I'm currently in the process of compiling The Art of Family Travel.

And while there are countless travel books and blogs written to help you prepare for an overseas trip, this resource will help you to prepare for adventurous overseas (or at home) travel with your family.

This guide will encourage you to enrich your life and your family with the excitement, uncertainty, adventure, joy and growth that is the result of globe-trotting.

It will be a guide that you can refer to again and again as your family travel life matures.

It's written for families who are:

  • willing to make uncommon choices
  • wanting to carve out an extraordinary existence
  • interested in living a life of significance.

In reading it, you will discover how to orchestrate your life so that you can create  time and money freedom, cultivate courage, and inspire the initiative and commitment you need to turn your dreams of family travel and adventure into a reality.

You'll discover how to:

  • deal with new experiences
  • recognize adventure
  • develop flexibility
  • simplify your life
  • and most importantly how to overcome any myths and social conditioning about traveling the world with your family.

If you've ever felt a burning desire to do more, feel more or experience more with your family, but aren't sure how to find the money or time, or you're concerned about being 'selfish' or 'ruining' your children, then this book is for you.

If you've traveled before with your family, but you're looking to get more out of the experience by 'traveling' instead of 'touring', extending the stay, living abroad, or vagabonding long term, then this book is for you, too.

It isn't written for derelicts or vagrants, but for families who are committed to each other and to living a life filled with purpose, passion and adventure, however you decide to define it.

Travel provides ample opportunities to help your family grow, expand, discover, share, serve, overcome fears, find adventure, live with purpose and passion- in essence to live life to the fullest.

This book presents family travel not as an impossibility, or an escape from reality, responsibility or stability, but as an effective tool for rearing your children.

Since this book is still in the process of being completed, I wanted to ask you-

"What do YOU want to know?"

What questions would you like addressed?

Are you curious about how to fund your trips, how to choose a destination, or what to pack?

Or maybe you need to know about educating your children while abroad, getting visas and immunizations, or how to create meaningful service experiences.

Whatever it is you're wondering about traveling with your family, I want to know.

That's why I've created this platform for discussion. Please read the comments below from others, and leave a comment, asking a question about something YOU want to know!

Make sure to watch the video on why we live our nomadic life!



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24 Responses

  1. Daniel Karla

    WOW, how amazing for your kids to be able to learn so much more than a silly school would ever even imagine teaching them. I think they will thank you very much one day because you are giving them something I know I would have loved to have had. If you want to you can go back in time and adopt me back when I was a child, I would have loved to be one of your kids!

  2. Stella Beaver

    Be honest, I really envy you; a new world and a new journey. I am reading your blog and really being inspired by what you all have been and done. I am surprise that it is possible to make your dream come true. I feel like I am here working everyday for whatever I am being call to do but tire and hunger for the freedom you have. We homeschool our kids but I am not be able to provide the real life experiences they need to have. People here go to the zoo and museum but you are there educated them with real life experiences that books or museums can never taught them in their life. I am thrill. At beginning I thought you are all troopers to go to another land and explore but now I am admiring that you go with your hearts and make it happen.

    I am thankful that your photos has taken me to the other side of world. . I truly enjoy your blog and beautiful photos. I have learn new things and your family has inspired me greatly.

  3. Rachelle McClellan

    I think I am just drawn to families that have the faith, the desire, and the practical ability to take their families across the world and experience life a completely different way. It is just what Shane and I want for our family! We have the first two (faith and desire), but the 3rd part is still being worked out-

    What has been the biggest adjustment so far? What do your kids think of India?

    • Rachel

      We also enjoy being with others who share our passions and dreams- it’s inspiring!
      There are always adjustments to be made when changes occur, but in the end my children find something they like and don’t like so much about each place we’ve lived in or traveled to. That’s one of the benefits of it, the ability to compare and contrast.

      We’re currently in Alaska.

  4. Holly Jones

    YES – We are VERY inspired!

    What a great website and blog and family video you have! We have so many questions that I don’t know where to start, but basically we are interested in doing what you’re doing.

