We are the Swenson Family! My husband and I love to travel. We traveled extensively before we had our first child, Alexis. After she was born, people began to lament the fact that we were going to have to take a break from traveling until our children were older. This got us to thinking. Why can’t we travel the world with our children? So, when Alexis was about 7 months old, we packed a backpack and set-off on our first adventure, post-baby. When our second, Isabella, arrived, we ordered her passport when she was just 2 weeks old. We have now added two more kiddos (Cadence and Zachary). We were keeping our trips down to 3-4 weeks at most, but we decided to take this circus on the road. We sold our house, quit our jobs, got rid of almost everything that we owned including furniture, clothes, toys, and took off to travel with our 4 kids, full-time, for the next 1.5 years.
Please see our Gap Year Blog for an overview about where we’re at and where we’ve been, and the individual country tabs for more specifics about each location. We welcome comments and questions! Don’t be jealous, be inspired!
Insane, crazy, adventurous, bold, inspiring. These are just a few words that we have heard in response to our plans to sell everything we own and travel the world with our four young children. We hope that people will focus on the latter word. We hope that this blog can be inspiring, though provoking, encouraging. Regardless, the ball is rolling. We leave in 154 days!
We put our house on the market and it sold in less than 48 hours. We are now in in the process of unloading everything we own. It’s daunting, that’s for sure. The sheer amount of “stuff” that you accumulate over the years is shocking. We have sold off most of our furniture. One more big garage sale and then whatever doesn’t sell, we’ll donate to charity. We need to be out of our current house by June 1st so we’ve signed a short-term, furnished property to cover us until we leave on October 6th.
First leg is actually a transpacific crossing from Seattle to Syndey, Australia. We were able to score a great deal through Royal Caribbean where kids cruise free (and when you have 4 kids, that is quite the deal.) We were also given 30% off for booking on a current cruise plus another $30 off for a promotion that they are having. It will be nice to have those 24 days to relax after our crazy, busy summer getting ready to go.
We booked a week at an apartment in Syndey. After that, the plans are loose. We’ll make our way through large portions of Australia and then into New Zealand. After that, we plan to head to Cancun for my brother’s wedding and then continue down to South and Central America, with the goal of learning Spanish.
The most frequent questions that we have gotten are:
1) What are you going to do about schooling? Thankfully there is a plethora of online resources available now. We plan to enroll them in an online school to at least have a basic framework. We haven’t chosen one yet but there is an amazing group on Facebook called Worldschoolers, who are comprised of traveling and homeschooling families. They have a huge wealth of information available on the different options.
2) Are you going to work? Well, we have been planning for this for almost 6 years. We have scrimped and saved. We will be leaving debt free with money in the bank for college and retirement as well as travel money. We do want to push ourselves to try to earn money as we go too. My husband wants to try his hand at teaching English online. I’d like to work as a physician either through telemedicine or at a local clinic or hospital if we settle in one location for awhile. Otherwise, I’d love to volunteer.
3) How long will you be gone? We don’t know yet. We know that the first few months will be the hardest so we want to push ourselves to make it at least a year. After that, no clue. We will keep traveling if we love it.
So, we hope that you follow us along on our journey and feel inspired to share the world with your own children. It is such an amazing world out there!
Here is our travel map: