Top 10 Questions for Our Nomadic Family

Boots in Nevada visiting Hoover dam

Boots in Nevada visiting Hoover dam

I finally decided to take pen to paper and provide answers to the questions we have been asked about traveling around the world as a family over the years.

Tired of the mundane, 9-to-5 jobs and the lack of excitement, we decided to end the chapter on the conventional way of life in 2010 and start a new one as full-time travelers seeking adventure and fun.

We have no home of our own to go to, or friends in the immediate vicinity to count on, or family to be around—a thought that many find unfathomable to imagine. We have also sensed a loss of our own identities over the years, becoming strangers whenever we visit our respective hometowns we grew up in. Friends moved on, the familiar disappeared and the new looked foreign—life, of course, doesn’t stay the same.

Some say we are simply not living the life most people dream of, but we believe we are—a modern-day, nomadic family who loves to travel and experience the world in a unique way. We discover it with our children—learning, documenting and exposing them to what we encounter. We believe the more we learn while exploring this amazing Earth we call home, the better people we will become. Moreover, we have the chance to share our stories with you along the way.

Here are the top 10 questions we always hear about our nomadic life:

Why do you do this?

Button @ the Niagara falls getting wet

Button @ the Niagara falls getting wet

We travel for various reasons. First and foremost, it’s fun and we love adventures. I guess you can say we’re addicted. We want to discover what the world is made up of and gain knowledge as seasoned travelers. We simply don’t go from one place to another for the sake of ticking locations off a long list. We take our time—three to six months in any given place—to experience it fully as locals. When we feel we have finished exploring the region, we move on to a different location with work to be found. This is the best way to learn what most people don’t when they travel to a region for a short period of time. In the end, we always come away with a totally different perspective than what we had when we first arrived.

Where is your home?

First, when we are asked where we’re from, we always stumble on the words. However, after a long explanation and a big smile we say “Denver” and “Paris” (not the one in Texas).

We used to have our own house, but now each place we travel to becomes home for a given time. Do we miss having a permanent address? We do, but would we like it if we had one again? Not so much. We love our way of life, stepping beyond our comfort zones where some people hesitate to push past theirs. Simply put, the four of us are a strong and loving family regardless of where we live.

How do you travel with kids?

Visiting Mt Washington, NH

Visiting Mt Washington, NH

Traveling with kids can be challenging, especially if you have toddlers or babies like we do (two and three years old), but we haven’t had any real problems. Honestly, they’re a lot of work, and we have experienced occasions with them the hard way. Although if you do it right, traveling with little ones can also be very pleasant.

We find it very rewarding to have our kids come along with us. They have already seen half of the world, tasted different foods, met new people and have been exposed to unique cultures. Yet, cuddling with mommy and daddy in a hotel room at the end of the day is one of their favorite pass-times. We always make sure they have time for naps, music to relax to, tons of activities to keep them entertained and a playground nearby. As for us, the parents, there’s wine and ibuprofen during our own story-time in the evening.

Our children have adapted quite easily to the packing and unpacking, checking into hotels and moving into new places. Although they are well-behaved, they always do what every kid does: doing something they shouldn’t and getting in trouble.

How do your kids learn?

Boots & Button @ the library looking for books

Boots & Button @ the library looking for books

Strangely, everyone we meet is worried about our kids’ education, their need for friends and missing the aspect of interacting with others in school. For us, this is not even an issue. I’m a doctor and my wife is a nurse, so we teach them quite well with home-schooling and raise them properly as any other loving parents would. My son, who is three now, learned the alphabet and to count to 10 when he was eighteen months old—that’s amazing. On the other hand, my little girl shows no interest in learning some things at the moment, but I know she knows a lot when she’s asked. In terms of being social, our kids aren’t socially awkward but rather eccentric and eager to learn. They never hesitate to play with kids their own age when they go to a playground, either. We call our children Irish twins when someone asks us how close they are, because they seem so with a unique love they show one another. Maybe they are twins after all.

How many countries have you visited?

Us in Montreal, Canada

Us in Montreal, Canada – Not a warm day

The answer is a lot. We have lived and visited most of the states in the USA, taking in the magic of fall in New England, bundling up for a day-trip in the Rocky Mountains, getting wet on rainy days in the Pacific Northwest, and finding the coolest place to be on the hottest of days in the Southern California desert.

Along with traveling to every compass point possible around the globe, we also visited numerous times Québec, Montreal and other parts of Canada, Sri Lanka for five months, New Zealand for six months and England. Our goal for the near future is to spend five to ten years in different European countries, living in much the same way we currently do in the U.S.

How do you afford to travel with a family all the time?

We do it the best we can. When we arrive in a new place, we work a few days during week, in order to afford to live for the three to six months we have planned on. My wife is a travel nurse, which means she works at a hospital for set amount of time, and I’ve become a stay-at-home dad and work on computers. Our kids always have a roof over their heads, different playgrounds to amuse themselves, new food to try and different climates to enjoy. We also make money on advertising on the website, but as everyone knows it’s not enough to live off just yet. One day it will be, but until then we have other means to support ourselves.

