If you ever thought traveling full time with small children was not possible, think again!
Erin, Josh and their two Children (2 & 4 years) have been traveling the globe full time since May 2012. They share their stories and tips for family travels on their blog TravelWithBender.com
Here the traveling Aussie family talks about their life on the road…
You travel full time as a family, what is the most challenging part?
Potty Training – that is so hard when you are always out and have a new house where your son forgets where the toilet is. But really travel days are the hardest. Catching a flight or a bus, moving luggage with two toddlers is not fun.
What advice can you share for those who want to travel full time but are scared to take the leap?
Nothing I can say will make you take the leap. You have to find the courage within. Our journey will encourage you and make you realize how possible it is, but that final step will be with your feet. We are living proof you can do it. One step at a time, start with the plane ticket, the rest will follow.
I can offer one piece of advice though, start close. I was nervous about the whole experience so we started with Bali, a mere 3 hour plane journey from our home in Australia. Now we are in Guatemala – a much longer journey home!
Was there a catalyst moment that made you want to travel full time?
It was 2011 and we had done 4 international trips as well as several in our own country. The last time we flew back to Australia we thought how ridiculous and expensive it was to keep flying back all the time. And then we thought… Maybe we shouldn’t? Maybe we should just keep going?
What are your plans for the future? How long do you see yourselves traveling for?
This year is loosely planned out with Puerto Rico, USA, Israel & Europe. My brother has just got engaged and the wedding is in January next year so that has given us a timeline to work to for the first time. We are not sure if we will stay in Australia, but we are definitely heading back for a long visit. We would have been travelling for 1 year and 7 months by then.
How long did it take you to plan your epic adventure? What was the most challenging part of the planning?
We started planning wend of 2011 with plans to leave July/September. Then a friend asked to rent the house in April 2012. All plans were immediately in fast forward mode and we were off 5th May 2012. The biggest challenges were selling the cars and stuff, renting the house & finding a home for our happy puppy, Snuffy.
What changes did you make in order to save money for your travels?
The biggest change was just stop buying. We no longer needed house stuff, food, clothes, shoes. In fact we had to get rid of most of it. Also once the cars were sold the payments stopped and we were saving money. Now with full time travel we spend almost 2/3rds less of our income we spent living at home.
What has been your most valuable lesson learned from travel?
That home is where I am. I had a house, a car, and a job. Now I still have all those things even if some of them don’t belong to me. My home is no longer defined by an address or ownership. 4 walls and a roof no longer confine it. My home is where I rest my head with my family. My home is where my suitcase lives and my children sleep. It still is 4 walls and a roof (well except that one time in Bali), generally it usually has an address, but a home has become more then that. I use to sleep very badly on the beginning of holidays getting used to a new bed and foreign sheets. Now I can hit the sack and quite swiftly pass into unconscious slumber. When did it happen? Somewhere along the road.
Fun Fun Five
If you could travel back in time, which era and place would you go to and why?
It would be to Italy in the time of the Gladiators. I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and the beautiful Roman ruins. Not keen on the Christian killing and all that, but find the whole history fascinating.
If you could travel with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Johnny Depp would be a riot. But have to say we would love to travel with… whoever has their own private jet.
Favorite country and why?
It’s a tie between Italy and the US. I had always wanted to visit Italy and my first time was magical. The history, the food, the romance. But after two trips to the States now we are so in love with it too, there is so much to do in one country!
What city was has been best value for money?
Penang. The accommodation was so cheap, transport was, movies, food, shopping you name it. They had the beach, they had mountains and it was so close to many other cities that even flying was cheap.
If you had to chose a country other than your own to settle down in, where would it be and why?
Possibly Kuala Lumpar or Penang. Both speak English, are close to Australia, have excellent internet and are very affordable. I would also choose Bali if the internet there was improved. Oh or the USA, it is all of the above, except close to Australia.
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