The truth about long term travel with your family

We may never again get time like this to travel as a family. Most families never do because of work and school obligations, the time is never right or the kids are at an age where they may not want to travel, etc. We are very lucky that the stars aligned but the road to get where we are was really hard. Sometimes life flows and things seem to fall into place- other times, it seems you’re in a game of Frogger- where crap keeps on getting in your way when all you want to do is move forward.
It has taken some forty years for me to learn that sometimes when stuff keeps getting in your way- maybe it would be best to stop and change course. That isn’t always easy. I used to care about what other people thought of my decisions, was I making the right decision, what if my decision turns out really bad, blah, blah, blah. What a waste of time. Make up your mind, jump in and swim like hell!
When we were thinking about this trip- we had questions from people like what about Jesse’s career, what about the kids’ schooling and warnings about child abduction, malaria, yellow fever. Bad things can happen anywhere in the world, so what is the point of living in fear?
What if every morning we woke up and said to our kids, “Ok kids! Have a great day but watch out for pedophiles, disease, getting hit by a car, getting bit by a stray animal or breaking a bone.” How negative and lame that would be. Putting all the ‘what ifs’ and imagined fears aside…. we decided to just do it.
Some of my friends have asked what the traveling has really been like. Is there fighting, does anyone want to end the trip, etc. So here goes…
Is there fighting? The truth is- yes, there is fighting. We are five people together in close quarters for 24 hours a day. When we argue, it is intense, but short, then it’s over. When you’re with the same people you can’t afford to hold grudges, whine/complain, be a downer, etc.- otherwise, you’re going to be called out for it and held accountable. There was actually a fight at lunch today over who could sit closest to the table and who would get the first pancake. In the middle of the arguing I looked over to see a guy walking down the street with his pants falling down so his entire butt was showing. Not just part of the crack- but his entire butt! I thought he might be getting ready to pee (it seems as if you can pee wherever you want around here) but he just kept walking. I told the kids to stop fighting and look over. At that very moment, he dropped a cigarette and bent over to pick it up. We all got the giggles so bad! Those are some of the best moments of the trip (no, not random butts in our faces) but those moments where you laugh so hard together that you almost cry.
Has anyone wanted to end the trip? If given the chance, Emerson would be living in her own apartment in Manhattan Beach, California. She’ll have to wait awhile on that and, for now, tags along and usually makes the best of it.
One of the hardest parts for me is never having any time by myself. I am extremely social, but i’m also human and sometimes I need space. I am always (and I mean always) in close proximity to another person. I admit my nerves get fried at times but I just let my people know that I need to sit by myself and once in a blue moon- they accommodate! On a packed bus, in a crowded market- now that’s a different story. You have sweat drenched strangers rubbing all over you (some have a peculiar odor, others enthusiastically pick their nose, drink heavily and/or fart like there’s no tomorrow.) That is where my ‘positive energy in, negative energy out’ breathing exercises come in real handy! Namaste. ๐Ÿ™‚
Not many families spend this amount of concentrated time together. We definitely had things to work on in the beginning. We have learned to speak up for ourselves without being bossy and having our trip be a collaborative effort where everyone has a say. We’ve learned/strengthened how we cope with challenging circumstances. I’ve heard about people going through tough times and asking someone for help – they are given the advice “just pull yourself up by the bootstraps!” What is that?! My brother and I always joked about that. What are bootstraps anyways and if I pull them up, will my life really get better?! I prefer to tell the kids to ‘dig deep.’ When someone is confronted with a challenge, Jesse will say, “Come on! You’ve got this!” So, learning how to dig deep and find your strength combined with the knowledge that someone believes in you- I’d say those are two pretty good things to have going for you.
Are our homeschooling efforts producing three geniuses? Probably not, but history and science come to life at least once a day while traveling. Math, too, with converting money and buying food. Geography and phys ed – we definitely have those covered! We also read quite a bit while on trains or buses and we have the kids journal so they can look back and remember things from their own perspectives.
Is traveling like this for everyone? If you are a creature of habit and/or are used to the finer things in life- a trip like this might not be the best option for you. What keeps me going but what might be uncomfortable for other people is the thrill of the unknown. We don’t know what a new city will be like or a temple, the food, the people, a cave, a view, a waterfall… Until we get there. Sometimes it’s ok, sometimes pretty cool but sometimes you’re left speechless just looking around in absolute awe. Then we look at each other and we can’t believe we’re doing this and we’re doing it together!

