What Our Nomadic Travel Lifestyle Looks Like: Family FUN!

July 04, 2011

Our travel lifestyle with global nomad  bathing beauty in Barcelona on July 4th

Depending on where we are in this big world, our global nomadic travel lifestyle looks different, but one constant is always the same and that is family fun...learning, growing, connecting with wonderful people and places while cherishing the gift of time together as a family. It's always the weekend and it's always spring/summer for us.

"To know you have enough is to be rich" Lao-Tzu

"Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion" - Hunt

Globetrotting recently in Jordan and Bhutan we stayed at exquisite luxury hotels, in winter we are usually in sea-view luxury like our large furnished apartment rental in Penang or Mediterranean view rental home in Spain. Sometimes we couch surf like we did in Moorea, Papette and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Occasionally it's hostels like Norway or Sydney. Summer means the ultimate European road trip via small RV ( or motorhome as they say in Europe).

camping Barcelona

It's thrilling to me that we are about to start our 6th year of this family nomadic lifestyle with such range and diversity while keeping to our $23 a day per person budget! By doing it, we prove that it can be done and it is easier and more enriching than most people realize. We never knew when we sold everything in 2005 to become location independent and perpetual world travelers, that we would become trend setters, so happy to see more people choosing a nomadic laptop travel lifestyle.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." Voltaire

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." Howard

This is our 5th year of extended  European road trips ( 3 to 7 months long) , so we have seen much more of Europe than most, including Europeans, thanks to  slow travel. We anticipate coming back for many, many more years, which makes our investment in our motorhome ( before starting our world tour) one of our smartest moves. When we are not here we store it securely in a garage for just 70 euros a amazing true-value way to keep a vehicle/home/storage unit in Europe.

3 happy kids in a hammock

Amongst families from Spain, France, Germany, Holland, UK, Ireland, Belgium,Denmark,Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia etc, we Americans are celebrating an idyllic 4th of July weekend at this beach resort in Barcelona. Under a canopy of shade trees, our 3200 square foot "pitch" - outdoor living room... holding our RV, large tent, hammock, lounge chairs, Italian table and chairs, BBQ, and bikes... makes for an ideal summer paradise to relax in and rejuvenate.

nomadic travel in Barcelona resort

The beaches, the three huge pools, the restaurant, store, the fresh baked croissants and baguettes gathered by kidlet via bike every morning, the sauna, exercise room, massages, steam room, whirl pool, kids club, kids disco, regular buses to central Barcelona, weekly outdoor movies etc makes it perfect for families and we just pay 17 euros a night here. Seeing my pareo purchased in French Polynesia on the line or Italian table cloth bought in Tuscany are happy reminders that makes me smile.

our 3200 sq foot travel home indoor/outdoor living at it's best

Better yet, because this is our 14th time here in 5 years, (often for a month or more at a time) we always know many people here because like us, lots are regulars. We're so happy to see our many Spanish friends and also German, Holland, UK and Switzerland friends.  It always seems so odd to me that some traveling families struggle for friends on the road, because our travel lifestyle prevents travel burn out, creates deep lasting friendships with locals and easy, fun, deep language and cultural immersion.

family fun= kids doing macarena at kids disco in Europe

 We've always had a little tent as a private play space for kidlet, but just bought a large one, now that she is a tween and wants more space for regular sleepovers and international PJ parties. She has favorite babies/toddlers that she's played with for years  and loves the multilingual Dutch teens who do creative things at the kids club ( they adore her trilingualism and Mandarin), but she also has a Spanish  BFF here and many Spanish friends that live nearby who come every summer, so she has known for years. It's the perfect place to have a lot of freedom in a safe environment and people on holiday are happy.

family fun in our travel lifestyle means pools with international friends

Little does she know that just immersing in her Spanish with her dear friends here or translating between her Spanish friends and English friends that she is doing some of her "world schooling". Language learning and re-immersing so effortlessly makes raising a multilingual child easy. Play time well spent. Dinners with local families that live nearby here or sleep overs with them there too makes this one of our "homes" with much deeper understanding about what a-life-in-Spain means, than most visitors ever get.


Of course, we do some formal road schooling every morning after our alfesco breakfast under the trees, like math, journaling, science reading, Mandarin, violin, and piano practice and my bookaholic loves to cuddle and read all summer long as usual (in all three of her languages). Sometimes she does her school work study time with her Spanish friend who has summer homework sheduled to do from her Catalan public school.

world school on our nomadic lifestyle learning Mandarin in Spain

Three mornings a week, Mozart does an hour of Mandarin Chinese lessons with her wonderful Dean of Studies at her Mandarin school in Asia. In this photo he is testing her on writing words in Mandarin and she is showing him via the webcam camera. She won the white board at the kids club here by bowling the highest score, ( a thrill for her like when she wins at bingo) so it is getting good use.

3 happy multilingual kids

Between swimming, ball tossing, reading in the hammock, morning beach walks, board games, eating alfresco meals and sharing tapas washed down by cava or Cervesa with friends, we parents get a bit of work and research done on these long, lazy summer days in beautiful Barcelona.

Yes, we still do some touring here too, and in August we will be off to Romania and Budapest, then this fall a USA road  trip before wintering in tropical Asia, but in this splendid sunny season, Barcelona is about dear friends and the Spanish style joie de vivre!

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" Mae West

We hope our North American friends and family had  wonderful Canada Day and July 4th weekends! Happy 235th Birthday America! Happy summer to all!

What simple pleasures are making you happy this summer?

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Rachel Denning

Love it! What a wonderful life.

I too feel so grateful for the amazing experiences we get to have with our children.

Thanks for this great summary.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Rachel! I hear ya, there is sooo much to be grateful for. Hope you and yours had a fantastic fourth and are loving your summer adventures!

Lori - The Unframed World

This post is very inspiring =). I think it would be fantastic to do some slow travel through Europe and the world to really get to know it and as you said, not get burnt out!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Lori- always happy to inspire. ;)

Slow travel is really key to not burning out when one is doing extended travel.

I've written a post about how to prevent travel burn out that I will get up soon.

We haven't had any or any homesickness yet.

Slow travel in Europe is really least for much so that we can't see stopping for many years.

We're usually at this campsite in June & September when rates are very low, alas this year we will be here some in high season so we can meet up with our friends from Sweden ( that was the only time they could come) so we will get hit with higher prices then.

Usually, we skirt the high season prices because we know the cheaper spots in Europe ;)

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. ;)

Christina Pilkington

Sounds like you're having a wonderful summer. Our simple pleasures have included many bike rides,smores, pool days, reading all the Greek Myths, zoos and nature centers, painting, San Diego and Las Vegas and in a month a trip to St. Louis.


Oh that sounds fun Christina!! I love the fun of summer. ;)

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