Around-the-World Family Travel

December 30, 2012

Family travel around the world - traveling girl and world map at KL airport

Time flies when  you are having fun! Around-the-world family travel has been the best decision of our lives, but we didn't know this ultimate adventure would change and enhance our lives so much before we took off. Have you ever considered packing up your family to travel around the world? This is the time of year, one tends to review the past, feel gratitude for a life well lived and gain greater clarity on future goals and dreams.

It's really hard to believe more than 7 years have passed since we started our location independent travel lifestyle and we've been blessed to have experienced so much of the world through slow travel. Wow! Forty five countries on 5 continents so far, living large on just $23/day per person. We've seen so many of these countries very deeply and we never really expected to see so much of our world. Travel like this can't help but change you profoundly.

It seems the digital nomad life, specifically global nomading with a kid, and world school or travel for education suits us all. This still amazes me. Like any life, it's not one without challenges, but I've grown accustomed to the freedom and just want more and more of that.  

In September 2005 we sold our dream house and embarked on this world traveling dream. We didn't even know if it was possible and had plenty of fears and concerns. That first year we just did domestic trips and spent most of our time in prep and research, practicing this new life as we turned into a super minimalist family selling off almost all of our possessions and getting all of our "ducks in a row" for even more freedom and world travel expansion.

around the world family travel an open door in China

Nobody was doing what we wanted to do, so we made it up and became accidental digital nomad and lifestyle design pioneers. We never really intended to go so long, but just loved the lifestyle. We never realized our world trip would have a travel 2.0 strong digital element and enhancement to it. Twitter didn't exist in 2005 when we began, Facebook was only a year old, and travel blogs almost non-existent.  Who knew the vast changes that would happen in the last seven years would make perpetual travel accessible to all?

Yes, we've done the 26 airport stops, 13 countries, completely around-the-world in 12 months with just a carryon each as well as the roadtripping around Europe in a campervan for 4 years. We've done extensive time in Asia, tripped around USA, Oz and NZ as well as exotic places like Bhutan, Jordan, French Polynesia, Morocco and Turkey. Yet, there are still so many more places we want to visit and linger or return, especially more time in South America and Africa.

2012 was a much more mellow year for us with a focus as a healing journey. I started the year deathly ill after having serious health issues for several years (since I broke my arm in Austria), which has made slow travel a must, way beyond just worrying about travel burnout. I am thrilled and deeply grateful that my health has improved tremendously after some extremely hard work, research, spiritual healing and radical healthy lifestyle changes for the whole family. I am not 100% yet, but well on my way. Facing death gives one a new prespective on life and what is important. This dragon feels reborn at 60!

Around-the-world travel mom- joyful, healthy travel queen in China

Mandarin fluency for our trilingual child, has been the other primary goal this year and Mozart has made huge strides. Learning Mandarin in Penang was one of our wisest decisions and it was beyond thrilling to visit mainland China this year for the first time with her fluent in Chinese. It made the whole trip so much more enriched and enriching. At her Mandarin school in China she tested at 3rd grade level upon arrival and just gained from there.

Where have we traveled to in 2012? California, Penang, KL, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and  Xi'an. Not as many places as many years, but an amazing journey on so very many levels.

What were your most precious accomplishments in 2012 and what do you want more of in 2013?

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You guys rock SO HARD!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

LOL! Aw, thanks Gregory, my daughter will especially like that comment! ;) Happy New Year and enjoy your travels!

Caterina B

Wow! You have had a wonderful 7 years!
It was great to see the photo of Jeanne looking so happy and feeling so much better! It made me smile.
My hubby is also 60 years old now and I dream constantly of just "chucking it in" and living somewhere else for a long time. Spain, probably or Mexico, since I speak Spanish. We'll see!
¡Feliz año nuevo a todos!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Catherine! I love that photo of me, even if it is not the most flattering and without a stitch of makeup on. I like how it captured the giddy spontaneous joy of travel and my deep gratitude to feel well enough to do some more!

Your plan sounds like a good one to me! ;) Go for it!

Have a magnificent 2013!


Happy New Year to the Souletravelers !
Love this photo of you Jeanne. You are positively radiant and your kindness shines through. Love.
My biggest accomplishment in 2012 was giving birth to my 4th child, at home. A journey in itself.
Travel wise, we spent 2 months on northern England through home exchange.
For 2013 we would love a bit more financial security... To be able to continue this lifestyle where we both get to spend lots of time with our children, have part time jobs that we love, stay in our nice seaside homebase while travelling a few months every year via home exchange or maybe in a campervan (for a change).

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Aw, thanks Gabrielle!

Bringing a beloved child into this world...can't be a better accomplishment than that! Congrats again!! Lovely that it was a home birth.

Wow, and you still managed to travel! ;)

Wishing you lots of abundance, prosperity and joy for 2013!...and lots of quality time, travel and fun with your kids!


It won't win any glamour and/or deep-thoughts awards, but I must say I'm quite proud of our family of four (includes two young ones) slow-traveling in France this past summer with, drumroll please, just 2 small carry on bags and 2 backpacks. From rugged alpine hiking to sophisticated Parisian gatherings...that's all we carried!

YOU and your blog were massively inspirational and pragmatically helpful in that department. As a matter of fact, I would love to read what your store of travel items includes at present day. Much like your posts of old (deep back in the blog) detailed, right down to shoes & socks & color-schemes that work for you, DaVinci, and Mozart. Count me and mine in the Minimalist Travel Club now and forever!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

You DO indeed deserve an award HullsEdge!! I do so need to write more posts I suppose on packing. We get even more minimalist as we go, but it's a bit tricky and time consuming to write because we change a bit here and there. ( ie what we brought to cold China is very different than what we brought to Penang or what we brought to Europe).

Some basics remain the same though...I am still wearing my travel uniform...same pants and shoes for 7 plus years!

I'll get to those posts ...after I catch up with China..maybe even do one on what we brought to China which was little but worked great!

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