How To Travel The World as a Digital Nomad Family!
April 01, 2009
Recently we were featured on Dell's Digital Nomad site discussing how we do our extended international travel as a family, with a focus on meeting educational and social needs. I am going to re-post it here for our readers who did not get to see it.
We are a very ordinary family and we are into our
third year of an open-ended world tour, living well and traveling to
four continents, 29 countries and over 75,000 miles while living on
$25K a year! Today, one can live and school anywhere in the world and
all you need is a laptop (or three in our case). We have found that it
is easier, cheaper and more rewarding than most people realize, so we
want everyone to know that.
We did not set out to be trail blazers, but we seem to be doing this
longer than any other family and we have learned a lot along the way
that we are more than happy to share. We did not expect so much
interest in our journey, but then we recently read that 70 percent of
families would like to do extended world travel. Thus, we realized that
we already know a lot of the keys for living that dream and want to
support it for others.
We are thrilled that we have inspired others to go for their own
journey and see this trend toward digital nomadic living increasing in
these turbulent economic times. Families have different needs and
concerns than singles or couples do when it comes to a digital nomadic
One of our main reasons for our world tour was to educate our child.
We have found that there is no better educational opportunity for
tomorrow’s global citizen of the 21st century. There are many obvious
advantages of life as a field trip and the world as one’s classroom,
and we have been astounded by the incredibly beautiful sights and
generous, kind people that we have met.
There are also simply amazing educational opportunities online that
supports our daughter’s education. Little did we know when we began,
but education is going through a major shift now and in our searching
for answers, we have met and collaborated with some of the best
educational innovators on the planet.
My daughter was five when we began and just turned eight this fall,
so she does not spend much time on the laptop yet, but as a digital
native, she will be doing more and more of her work there. Even now she
takes her piano lessons in Spain via live Skype webcam with a teacher
She loves e-libraries, does some of her home-schooling on the
computer, talks to family and friends at home using her webcam, has her
own blog, and is taking a course this semester with John Hopkins University’s CTY program online with kids from around the country. She has even been interviewed by school kids in Boston live via Skype webcam calls!
We also do volunteer work by taking disadvantaged school kids (from
Harlem, South Bronx etc ) with us virtually through an award winning
non-profit called ReachTheWorld. (Please feel free to donate to this fantastic program and tell them that Soultravelers3 from the Journey to Europe sent you!).
Our daughter was a full participant in the Powerpoint presentation
when we met the kids in person at their schools and she helps with the
journals and live chats as well. She helps a great deal with the
planning of our trip and is a master now at maps plus a multitude of
subway and bus routes from cities around the world. It is astonishing
that this child who had never taken a bus before we left, is now an
expert on travel by freighter ship, train, buses, sailboats, ferries,
horses, bikes, hiking, camels and more!
One of the highlights for her when she rode in on a camel into the
Sahara in Morocco at the age of six and played a violin concert for 60 Berber children who had never seen a violin and who live without running water.
I never imagined that a middle-aged mom like me with mobility
challenges could do a camel trek deep into the Sahara with my family
via independent travel, but it turned out to be a great blessing as so
much of our trip has been.
If you have ever dreamed about extended travel with your family, I
am here to be a witness to let you know that it can be done and
extraordinary things can happen to very ordinary people. The hardest
part is making that choice, the rest is easy!
Oh, and one hazard of this world digital nomad life is you some
times end up with bad haircuts, so sorry we don’t look our best in the
One learns to be ever flexible on the road and little things like
colds and bad haircuts,thus they can’t stop us from getting the message