We’re Going Around the World. Literally.

trip world journal closeup

Written by Stephanie Langford, Creator of Keeper of the Home

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for so long, and yet now that I’m writing it, it feels surreal and I don’t even know what to say.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been hinting that our family is packing up and that an announcement is coming, so here it is:

This Tuesday morning, our family is getting on an airplane and starting the trip of a lifetime. We’ll be traveling around the world. For one year. With four young children.

One of my favorite parts of preparing for this trip has been the reactions. People either think we’re absolutely insane and could never imagine doing what we’re about to do, or they get a wistful look on their face and say how much they would love to do what our family is doing.

I know your minds must already be buzzing with a million questions, so let me attempt to answer some of them.

1. Where are you going on your trip?

The itinerary still changes from week to week, but here’s the basic schedule at the moment:

  • Jan 22-April 16 – Argentina, Uruguay and possibly other nearby countries (Bolivia is on my wish-list)
  • April 16- June 16 – Traveling around Europe by train (Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Sicily, Southern France, then into Spain)
  • June 16- August 7 – Spain
  • August 7- early Sept – Turkey

From that point, it becomes more unsure because we haven’t bought the rest of our plane tickets yet. Most likely it will look something like:

  • 4 weeks in East Africa (some combination of Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda)
  • 4 weeks in India or Israel
  • 8 weeks in Indonesia
  • 6 weeks in China and Hong Kong
  • 2 weeks in Australia
  • 1-2 weeks on a South Pacific Island (Tonga, perhaps?)

This Google map shows the places that we anticipate we will visit during our trip (if you can’t see all the pinpoints, use the zoom out button to see more of the map at once).


View The Langford Family Round the World Trip in a larger map

2. Will you keep blogging?

Absolutely. Keeper of the Home will continue on as usual, with all our regular writers, the phenomenal team that helps me to run the site, and I will still share weekend links and write posts as often as I can.

I will share about our trip somewhat in the posts that I write, although I”ll still focus more on the types of healthy living and homemaking topics that you’re used to reading here.

I will, however, be blogging about our trip elsewhere. We’ve launched a new blog (literally, just launched this week) called EntreFamily Travels, where both my husband and I will write.

We’ll be documenting our trip, sharing photos and videos, keeping friends and family up-to-date, as well as sharing our experiences and thoughts on this journey, as well as explain the logistics of how we’re making this trip work with two businesses and four young children.

3. How can you afford to travel for a year? Are you loaded?

Nope, and we haven’t received an inheritance or some financial windfall, either. The main reasons that we can travel for a year is that we are completely debt-free, we are giving up all of our expenses in Canada (selling our vehicle, giving up our rental house, etc.), plus we will continue working and running our businesses while we travel.

We won’t be traveling in the typical tourist sense, because we want to go a little slower, keep working and homeschooling, stop and rent apartments for weeks and months at a time, cook most of our own food, use public transportation, and live like locals as much as we can. That alone will keep our costs much lower than a regular vacation.

Essentially, our earnings from the work we do while traveling and the fact that we’re keeping our expenses low allows us to live on what we earn. We’re also trying to avoid particularly expensive places to live, we won’t be renting a car very often, and we certainly won’t be out sightseeing every day.

We have had to work very hard over the past couple of years to save up money for upfront costs, like our plane tickets, trip gear and that sort of thing. We’ve also gotten creative and found ways to earn extra money to boost our savings for a few things we really want to do (like 8 weeks traveling around Europe by train, and my husband taking an adventure tour to Antarctica).

trip moving binder and books

4. How can you do this with four small children?

I won’t lie and say that I think it will be easy. There have been so many considerations to make for the fact that a) we’re traveling as a fairly large family with 6 people, at least large compared to the average family size in many of the places that we will be visiting, and b) our children range in age from 11 months old up to 8 years old.

In other words, we still live in the land of babies that require semi-regular naps, toddler tantrums, developing taste buds, and childish squabbles.

(and on the flip side, we get to delight in perpetual knock-knock jokes for airplane entertainment, uncontrollable giggles, being our kid’s favorite playmates, and wide-eyed childish wonder)

Bringing small children also means that we have less manpower when it comes to carrying baggage (and we’re backpacking, so that’s a big deal), we’ve had to plan our homeschooling to be entirely digital (due to lack of space for packing books), we have to consider sleeping arrangements and accommodations costs much more carefully than most budget travelers, and a myriad of other things, like how exactly do you diaper as you circle the globe?

5. What made you want to take a trip like this?

There are so many reasons for this trip, I decided to write a post on our new blog with 25 reasons why we’re taking our children around the world.

trip homeschool stuff

Some of the tools we’ll use for homeschooling on the road.

6. Why now, when the children are still small? Why not wait until they’re older?

There are multiple reasons but among them I would say:

  • Because we know that we can do it now. Our businesses, as they stand right now (though it’s taken some work to get them to this place) can be run remotely, through the  internet and phone calls, allowing us to earn a living while we travel. We have this golden opportunity to do this without having to save up for 10 or 20 years first. What if our circumstances changed a couple years down the road and by hesitating, we had lost our chance to do it while we could?
  • We’ve spent the past 5 years laying the foundations for our businesses, with one of our primary long-term goals being more time together as a family (especially more time with Daddy) once they were well established. These five years have been rewarding and a blessing in many ways, but also more exhausting than I can say. Starting and building two businesses from the ground up requires an enormous amount of sweat equity, lost sleep, and sheer tenacity. We want to actually reap some of the fruit of what we’ve been sowing, and for us that means extended time together as a family while our children are still young.
  • Carpe diem! Seize the day. There is never a better time to take a risk, to begin an adventure, or to step outside of your comfort zone than now. Achieving our goals and plans for tomorrow begins by stepping out in faith today. We’ve always said that we wanted to travel with our children, to teach them to dream big and trust the Lord to do amazing things, to instill in them compassion and a generous spirit through seeing and serving others, to encourage them to be entrepreneurial, innovative and courageous. What better time to start living out our values as a family than right now?

trip laptop new website

Would you like to follow along with us as we travel?

You can find our new family blog here.

If you’d like, you can receive our free email updates each time we put up a new post, or subscribe by RSS feed. We also have a Facebook page and even a Pinterest board.

Our first flight leaves this Tuesday, January 22nd. We’ll fly first to Miami, FL for a brief layover where we’ll visit with family that live nearby, and then on Wednesday morning we’ll catch our first international flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

At this point, we have an apartment booked in Buenos Aires for one week, and then? We’re just going to see what we think once we’re there, and make a decision about where we’d like to spend our first 6-week stint, settle down in a small city or town, start working on our Spanish, and get a feel for Argentine daily life.

Beyond that, well, you’ll just have to come and read the blog. :)

Have you traveled with your children? And just because I’m curious… insane or awesome? Would you do something like this?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. One good thing about going slowly is that you have time to get over jetlag. The political situation could change as you go along though so you may have to re-schedule.

  2. Invest in quick dry underwear and a few shirts
    long skirts, cardigan and a scarf are a must for mama
    tiny, handmade finger puppets are the best travel toys
    always have something to eat and drink on hand
    best advice I was ever given was that if you freak/stress out about your kids’ behaviour while on a bus/train, others will start to as well. Most observers take their cues from the parents.
    I was born and raised overseas and am raising my family overseas as well so travelling (for shorter stints!) is always a part of our lives (=
    don’t ignore the middle east – they are the MOST accommodating and understanding to families with young kids. Best.Ever.Travel.

  3. Wow! Czech Republic. Please tell the country hello from me when you are there. You will be going there at the perfect time of year. What a blessing! Enjoy every minute of your long, long trip and make sure you eat lots of the delicious food they have in the Czech Republic. You will have never tasted anything quite like it!

  4. Amazing and exciting! We’re doing something similar. My husband and I and our kids are moving to Morocco for a year – because we can! I have a few planning months left before we actually leave but am overjoyed at the opportunities it presents. Weekend in Paris? Why not! Cruise to the canary islands – yes! I hope to follow your homeschool journey as this is what I will be doing with our oldest and it’s all new to me! Safe travels!

  5. So so cool :-D My parents bravely took my two younger brothers and I to Papua New Guinea for two years (with lots of travel along the way), when we were all in elementary school. It has had such a huge and lasting impact on my life.
    My husband and I spent 2011-2012 in Uganda – if you’d like contacts or idea for visiting East Africa, let me know!

  6. I’m so excited for you! I went on an 11 month mission trip to over 11 countries a few years ago with the World Race & Adventures in Missions. It was amazing! But ever since I arrived back in the States, I’ve been itching to go again, to serve more people in more places. My husbands way more of a homebody than me, and since we have a 13 month old plus wanting to expand our family, traveling doesn’t look to promising anytime soon. BUT, your journey is inspiring and gives me hope. My concern is taking my child from her grandparents and family for a long period, that would not go over well AT ALL! And I can only imagine those long plane rides, and crowded bus trips!!

  7. Come to Peru! We live here in Arequipa and it is beautiful (and much cheaper than Argentina). Sounds like an awesome adventure and right up my alley.

  8. I follow you on face book and didn’t see this post! You’ll do great! I will follow your new blog! If you go to Tonga I was in the peace corps there and meet my husband there! All of his family still lives there on the main island and Nuiatoputapu! I’ll tell you all the yummy food to eat that I miss! :()

  9. What an awesome adventure! This is so cool! I have four little ones and would love to do this if it were ever possible. Many blessings For an incredible trip!

  10. You go guys! My husband and I are on a trip around the world now (its been 11 months, only 3 more left!), with no children and its been amazing! God bless you as you go!!!

  11. Have loads of fun! We lived in England with three little ones for 2 years and did tons of traveling. Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, a little bit of Belgium, etc. Would have done more had we not had to relocate early for work reasons. We would both go back in a heartbeat! As far as having the three young kids on the trips, you just learn to manage and get it done…somehow. :)

  12. I am so excited for you all and am looking forward to following your adventure!
    May I ask why it says “54 weeks…” on your EntréFamily Travels subscription site?

  13. We travelled with our 14 month old around the world for 4 months – it was the best experience we ever had. we also wrote a blog – people thought we were nuts before we went but after they read our blog more and more of our friends also realized you can travel with kids. Though we did not have four kids – just the one – there are some challenges but the reward for travelling with your child is amazing – we met so many more locals and had so many more positive family experiences then we would have had travelling without our child – we went to egypt, vietnam, cambodia, thailand, indonesia, fiji, new zealand – and we survived some long overnight train trips doing it as well! have a great adventure!

  14. How exciting! Yes, crazy, but a good, adventurous crazy! We always talk about traveling when we reach retirement, but it would be so much better to experience some of that now while we’re young enough to handle the adventure. :) Looking forward to reading about your experience!

  15. I am living in China I may not be here still when you make it but I can give you a great foster home to visit if you would like it is right out side of Beijing in a small village.

  16. What an awesome idea! You’re going to get so much out of this, and so will your kids. But I am shocked not to see Japan on your list! I highly recommend visiting Japan if you’re going to be in East Asia anyway. I’m living on an Army post near Tokyo, and would be happy to help with your plans.

  17. You are CRAZY! But that’s really neat that you are willing to embark on a grand family adventure. Just getting through the upcoming days with newborn twins and an 18-month-old sound like plenty of adventure for me! I hope you have an amazing year and can’t wait to follow along via your new blog. Godspeed!

  18. Wow! Talk about the adventure of a lifetime!!! I can’t wait to follow along with you through your blog! Safe travels!

  19. Wow, what a great plans! I don’t think that I would be that brave, traveling around the world with four small children, but it sure sounds great! I don’t see the Netherlands on your list, but feel free to contact me if you need an address or good places to stay over here. Have a great trip!

  20. This is a great idea! As someone who grew up overseas and just moved my family overseas again, I truly believe it’s a great experience for children. Will you be visiting any Christian workers or getting any ministry perspective? Like I said, we just moved Shanghai. Learning our way around is a HUGE challenge, and we speak a little Chinese, so do be prepared for many, many frustrating moments (I’m sure you know that). And feel free to look us up if you stop in Shanghai and are looking for people who live there to help out. We should have things more figured out by the time you get here.

  21. Love this. SO glad that you are walking out my plan that I have been holding onto for 15 years now, even before I had kids. I am encouraged ! You bet I will keep up with your travels!!

  22. I read this and I had to look away and breathe for a minute. Like walking into a huge quilt show where you’re so gloriously overwhelmed that you don’t know where to look first. This is so fantastic! I seriously could not be happier for you if you were my best friend. I hope you have the time of your lives – and we will follow along and be inspired!

  23. So happy to see this announced and can’t wait to follow along! Will be praying for you as you leave on Tuesday.

    jamie

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