This is a family with two children who are traveling around the world for a year that stayed in the same building as me for two months in Cusco Peru. Might give you some inspiration and ideas.

map of their world travel plans


They have hiked the Four-Day Inca Jungle Trail Trek to Machu Picchu mountain biking, white water rafting, ziplining across valleys ready for a 5am start to Machu Picchu. Attended Spanish rock concerts, volunteered at a Peruvian after school place and learned Spanish as a family. And generally learned that happiness does not come from working long hours at a job, paying a large mortgage and owning multiple new cars and other consumer stuff. And even if the shower doesn't always work, or buses arive late that doesn't mean you can't have fun!

The van Loens at Machu Picchu

When they were planning this trip this is what they said was their vision

We are calling this [web]site “The Journey is the Reward” because that pretty much sums up our family philosophy; both for this adventure and for our life in general. Even preparing for the trip seems a journey in itself. (see the map above for our currently planned itinerary)


We’ve been talking about this trip for a number of years, and our vision is for a sustained perspective-shifting family experience. We hope to meet new people, experience different cultures, face challenges, serve others, learn, grow, try, and have some adventures along the way.


We are building the trip around two long-term volunteering opportunities (one in South America, and one in Southeast Asia), with a number of other stops along the way. The general goal is to spend time together as a family, learning and growing together, and expanding our horizons beyond our comfort zone (especially for the kids).


The four of us have been living happily in the Pacific Northwest for the past 12 years. Our two kids are Alex (11) and Leah (9). Noah works in IT program management, and Anne is a teacher (part-time) at Alex and Leah’s school. We also have three dogs Zillah (black dog), Kona (Australian Shepherd), and Lucas (Mom's poodle) -- and what to do with them is one of our many challenges.

During the 18 months of trip preparation they invited family and friend to meet up with them for mini vacations along the way, social networked for connections in the places their were going and spent a few months giving away stuff and preventing more paper coming into their home while they were gone (which then rented out for 12 months). They planned a "career break" from their jobs as a contract software project manger and part time teacher, plan home schooling on the go for their kids and organized four long term Voluntourism gigs for the trip. They also chose to get used to shaking up their home life and learn some Spanish by having a home stay student from Chile stay with them for a year!


And if you want to travel but are using your "family", "job","pets", "other" as an excuse not to travel then it provides some food for thought. (And they chose to overcome plenty of resistance to traveling not only from themselves, but from family, friends and I believe bosses too.). More on their adventures at andon their Facebook fan page


(quote from Randy Komisar's book "The Monk and the Riddle")