Since coming up with the idea to travel around the world as a family, we have had lots of questions. We thought we might share the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Q: How can you afford to travel long term….aka you must be a millionaire?
A: No, we are not rich. The boring truth is we saved for a long time. Before we came up with the decision to travel long term, we were heading in the wrong direction financially. Once we came up with our plan to travel the world, we began to seriously pay off our debt, including refinancing our house to pay off the principle faster. We also choose not to make any big purchases and stay in a small house.
Q: What about Sydney?
A: Surprisingly, this is the number one question asked before leaving. This question always makes us laugh. What, are we going to leave our child in the US for 2 years while we travel? Hmm…tempting. But all joking aside, Sydney is the main reason we are traveling now and not waiting until retirement. We want to share the world with Sydney. Before we left to go on our round the world trip, with busy schedules we were only seeing her 3 hours a day. We felt like we were missing out on our daughter growing up and the last eight years has flown by. Before we knew it she would be off to college and we would only see her during the holidays if we were lucky.
Q: Why did we sell our house?
A: We went back and forth about whether to sell our house or to rent it out. In the end, we decided to sell our house so that we could have the freedom to relocate anywhere we chose. We also did not want to deal with the headache of renters. We would have been stressed about whether the renters were destroying our house and trying to deal with repairs while overseas.
Q: What are you doing for schooling?
A: Admittedly this is the area before we left that Kerri had the most anxiety about. However, Kerri is finding that homeschooling is whatever you make of it and there are no limits. Homeschooling on the road is about flexibility and to not maintain a rigid schedule. Before we left, we looked at a lot of different curriculums, but decided to go a la carte and choose what would work best for Sydney. We went with the Saxon Math, Sequential Spelling and Evan-Moor Daily Science. We read to her daily and she really enjoys reading books on her Kindle. For writing, she writes stories, weekly blog posts, and journals. As we travel we try to research and study each of the historical sites and famous art pieces we have seen. We have found that it works best to do homeschooling 7 days a week. This makes for a shorter school day for Sydney and gives us all more time to explore.
Q: Are you working while we traveling?
A: No, we cannot legally work outside the US without a work visa.
Q: Do you have a job to go back to?
A: No. We quit our jobs, and even if we had wanted to go back, we doubt they would have held our positions for 2 years.
Q: How did you pick the places that you are going to?
A: We came up with an ultimate wish list of all the places we wanted to visit and connected the dots on the map. We did have to omit some places due to our budget.
Q: What is your daily budget?
A: Everyone assumes we are going to spend a fortune traveling, however our daily budget is $100 per day. We found that if you travel slowly and stay in places longer that it helps decrease the cost. After all, most of the cost of traveling is related to lodging and transportation. By staying longer we get better rates and by not moving as much we save on transportation costs.
Q: How do you find your places to stay?
A: We found lots of websites where people rent out furnished homes and apartments for various costs. We have also signed up for a housesitting agency and hope to get some housesitting opportunities to help us save money with lodging.
Q: You are coming back to Portland, right?
A: No, as we travel we are looking at our options. We would prefer to relocate someplace with better weather than Portland. Sorry Portland…
Q: What did you do with all your stuff?
A: We sold what we could and donated the rest to charity. We did keep our photo albums and other keepsakes. It was really liberating getting rid of nearly everything. We recommend that everyone should do this once in his or her lifetime.
Q: What is the hardest part of traveling?
A: The hardest part was actually before we left…the getting ready to travel part. The logistical issues of selling everything, including our house, while working and maintaining our “normal routine” was a nightmare. Once we hit the road the travel part comes easy.
Q: Aren’t you afraid to travel to (insert “scary” country here)?
A: There are dangers everywhere. We have chosen places that are on the tourist trail and will not be venturing into unsafe areas. But things can change quickly and we keep up to date on safety through the State Department’s website.
Q: You know how to speak (insert foreign language here) right?
A: No not really, after all isn’t learning a new language while traveling part of the fun. We do have the Pimsleur language programs, which help a lot, but we are not fluent in any language other than English.
Q: Don’t you get sick of being together 24 hours a day?
A: Of course, we get irritated with each other from time to time, but we work it out. One thing we have found that works is to have lodging that gives us our own space. No more Paris sized apartments for us!
If you have any additional questions to ask us, feel free to send us a message and we will be happy to answer them.