Nomadic Lifestyle With Children

June 29, 2012

nomadic travel lifestyle with kids means friends around the world in several languages

Can you live a nomadic lifestyle with children in a way that will enrich them and prepare them for our fast changing world? Of course! It's easier today than ever before and there are many different ways to do this. We had our fears and uncertainties before world traveling with a school age child, but are so grateful for the amazing and beautiful people and places we have experienced around the world.

Is being a  multilingual and multicultural world citizen a huge advantage for a 21st century student and global kid?  Is travel the best education? After almost 7 years of traveling the world as a family non-stop to 44 countries on 5 continents on just $23/day per person, our answer is YES! I encourage everyone to find ways at home or through travel to give thier kids a greater global perspective which encourages world peace and understanding.

"Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be aquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."  Mark Twain

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


I grew up with a nomadic life..lots of moving ( often every 6 months) and travel ..and my three siblings and I all thrived on it. I loved it then and I can see how it contributed sooo much to my entire life. Some people thrive on living in one place forever and not traveling, but I think that would have hurt me and bored me to tears. I think my daughter was born to be an explorer, trilingual and digital nomadic kid!

Military brats, diplomatic, foreign correspondents, World Bank, missionary and  IMF kids  have been living peripatetic lifestyles forever with their families. The rich have always traveled, often nomadic for years in the 1600's to 1800's doing a "Grand Tour" for education and expansion. Just look at the president and half the people in Washington to see that nomadic, world traveling can greatly enrich a life.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. " Mark Twain

Today you don't have to be rich, expats  or in the military or other business to travel the world and raise global kids. ANYONE can do this and it's easier than ever to school and work ANY where as a perpetual traveler.  I actually think doing this outside of the expat, diplomatic, foreign work, military or missionary route has way more advantages because the family is in charge instead of doing it on someone elses terms and timing. We can also skip the international school bubble and return regularly to world places and people that we love, so there is more consistency in friendships and life.

If you are considering doing this with your family, here are some posts that you might enjoy:

Homeschooling While Traveling

How to Travel Homeschool

5 Best Reasons to Learn While Traveling

Travel and Education

Education Through Family World Travel

Books and World Travel

How to Raise a Multi-lingual Child

Learning Vacations

Travel Lifestyle Kids and Long Term Friendships

How Nomadic Kids Can Have Long Term Friends

As monolingual parents who are raising a fluent as a native trilingual/triliterate ( Mandarin Chinese/Spanish/English) who have been traveling with her since she was 5 and she will soon be 12, we can honestly say this was the best decision of our lives. We can already see the tremendous benefits in who she has become and are so grateful for all the time togeher we've had with this choice.

It is actually cheaper, easier and more rewarding than most people know, so if you want more freedom and time together, I highly recommend a world nomadic lifestyle as a family.

"One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you always wanted. Do it now." Paulo Coelho

Any questions? How do you add more global perspective in your family?

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Ian and Wendy

"One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you always wanted. Do it now." Paulo Coelho - Just discovered that quote and love it!! I was just wondering how you guys were doing, too. :)


I'm not quite at the having kids stage of my life yet, but I would love to do this in the future. I couldn't agree more that you can teach a child so many more skills and important life lessons travelling than you can staying in one place.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

I love that quote too Wendy and Paulo Coelho is always wonderful. ;) It IS a good reminder...sometimes we forget how fast time is passing by.

I can't believe how fast these last 7 years have gone or even the last 12...seems like I just had my baby yesterday. ;)

Speaking of babes, how are yours? Happy to hear from you and hope you are all well and happy.

Things are good here. I am enjoying Asia more this time...finding Asian ways seeping into me. ;) Still focused on healing and getting Mandarin in kiddo.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

I think it is a very smart idea Arianwen to think about this long before having children. We always knew that lots of world travel would be part of our lifestyle..of course we didn't know it would look exactly like this.

Travel is a bit addicting and the world is big! ;)


My parents are still in the same house I was born in. There is something to be said to those are who are content to never leave their home. But I think for most people, including my parents, there's more too it. They've either forgotten how to dream. They can no longer imagine what it must be like to wake up on a sea on the other side of the world, speaking another language, meeting new friends, and eating good food. Or their fears or greater than their desire to do so. I feel for people like this, especially as I have worked with stateless people in Burma and see people who cannot even get a passport.

Very good points on how the rich have always traveled. Those who have wanted to travel have always found a way. Speaking of missionaries, I know of missionaries in the 40s who made it over to travel Europe with their kids. Missionaries could travel. The problem is a lot of them have just moved the US to the otherside of the world, and the thought of travel never crosses their minds. But some of them do move out in the villages, travel, and immerse, and you can tell the difference in the kids behavior and how they relate to the world.


You are an inspiration - I would love to do something like this, but doubt I could ever convince my spouse to! lol. So we travel when we can.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Interesting thoughts Marlana as always! Funny, how you turned out so different than your parents as far as travel!

"just moved the US to the otherside of the world"

I find many expats do this.

BTW, I am just behind in answering comments, so I will get to your other questions on old posts soon!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Aw, thanks so much for the high complement Carol! Quite wonderful that we can inspire others just by being ourselves! ;)

There are MANY ways to bring the world to your child ...and they are all good.

To do this each spouse and each child has to love it I think.


I so love your blog, life and spirit. I am the mother to one quirky, artistic, yet a bit shy girl. Her father and I are determined to set sail the beginning of 2013. She is in a full immersion Spanish school now, and I speak some Spanish. My husband has lived in Germany for four years many years ago. We want to have a home base (possibly bring our beloved second pet child), but we can't agree. I want some stability for my child yet value the traveling education. Any advice or tips you can spare on where to home base, living options (RV vs. renting a flat some where), and ease of traveling without visas? Thanks so much!


I would love to know more about how one would earn income while carrying on this lifestyle. I just had a baby, almost 7 months ago, and I was a nomad before I had him so I am eager to get out and starting doing this again! I am so happy I found this blog!


I have always been a free spirit and longed for a nomadic lifestyle, either on my own, with a partner or as a family, but of course my dreams were broken at 22 when i was so depressed and ended up having a child i didnt want to a complete loser which we now have no choice but to have shared custody rights, all those dreams, i feel i may never get to experiance, im stuck and cant have that life. i only have it now in my dreams...

Brandi Shae

Hello, Your blog is amazing!! How did you prepare for this lifestyle? How do you make a living while providing this educational worldly travel?? I fantasize about this type of lifestyle for my husband & I, we have 2 little boys, 7 & 5... Any insight on how to achieve this would be so appreciated!!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Stephanie..sorry late getting to this, but when one is on the move it is easy to miss a comment.

I try to put all the info on the blog to help others and I also do private can contact me on via our contact page.

Just too complicated to try to answer in a blog comment and it is all so individual as to what works for one family and may not for another as each kid and family is different with different needs and goals.

I will try to address this in more blog posts. Good luck and happy travels!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Good for you to start planning early Serina. How to make money on the road will vary for each person, but VERY popular ways are teaching English and doing graphic you might look into those.

So happy you found our blog too!! Welcome and know there is a ton of info on this site.

Good luck!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

So so sorry to hear that em. Perhaps there will eventually be a way around this. Hugs!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much happy you discovered our blog! Welcome!

I try to put all the info on the blog and will keep writing on this topic.

Check out our Q and A section that might help as well.

NO ONE was doing this when we began and why we are case studies for 4 Hour Work Week and the Art of Non-comformity...two books you should read!

Now many families do this, but the ways they do it vary from family to family...but the info is easy on the web.

I also do consults or check out Digital Nomad Academy and tell them I sent you.

Happy planning!

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