We have been blessed to connect with many amazing families online, all of whom have adapted a travel lifestyle in one form or another. We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to them here and highlight the positive aspects travel has had on their families. Welcome our interview series called Families on the Move. Miro & I are honored to a part of this global community we consider our extended family.
We are a family of 5 originally from Connecticut, USA. I consider myself to be the travel spirit leader of the family, passionate about alternative education, travel, and attachment parenting. Dad is a writer, pragmatic and practical one, entrepreneur and dreamer. D, 13 years old, loves to snorkel, surf, and play Minecraft. C, 8 years old, can usually be found doing something Pokemon or Minecraft related but also enjoys time dancing, listening to music, and practicing kung fu. T, 4 years old, a spirited, energetic little guy that pushes the limits on safety daily and lives to tell about it!
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
Right now we are in Thailand, Phuket to be exact. We have been exploring Thailand and Laos for the last 4 months and have really enjoyed it. We left our home in the US over 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. We started out in Costa Rica as expats, exploring Central America as we set up our online business. After 3 years we started to get the travel bug and finally after a year of planning decided to head out for Asia and a more bohemian experience. Rather than the home we had set up in Costa Rica as a base, we now travel around the world homeless, living out of our backpacks. It suits us all quite nicely and allows us the freedom to see and do more.
Why do you travel as a family?
Well I wouldn’t have it any other way at this stage in our lives. It has always been important to us to see the world, but we thought it wasn’t possible with young kids. But we didn’t want to wait until we were old and out-of-shape and figured the experience for the kids would be tremendous. The perspective gained by becoming a global citizen is invaluable for the future of our children, so we have made it a priority for all of us. We learn, grow, and experience so many amazing things together. We all learn to adapt to new environments, foods, and cultures.
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result your travels?
There are so many benefits! The obvious ones like getting to spend so much time together, and experiencing new religions, cultures, and languages are all happening. But what I think has been most valuable to us as a family is learning to work really well together under pressure. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but even just moving on and off a train with 3 kids, 10 bags, and a stroller can really be a challenge. We have learned that the kids are capable of far more than we ever would have thought and so are we! Getting to see that in each other is one of the ultimate gifts. Since our original journey began, we also now speak functional Spanish.
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
What inspired us to leave the US and follow a new path was twofold: we were tired of the rat race lifestyle, and we wanted more adventure in our lives. The life of “keeping up with the Joneses” was not what we wanted anymore, was not sustainable, and was not what we wanted our children to live in.
After some time I believe the inspiration was to live a counter-culture but simple lifestyle and we thought seeing different parts of the world would be beneficial to our entire family. We had a friend in Costa Rica that was such an incredible ray of light. She had next to nothing but always had a smile and a presence that made the whole world illuminate where ever she was. Once we started to see these things in people we knew we would never be the same. We feel the people we meet while traveling has given us the gift of perspective that we would have never gotten otherwise.
How do you address education while you are traveling?
We have always been a bit unconventional in regards to education. We started out homeschooling and as I have educated myself further and let my children take the reigns on what they value most in the world we have seen that unschooling is what works best for us. The boys learn so much about themselves and how we function in society as a whole just by traveling the world.
We believe that children do not need to be schooled to gain knowledge and we trust in the fact that they will gain knowledge as it becomes pertinent to them. We are our children’s guides in this life, but at the end of the day it is their life and we feel they should be free to choose every aspect of it for themselves.
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
I think simply by being part of several communities. What we have found to be most amazing on this trip is that we stopped noticing the differences and started to see how similar we all are. Everyone seems to want the same things no matter where they live. They want to live peaceful, content lives and provide for their families. There is no better way to show a child that they are part of bigger world than just one country, culture, race or religion, than by taking them out and experiencing what the world has to offer and showing them that they are welcome everywhere!
Can you share one of your families most memorable experiences?
It is hard to pick just one but I went caving with the 3 boys one day. We drove our scooters way outside of town and found a small cave that said swimming inside. We were all intrigued and thought it would be fun so we paid a small fee and followed the path to the cave (the guide would not come in with us as we found out a few days later because they are convinced of giant snakes dwelling inside). As we stood at the entrance to the cave we were so filled with doubt, no lights, no handrails, nothing to even tell us we were at the correct opening. My 8 year old just ventured right in, crawling down under a huge mass of rock and convincing the rest of us to come along. We crawled through a few minutes when both my oldest son and I started to feel quite panicky about the whole thing but yet again my 2 youngest boys kept encouraging us to press on.
We made it all the way to the end, filthy with mud and exhaustion and there was the tiny water hole. Disappointment sunk in! My oldest kids took charge and went right in, under the rock formation to reveal quite a larger chamber for swimming. I was PETRIFIED!! But upon reflection of the moment I decided I had to fight past that fear, my youngest and I jumped in and we all had an amazing time. It wasn’t that the cave was so spectacular that made the moment amazing but the realization that my kids bring out the absolute best in me and help me see things I would never experience if they weren’t setting such a great example for me! It was a day we will never forget, a day we tackled what felt like the impossible! And where one of us struggled the others helped us through!
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an “aha moment”.
Probably one of the biggest “AHA’ moments was when we discovered that we really could just set off with no home and very limited belongings and just travel the world. We knew we were ready to leave Costa Rica and had been furiously searching for that next great location to settle down. I remember being pretty stressed out by it all and none of the spots felt right. I mentioned to my husband that there was a whole group of families on the move and that they mostly just live a nomadic life. His response shocked me! “We could do that”, he said.
It only took a moment for us to realize that this was the idea we were searching for. All the stress left my body and it was the first idea in months that just felt “right”!
We will be heading to Malaysia, Singapore, and then possibly Indonesia. The greatest thing about the way we have this all set up is that we really have no rules at all, we are free to make our path and change it as we come across something newly discovered that we would like to check out! The overall, tentative, plan is to travel for a couple years. Hopefully making our way across the Middle East, Europe and then over to South America, where we can meet up with you!
Lainie and her son Miro are living a location independent lifestyle, slow traveling around the globe and living in the present moment. Lainie writes about staying inspired, participating as a global citizen, volunteering, unschooling & natural learning. Lainie and Miro are both following their interests on the road, as the planet has been transformed into their classroom. Often you will hear Lainie say “we are blessed to be accidental world schoolers” and has become and an advocate for “life learning” at any age. Lainie & Miro have taken this philosophy to heart and are producing a series of family & teen oriented retreats in called Project World School.
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