    Are you homeschooling your kids? Do you have any advice or suggestions as to ways that you’ve gathered ideas and information? Is there anything we can do in the next year to prepare ourselves for moving abroad – any training or education that would be nice to get under our belts before we leave USA?

    Thanks again for your wonderful website!

    • Rachel

      Yes, I have always home educated my children. It fits well with our lifestyle. I will be including advice and suggestions in the book, which is already in progress.

      One of the biggest suggestions for preparing to go abroad is to plan and dream now, even if you don’t know when or how.

      Discover what kind of experience your family would like to have (beaches, museums, or language immersion)to help you decide where to go.

      Then make sure to do your research on the country- how long and what type of visas are available? How much are flights.

      Keep learning- read websites, expat blogs, travel guides and government sites.

      Happy traveling!

  5. Margaret Johnson

    I would love to live my life more how you do and that has been my desire for a very long time. I feel like I will be trapped here if I stay and am afraid that I will lose the ability to pursue my dreams if I do not leave here. I feel like I need to be out on my own, to force myself to make the changes that I need to in order to fulfill my desires. I feel like I am afraid that I will be told that I cannot and should not do the things that I dream of doing if I stay here with my folks. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I do not want to stay in OK, I feel called to leave. I am hoping that you could give me some advice to make things go a little smoother…

    • Rachel

      Sometimes the fear of what will happen if we do something is much worse than what happens when we do it.

      Even the ‘worst case scenario’ tends to be more frightening and far more dramatic in our minds than it is in reality.

      Take those fist steps in faith…

  6. Ann Marie Pincivero

    Wow. Good for you guys. So exciting.
    You are actually doing what so many of us (like me) dream about but are too afraid to actually go out and do…A permanent vacation! An adventure that never ends.
    I admire you.
    I think it’s amazing that your kids get to see the world.
    I wish I’d had parents like you growing up.
    I had parents who lived in fear and never went anywhere (never been on a plane, never took a vacation) and never wanted me to go anywhere. I wasn’t allowed. I still have some of those fears even though part of me is dying to spread my wings and fly.

    Sometimes I feel that life is meant to be more than this mundane existence but I’m too afraid to quit my dead-end job and sell my house and do it…

    How do you take that leap?

    • Rachel

      One of my favorite authors, Wayne Dyer, reminds us that we’re free to choose the kind of life we want to live, today, here and now.

      If we don’t like what’s happened in our past, we can transcend it and create the future that we want.

      I always feel like my life is meant to be more than the mundane- filled with passion and purpose! So I always make decisions with that in mind- will it move me closer to or further away to living with enthusiasm?

      Like I told Margaret above, to take the leap, just start with a few small steps in faith- get that passport, research those tickets, dream, start simplifying your life, and then just do it!

  7. Rob Breedlove

    What do you recommend for those of us that want to travel, but don’t have the funds to do so? How have you guys supported yourselves financially and is there something you can think of that would allow my family and I to do the same?

    I really want to take my family and travel. What an education! That is true education!

    • Rachel

      I’ll be including an entire section in my book about finding the money. Part of the answer includes simplifying your life.
      Our methods for financing has included everything from selling all our belongings, to using our savings, to location independent income. I’ll be addressing all of those in TAFT

  8. Jen Silver

    I don’t know that I have anything else I want to know other than what you’ve already said you’re planning to include. Just want to say I’m very excited to read this when it comes out! The nuts and bolts of the details of planning are always the scariest part. I’d say including info on “what we wish we’d known/done” so we can learn from your mistakes in addition to being inspired by your successful adventures would really be great!

  9. Alicia

    I’ve noticed that not only do you travel to many places, but you actually live there for a while. How do you arrange to live there? – like how do you deal with visas etc…?
    I’m very interested in living in many places with my family, but how do you reconcile other responsibilities (such as the care of an aging parent), with a nomadic life?

    • Rachel

      Those are some great questions Alicia.

