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. No Portugal? :( I would be happy to meet you and your family.
    Sounds like an adventure and I’m sure you’ll love it and learn a lot from it. Plus it’s precous time with family and memories that wo’t eve go away!

  2. We traveled with 4 children for some 8 months back in 2005/2006. They were a bit older than yours: 11, 9, 6 and 4. We are from New Zealand and our first stop was Hawaii, where we spent 3 months in Kona, on the Big Island, doing a DTS with YWAM. Then it was 8 weeks in Israel. I can highly recommend Israel! It was such an amazing place and great for the children too.
    Our last few months were spent in Europe (I’m from the Netherlands), we were in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, mostly visiting friends and family. So our travel schedule wasn’t as exciting as yours but it was still a huge adventure. The then-4yo doesn’t remember much of it but the older three children do.
    If you make it to New Zealand, let me know :)

    God bless and safe travels!!!

  3. Crazy, crazy, crazy! But such a GOOD crazy! Blessings on you and your family as you go. Looking forward to “travelling” with you along the way. Thank you for bringing us along.

  4. Danielle B says:

    I live in Mexico City, Mexico. If you want to visit Mexico, we have an extra house you can stay in. Seriously! Enough room for the whole fam. My husband and I are missionaries here. AND I grew up in Langley, BC. Completely random I know, but if you want to practice your Spanish and see some pyramids, come!

  5. This is absolutely amazing! I would love to do something like this. We have traveled with 4 of our (now 5) children. We spent 2 weeks last year in Ethiopia, mainly in the rural south and absolutely loved it. The kids then ages 6-12 did fabulously and are begging to go back. We’re saving…

  6. How amazing Stephanie! I’ve heard of this site that you can live in people’s rental homes/rooms in their homes across the globe while you do some work for them- usually for their farm or garden for weeks or months of time. This is a great opportunity and know y’all will have the time of your life! Safety and prayer for you guys as you start this great adventure!

  7. Wow, that sounds very exciting for you! I can’t say though that I have any interest at all in doing the same, but I am so happy for you that if this is your dream, that you get to do it. I think that is wonderful.

    I had been wondering what you were planning!

    The only travelling I’ve done with my children is many long distance trips to visit family, many of those trips where we’ve made various stops.

    We’d like to do a cross Canada trip, maybe more likely one coast or the other. However at this point we have other priorities. Its something though that we are keeping in mind considering once our current priorities are dealt with (mainly the debt we are dealing with).

    I will be curious to see how things work with the children. Do you know of or have you read of anyone else who has done this? Not that you need to have, and there is always a first person/family to do something! I have a lot of questions but I will see if you answer them in your other writings.

  8. This is exactly what I’ve been telling my husband I want to to before our oldest graduates! One year around the world, schooling as we go. volunteering in places, doing odd jobs in others. Archaeological dig in The holy land? check. Hired on to help with the grape harvest in France? check. learn to ask directions in Greece? Ok! So excited for you, I will surely be following your new blog, and taking notes on the logistics and fundamentals. Kudos to you for taking the Dive head first while you can, instead of saying “I wish we had” later. Have fun, and stay safe!! TAKE PICTURES !!!!

  9. Mrs.Miller says:

    What an amazing opportunity! I wish we could embark on a journey like yours. We recently visited Spain for three weeks with our (at the time) 15-month old. It was a wonderful experience and we’re looking forward to traveling with our children as often as possible. I’m sure you already have a great plan for Spain, but I highly recommend visiting the Alhambra in Granada (one of the highlights for us as adults) and Nerja if you can afford some beach time. We also stayed in Seville, but looking back wish we would have spent more time relaxing and enjoying in Nerja. I wish you and your family safe and happy travels!

  10. Wow! Your post came at such a great time for me. My husband & I are trying for baby #3 after a long debate of how 3 or 4 kids could make traveling, homeschooling, providing for more difficult. We have been dreaming of doing something like this & it is so reassuring to know it’s do-able or at least attemptable (can’t wait to read all about it). We will be debt free, aside from student loans in 3 months. So hopefully I can keep taking your blogging tips & resources to set ourselves up for something this amazing soon!
    Good Luck! Wish you all the best! Your kids are going to love it!

  11. My Mom and her family did this when she was in college. She took a year off of college. Her parents sold their car and house and he quit his job. Then…they traveled around the world for a year, a full year. Sounds like it was an amazing experience. We still hear the tales of how my uncle when tiger hunting with the maharaja’s son, they rode camels and drank pina coladas. They were amazing at stretching their budget, and rented places for weeks and month at a time as well. They bought cars and then resold them. My Grandpa was a handy man so he’d usually spend 10-20 hours fixing up a car over a month and then resell it for a profit! Impressive :) Have you thought about purchasing a car from a rental company and then selling it back? It’s a lot cheaper than just renting a car…food for thought.

  12. What a great opportunity! We take every travel opportunity that comes our way because it’s such a wonderful hands-on learning experience for our kids. We just got back from a week in New York while I filmed a Food Network show. Traveling with four kids, the youngest being 6 months and the next oldest under 2 years was pretty interesting! The flight from our home town to New York had problems and a 3 hour flight ended up taking us 24 total hours of travel time before we got to our destination! Not fun, I can tell you that much. My advice? Always get an airline seat for the toddler. Babies do okay as a lap child but energetic little boys need some room to wiggle!!

  13. We’ve always wanted to do this, but haven’t been sure about the logistics with kids. Plus, twins are due in April, but I can’t wait to hear how it goes for your family! It will surely inspire me to plan that trip!

  14. Hi Stephanie,

    My family and I live in Istanbul. Let me know if you have questions or need help with accommodation. I’d be happy to help as I know the joys and challenges of traveling with little ones.

  15. Your children will look back on this with great memories, I’m sure!

  16. Sorry, gave you the wrong email the first time…. got typing excited!!!

  17. You should come up to see us in Nicaragua….. really inexpensive….

  18. Sounds exciting! Feel free to visit us here in Shell, Ecuador. You can read more about our adventures serving at Casa de Fe orphanage (www.lacasadefe.org) at our blog, http://lifewiththesekids.blogspot.com :) Happy Traveling!

  19. This sounds amazing! So excited for you and your family! I’m looking forward to following along on your travels!

  20. This is AWESOME! We would love to do this sometime, but we don’t have home businesses, so I doubt that will happen. ;) Way to have a goal and then do it! Looking forward to following you along!

  21. I love this! It is definitely challenging to travel with 4 kids but oh what an experience! We recently spent sometime in Costa Rica. I am excited to hear about your adventures!

  22. Exhausting but awesome!! It will really help that you’re going to land in one place for several weeks at a time. We spent 3 months in Brazil this past fall with our two young ones (2 and 5) and it was a great experience. We’d love to do more traveling once #3 gets big enough (currently in the womb!) Have fun!!!

  23. You will so love it!!!! We traveled around the country for 11 months in our 240 sq ft camper and while we had our ups and downs all 4 of us made it home alive. LOL! Loved, loved, loved homeschooling on the road.
    With your ages, worry less about traditional school work (books) and learn more about the areas where you will be. Even at 11, a couple boxes of flash cards for everyone’s math will suffice.
    Have the most amazing time. My sister will be in South American for a couple months – I’ll have to send her your blog and maybe she can show you around done there (she loves the area as well).
    Blessings !!!

  24. can i tag along? ;) sounds like an amazing excursion! btw, my sister-in-law is leaving today as a foreign exchange student & going to argentina for a semester. how interesting that i “know” several people heading to argentina in such a short amount of time! =) blessings as you travel!

  25. Estoy muy celoso!! Que disfruten su viaje! You should check out Chile or Peru while in South America. Machu Picchu is on my bucket list. Definitely go see Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Amazing!

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