children growing up, leaving home without having taken this opportunity…

  • Reply ninalehan21 July 9, 2018 at 2:08 am

    there is always a good and bad side to everything. if you had a good plan, then why not !! do what your heart desires

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Tara July 9, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Do it. It could be your best adventure yet. If you’re worried about school then take them out for a term and travel then. My parents thought about it and I wish they’d done it!

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Great advice, maybe we should start small 🙂

  • Reply Agnes Dela Cruz July 9, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Travel can never be compared with anything, the memories and fun you can create! Plan it carefully!

    • Reply Ange July 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you Agnes, I agree!

  • Reply Adessa Marie Young July 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    This is really a great life switch, but with your list of pros i think you should really go for it! Also I agree, travelling will give new learnings to the children that the confinements of the school wont be able to give.

  • Reply toastycritic July 9, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I think life experience teaches us more than anything else. So taking them out of school won’t necessarily cause problems. But I also think there are some basic things you need to teach which if you cannot, taking them out of school causes problems.

  • Reply Princess Quinn July 10, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Pursue what you love! Ask each family member of all their opinions about it and weigh everything out. My sister is a freelance accountant so I guess it is possible.

  • Reply livelovetru July 10, 2018 at 5:13 am

    Traveling is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a family. My family and I, love exploring new places. When ever we have a chance, we hit the road. If you have the chance to do it, Do it!

  • Reply lavandamichelle July 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    What a wonderful post! I think you learn so much when you travel. This post really opened my eyes. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  • Reply Ada July 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    I would travel with my parents when I was a teenager but not only was it stressful for me I think it was pretty stressful for them. I think it depends from person to person.

  • Reply This Mum At Home July 11, 2018 at 2:31 am

    I love travel and I love doing it with my kids. I wish my dad would get out more and travel now days but hes still ‘earning money for a rainy day’ IM forever telling him to go and enjoy life!

  • Reply fivelittledoves (@fivelittledove5) July 11, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I think it all depends on the family, the kids, and what you want from life. We love to be at home and build our lives in that way, but everyone is different!

  • Reply Acupofassamtea July 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

    It depends and differs person to person. For me travelling with my kids gives me numerous joy of spending time them as well teaching and learning.

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