      Visas are an important consideration and definitely something that I’ll be covering in TAFT. Visas are often a determining factor on whether or not we move to a place. In Costa Rica, for example, visas are only good for 90 days, so we had to plan a vacation every 90 days that was at least 72 hours long so that we could renew our visas. It provides some great experiences, but it can also get expensive.

      You’re second question is also very important, something that I’ve wondered. It’s not currently something we have to consider or deal with- our parents are in good health and still relatively young. (Well, my father passed away 7 years ago, but my mother is remarried). But I know families who would like to travel but have children to care for with disabilities.

      I’ll certainly think about it and address some of those issues in TAFT. What I can say for now is that to every thing there is a time and a season. However life may be today, it’s not permanent. It will change, and for us, we just focus on doing what we can do with what we have, and make decisions that move us toward the ‘ideal.’

      Thanks for your comment and input!!

  10. michele

    My husband came home the other day and said “what if we took a year off and drove around mexico or south america.” So i started researching, and found your website. I guess it can be done! We travelled with our kids (2 and 10 months at the time) to Costa Rica for a few weeks, but have always wanted to experience living abroad. Your book sounds like a great idea, i’ll look forward to reading it. Definitely include parts on educating your children while abroad, service opportunities, how to finance such an adventure, and the essential details about visas, crossing borders and such. Maybe also how to entertain your kids in the car for hours on end! Good luck in your newest adventure!

  11. Kalli

    Hi, my husband and I are location independent and have been travelling for 2.5 years already. When we have children, I would be interested in location-specific recommendations for kid-friendly places, how to RV with a family-choosing an RV, its maitenance, etc, and any nuts and bolts details (the specific how tos) of having on the road family experiences. I don’t need the motivation, money, how to pack, etc those are covered in many other books. The family traveling nomadic lifetstyle, however, is relatively new. I’m also interested in tax benefits of the lifestyle.

  12. @TheBigBreak

    Rachel, We are about to set off this fall with our children. I have loved your blog and am continually inspired by it. Love your writing style and your commitment to your family. My question is about lodging. Instead of putting along in a vegie mobile, though, we are more likely to throw on backpacks and hop a train or bus. What I can’t find enough info on is where to stay inexpensively… Hostels? (How to find reservations for the family? Do kids cost the same? is there an age minimum? I understand some don’t let little ones even stay in non-private rooms), Hotels that sleep 4? (Should we plan to carry mats and sleep sacks for them? Or, how to best find rooms to hold all of us without being forced to book two rooms?) Apartments (Do these turn out more cost effective with a family?), Homestays? (Is that possible with a family?), Volunteering? (again, is that possible with a family?), other ideas or thoughts?
    I know this isn’t your method but if you have advice from families you’ve met along the way, I’d appreciate it!
    Thank you!

    • Rachel

      Thanks for reading and following and commenting.

      Finding a place to stay is very often a matter of faith – believing that there will be a place, and that you’ll be able to find it. Asking around once you arrive is a great strategy, that actually works very well. Finding the inexpensive places will usually happen once you’re ‘on location’. It’s hard to find the real deals online.

      Each country, each city will be different, but for the most part, children are usually less or free. There are generally less restrictions about ages, number of people in a room, etc than in the United States. Our family is flexible – we’ll share beds, sleep on the floor (sometimes with just a blanket), etc. so it just depends on what you’re willing to do.

      Most places are owned by people, and most people are good. If you show up with a family, they’re going to work with you to make arrangements that will work.

      If we plan to stay somewhere for awhile, we do like to rent a house/apartment, etc. which does turn out to be very cost effective. We’ve couchsurfed once or twice, and I think it could be an option for families if you took the time to explore the Couchsurfing website (just google it).

      We’ve tried doing some volunteering with organizations along the way, but have found it difficult. They seem to be really hesitant about letting someone come in who hasn’t gone through the ‘official’ lines of authority. If you prearranged something with an organization, and let them know when you were coming, then I think it’s something you could do. We just usually try to check them out when we happen to be in the city where they’re located, and they don’t like that.

      Hope that helps!


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