Categories: kim rambling | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “The truth about long term travel with your family

  1. Kerri

    Love you guys!! You all look so ALIVE in these pics! XO

  2. Kerri

    Kim, I have to add that most people only day dream about taking off and seeing the world….you and Jesse are so brave and such an inspiration to your friends. You are truly blessed to have each other…partners!

    • Kerri- thanks, my friend. We are doing our best! In India now- total insanity. People come at you from every direction- begging, selling, touching. In Delhi today, Jaipur tomorrow. Wowsers! Love!

      Sent from my iPad

  3. peafour

    I absolutely love this post. We went on a 2-week RV trip this summer with my sister’s family and my parents. Hudson, my mom and I (and Brian for the most part) were in heaven and could have just kept on traveling the world together. But the rest of my family was pretty much done after one week. I think this adventure you guys are having is absolutely amazing, and I’m so happy you are able to do it. I’m having a blast tagging along via this blog. Thank you for sharing.

    • Boot straps reminded me of Todd Bruce. That worked well right Kb? I Love, Love this post!!! Much love Deddy ๐Ÿ™‚ XO

      • Oh Deddy! I swear on all that is holy that I was thinking about Todd, too. I have never heard of any instance where bootstrap pulling has actually done the trick! I love you lots! Please give kiko a big oil’ kiss. Love! Love! Love!

        Sent from my iPad

    • Ang- thanks, lady! An RV trip?! We have talked about that for years. So fun! Where did you guys go? I am happy you are tagging along with us, as well! Love!

      Sent from my iPad

  4. Pierre Barrieu

    Hang in there, you have 2 spacious nice and clean bedrooms waiting for you in Dubai, each one with en suite !

  5. aaron

    Loved this Kim. Interesting to have an honest perspective while in the middle of the trip. I am sure as time passes, you will remember SO many amazing this about your time together, the good, the bad AND the ugly. You are blessed to be doing this and the example you are all setting is upping the bar for everyone else. Loving your posts and know that we are all loving watching your adventures! Cant wait to have you back and have a little party for your glorious return! Much love to you all!

    • Aaron! What a nice comment – thank you. As much fun as we are having fun, we do miss our buddies! Thanks for being such good friends to us! Love!

      Sent from my iPad

  6. Jackie

    I love your ability to share from such a genuine and honest place! What an incredible experience- butts and all.

    • Jackie- I was going to take a photo of the guy’s butt (he could have cared less.) Lennon said that would be rude- so I listened to my five year old and went down the more mature path. I wish we could see Sid in person. We miss that little cutie. You should look into getting him an agent. Child models/actors/stars always seem to grow into really healthy happy adults! Love! Love! Love!

      Sent from my iPad

  7. The Browns

    It warms my heart & fills my day with sunshine reading everything you post. You are just amazing, all of you! Keep it real & keep on sharing. Love Love!

    • Kim! Glad you are enjoying it he blog. I am laying on the floor of a really bad hotel in India and I just noticed mouse poop on the floor. So tired i don’t even care! We asked them to bring us a cot. They brought in a dirty old comforter, put a blanket on it and said “as you wish.” Em and I shot a quick glance to each other and tried not to laugh. Thanks for the compliment, but we are not amazing- just very different. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So happy we’re back in touch. Love!

      Sent from my iPad

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