What are your misadventures?

Christina in Sri Lanka, observed by locals

Christina in Sri Lanka, observed by locals

That’s a good one! We have had so many misadventures, and each one is funnier than the next. We laughed when they happened and afterwards, too, but we always move on. Here is a sample of those:

  • Our credit and bank cards were stolen two weeks after arriving in New Zealand. The $100 NZD we had in cash didn’t get us very far during the week it took to receive a new credit card.
  • One day on a mountain hike in New Zealand, we were pursued by a herd of crazed cows. Just as we were escaping through an open gate, my wife literally got stuck in the mud. Luckily, she was able to break free before the cows rounded on her.
  • We placed our faith in our GPS on drive one day, and its idea of a shortcut was up a hill where we ultimately became surrounded by a thousand sheep. There was no way out, and we had to stay put. About 15 minutes later, a sheepdog came from out of nowehere and climbed up onto our car. It started barking at the flock, and before we knew it they began moving away.
  • Somehow my wife manages to get pooped on by a bird in every city and country she visits.
  • We’ve lived in two different haunted houses. Of course, the landlords thought it would be a fun surprise for us to find this out after we signed the lease agreements and moved in.
  • Our car was broken into in the parking lot of the apartment/hotel stay in Houston, Texas—camera and GPS gone.
  • Once we were chased by a group of angry Mexicans in the Big Bend National Park for taking a pretty-looking, purple rock we saw in a pile on the side of the road. Later we realized it was amethyst, and that they must have been selling it along with the others.
  • Our son had a dramatic spell of diarrhea during take-off on a commuter jet. The only way I could try to keep the scene under control was by stuffing a bunch of paper napkins down his diaper, but that proved to be futile.
  • Not long after my wife had given birth to our son and was pregnant with our daughter we made a trip to Sri Lanka. She was not only tired, but she also admitted that she didn’t feel like getting all dolled up as she normally would when going out. As far as I’m concerned, she’s beautiful no matter what. Yet, without fail, she heard the cat calls, whistles and marriage proposals from young, handsome men, who proclaimed their undying love for her, regardless if I or my son were with her. Young Sri Lankan men are keen to marry Caucasian tourists and love knows no barrier. To top it all off, the country is notorious for overcharging tourists. One day, we had to flee from local tour guides who insisted that we pay them not only for tickets to an attraction we didn’t want, but also for information they volunteered to provide us.

Of course, we’ve had some fun adventures, too, such as winning a trip to Las Vegas and a cruise.

What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you?

They are literally ghost stories:

Life in our rented apartment in Lancaster, New Hampshire, took a turn shortly after we moved in. We first blamed our kids for hiding things, but items still went amiss when they were either asleep or not at home. The neighbor downstairs also blamed our son for the disturbing “noises” that came from our place. Again, this happened while we were out, or when the kids were taking a nap. We also caught whatever haunting entity was there on tape.

Click here to read more about this creepy story:

Do you get tired of traveling?

Christina & me traveling in Denver

Christina & I traveling in Denver

Not at all. But do we sometimes get tired of constantly being in motion? Yes, sometimes. It happens when we are always “guests” in a place we visit: staying in a hotel, motel, Airbnb or with family. Occasionally, we live out of our suitcases for weeks. Even if we miss what comforts us, we can’t think of not traveling—it’s simply in our blood, and we won’t be happy living in one place for a long period of time.

When will you stop?

Never, and we hope we won’t have to any time soon. Our wish and goal are to travel for many more years to come—at least until we have seen what we have planned. Who’s to say we won’t change our minds in the future, but until then we’ll remain modern-day nomads.

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Bravo! Travel while you are young. I took my little boy to India before he was two. In fact, he celebrated his second birthday in Ajaccio, Corsica … and that was before Europe had disposable diapers. I am now in my 70s and still travel, but not as adventurously.
    Best regards,
    Susan

  • WOW, you guys rock. What an amazing way to travel. I would love to be in your shoes. Keep up the good work and can’t wait to read more of your adventures.

  • “Thank you for your post. I enjoyed reading about you and your family’s experiences which indeed are thought by many as unconventional, but to me I think it’s invigorating and so worth all the pains and inconviences- especially when able to be documented so well. I worked with Christina in Redding when you and your family were there briefly, and always looked forward to chatting with her about her life. She was always so fascinating to me. It was such a pleasure to meet and work with her! Take care, safe travels.”

  • Marc: Let me know where you and Christina are going to go next. We visit you, Boots and Button in most places you move to and certainly will do so in the future. We must keep in touch with those two grandchildren. Grandpa.

  • what an adventurous family. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures” bird poop must be interesting! Your husband was laughing at you when it was happening? Were you mad at him?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *