25 reasons we’re taking our kids around the world

1. We want our kids to experience different cultures.

2. And not just for the sake of merely experiencing them, but also for empathetic reasons- so that they can relate to those from other cultures and have more compassion and understanding towards others.

3. Learn to speak another language – partly because it’s so good for brain development, partly because it’s a great skill to have. We’ve chosen to spend 5 months of our trip intentionally working on Spanish as a family.

4. We want them to actively engage and develop friendships with people from other cultures.

5. Travel helps us drop stereotypes and preconceived ideas about other people.

6. Have an understanding of what poverty really looks like.

7. Get a global view of the Church, instead of seeing it only through a Western lens- how does the Church express and live out its faith around the world?

8. To have opportunities to serve other people.

9. Time to spend together as a family. After several intense years of getting our businesses up and running well, we’re exhausted and our long-term goal has always been to use our businesses to ultimately allow us to be together more.

10. Be exposed to music from different cultures (if you know my musician husband, you’ll totally understand this).

11. Have unique experiences together and create special memories

12. Take homeschool on the road and learn things that you just can’t learn from books.

13. Explore historical sites from Bible times (Greece, Italy, Turkey, etc.).

14. We also want to explore ancient and historical sites in general, and really make subjects like history, geography and science come alive to them.

15. Learn to live with less (and wean ourselves off of the consumer addiction).

16. Experience food cultures in different places and broaden our palates.

17. Learn to work together as a family and overcome challenges as a team.

18. Allow our kids to see amazing things and kindle more of an adventurous spirit in them.

19. It felt like we were in a season with our work that made this type of trip possible, since we’re able to work digitally while traveling, so why wait? Carpe diem!

20. Experience a culture from the inside, by trying to live like locals (instead of tourists), which is why we have several extended stays built into our itinerary.

21. Use this as an opportunity to help our kids gain a love for learning because of what it does for them, and not just for the sake of having the head knowledge. They’ll learn things through immersion, experience and practical application (like attempting to speak with another person in a foreign language, or grasping the significance of a historical site because they visited it rather than just reading about it).

23. Grow closer and really appreciate their siblings as their friends.

24. Realize that North American ways of doing things are not the only valid ways to do something. Not that we need to do away with our Western ideas (because some of them are valuable), but to be willing to consider other lifestyle choices as well.

25. Have a grand adventure as a family.

What are your reasons for traveling with your children?

Images by (from top to bottom) geezaweezer, Original Nomad, Ten Safe Frogs, The Travelista, and last two by Original Nomad. Soon, we’ll be using our own images all the time, but until then, we’ll draw a little inspiration from others.


  1. Carolyn says:

    I think this is great! More people should do this.

    Would love to see a family photo of all of you?

    I hope you will have your itinerary posted on the site so we can keep track of you,.

    Your family’s safety is in my prayers.

  2. Tamara Szogedi says:

    Love your reasons! Our children are being raised bi-culturally. My husband is Hungarian, I’m American/German (so I guess they are somewhat tri-cultural) and we live in Hungary (we are assisting in church planting here). Having been raised in two cultures myself, I see so many benefits to knowing and experiencing what our world has to offer and enjoying the diversity that God has created. You guys are going to have a blast!

  3. This is the opportunity of a lifetime…of about 1000 lifetimes, actually. What an amazing gift youa re giving your children! Vaya con Dios.

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks for inviting us to come along on your world-wide trip. This will be fun to live through you vicariously. My whole family will enjoy reading about your travels & experiences.

  5. Rebekah says:

    Such great reasons. I’d have to think hard to add anything. Love how flexible homeschooling is, to accommodate such an epic field trip!

  6. This is so exciting and something we want to eventually give our kids as well. I grew up overseas (my parents are missionaries in Bordeaux, France if your travels take you there) and have been to over 30 countries. My husband has been to nearly as many as well. It is sort of in our DNA to be aware of other cultures.

    Excited to follow along. Congratulations on reaching this goal!

  7. Shannon says:

    Just wanted to say I think this is a fantastic idea!! While I wasn’t able to travel around the world with my family, my parents were extremely supportive of each of their children experiencing other cultures. As a result by the age of 25 I had been to over 15 countries, lived in China for 2 years, spent time in 4 of the 7 continents and set foot at Mt. Everest Base Camp. It has shaped who I am and how I view the world, and I am exceedingly thankful for the opportunity. I applaud you for wanting to show your kids the world and by experiencing it with them you can help them process the wealth of knowledge and experiences they will have. Awesome. I wish you many adventures!
    (Saw a link to your site from Facebook, and I couldn’t resist commenting!)

  8. Alaina says:

    What a MARVELOUS adventure! Some day our family wants to do that! We have lived in South America for the past 3 years and some day want to get over to the places we have never been.

    Between my husband and I we have moved over 45 times in our lives so far (mostly between north and south america- but we have visited Europe, Middle East, & Africa)- and we want to move even more! There is SO much out there.

    If you happen to come to Quito, Ecuador to see the Equator- you can stay with us!! ;-)

  9. May God bless your time with your family and teach you many great truths! Praying for you journey and mercies! God has created such a wonderful world I’m delighted to know you’re going to explore it! I homeschool my four children (13, 10, 4 &3) and we’ll be following along with you on your journey!

  10. Ann says:

    This sounds AMAZING!!! Looking forward to following this blog. Most of my “crazy” ideas come from others’ blogs. My wheels are turning…

  11. nee says:

    Our reasons lined up with yours. We only spent a year living cross-culturally with two wee ones, but it was a life-enricher for us. It is such a benefit to view life from outside of the United States…kind of rounds out one’s perspective – especially if the location happens to be other than/in addition to Western Europe. Hats off to your clear-minded intentions and the perseverence to see them through to this exciting point in the adventure! Can’t wait to follow you guys with mine that are still at home. And, I am forwarding this to a homeschool co-op teacher (my eldest daughter…ha!) who may be interested in having her history class follow as well. Take care and enjoy every moment!

  12. Amazing – I would LOVE to have an opportunity like this some day. What an incredible time to cherish with your family and explore all of God’s beauty this earth has to offer. Can’t wait to follow your adventures! :)

  13. Kristina says:

    That’s awesome! My husband and I have had similar aspirations for our future family. We’ve started up our own business and I am also tutor and was raised in a homeschooling family, so we are on our way! I look forward to hearing about your adventures!

  14. Jenn says:

    This is completely FANTASTIC. I am so excited for y’all and wish you the best. Can’t wait to hear the updates along the way. My one regret from the time before I was married/had kids is that I didn’t go live in a Spanish-speaking country for a while, to learn by immersion. Your story is evidence that there’s still hope to do it someday! :)

  15. Shannon says:

    Wow that is so amazing. I can’t wait to follow your journey! Our kiddos are similar ages as yours and we took the two oldest with us to Ethiopia when we adopted our third. It was amazing to experience another culture with them!!!! I highly recommend fitting Ethiopia into your Africa travels if you can. It’s an amazing country with a rich Christian/Biblical culture. I could go on forever:) If you have any interest in traveling to Ethiopia please feel free to email me and I can help you make some connections with locals! God bless your family and your trip!
    PS. Oh and I am insanely jealous (in a totally righteous, unsinful way;)

  16. Rita says:

    We are so excited to follow you from the beginning of your journey. We will pray for your continued strength and safety.

  17. Erin says:

    Wow, this all sounds amazing – how lucky for you and your kids to experience so much of the world! Can’t wait to read all about it. It looks like when you’re in Australia you’ll be in Melbourne? I’m in Sydney and if you head up this way and want any ideas about what to see/do let me know :)

  18. KimG. says:

    SO excited for you! What a dream come true! I will be looking forward to learning through your family and maybe getting ideas for our own family trip! Hope you include a do’s and don’ts as you go! Congrats from a fellow Canadian…hope you sewed on your flags :)

  19. ohAmanda says:

    SO ridiculously excited (and insanely jealous) for you!! Earlier this year, when I talked to Stephanie & Holley from Squee they asked me what I’d do if I had a billion dollars (and what I’d stop doing). I said I’d take my kids on a tour of the world visiting ministries in other countries–for all the reasons you listed above. When I asked my husband what he’d do, he said the same!

    I will be living vicariously thru you!

  20. Lisa Neumann says:

    UGGG! I am so jealous, and sad at the same time! We spent my husband’s sabbatical year in Eastern Europe with 2 kids, and then last summer with a 7, 5, 4, and 1 year old, we went back for 2 months. It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. We homeschooled while we were there which was very exciting for the kids because I taught at “the big school” for 3 weeks and my husband stayed home and did my job during that time. We were planning on going back again this upcoming summer, but my sister died unexpectedly 6 weeks ago (at age 37 with no health problems), and my father in law (age 75) has been battling advanced lung cancer since October. As much as we want to go, we feel we need to stay home and be with our families. The kids found out at lunch today and at first they were totally excited about all the things they could do that they missed last year (swimming lessons! camp! fishing at Grandmas!) but by bedtime they were crying about all the things they’d miss about our country of service. :( We’re all a little heartbroken. Sorry to dump all of your problems on your lap – but I will be following your journey very closely, and maybe it will give me hope that someday we’ll have strength to go again. Bon voyage!!

  21. Yahoo! So glad you’re finally on the road/air, friend. It’s been a long time coming, eh? Remember to take good notes for us! (Seriously… send along your notes. We’ll need ‘em.) Praying for you and following eagerly! :)

  22. Sam says:

    Wow, this is amazing and I am so looking forward to following you guys:)!!! We are looking into the same thing and I feel so inspired right now, thanks!!!! We have been dreaming of going to South America so excited you are starting there.

  23. I’m so excited for you! My husband and I have similar dreams for our family, but we never dreamed it could actually be possible, as have two small children and plan to grow our family even more in the coming years. I will be praying for your family as you embark on this adventure! You are an inspiration to us!

  24. What a blessing to be able to travel the world with your children and grow closer to each other as a family and see all that the Lord has created. And best of all, as you said to participate in the Church of our Lord on a global scale. I am so excited to be able to follow your journey and please know you’re in my daily prayers! Lots of blessings, Kelly

  25. Journey M says:

    We will all miss you, but I can’t wait to hear about all your adventures! Say hi to Abby for me!


  26. And I’m subscribed! Things are going well with my dream, Stephanie. If I’m in Spain this coming June, I’ll be in touch!!

  27. Dione Hickerson says:

    My family did this exact same thing from 2009-2010. It looks like you will probably go to more places than we did, but our reasoning was very similar and even our situation: my husband ran his business while were were gone while I taught our 3 children. We ended up going to 8 countries, but staying and volunteering in two countries for a concentrated amount of time. Please email me if you want me to send you a link to our blog of the trip or if you have any questions. I have lots of great travel tips, from experience. ;) Enjoy it all! It will be one of the best and most memorable years of your life!

  28. What am *amazing* opportunity. Oh, your kids will learn so much – things they will never, ever forget. And being together as a family will count for more than all the dollars in the US could have bought.
    Bon Voyage (in case you want to learn a wee bit of French too!)

    we live on a small Scottish island, off the west coast of Scotland … I wonder if you’re coming this far? ;)

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh, I wish! My husband and I have been to Scotland once and would love to go back, but it won’t be this time. Maybe next time! :)

  29. Looking forward to following your journey! But I hope for #13 you’ll also come to the Holy Land (Israel and Palestine) instead of just Italy, Greece and Turkey. We have the MOTHER LODE of Biblical sites, not to mention the living stones of the Arab Christians that can trace their heritage all the way back to the first followers of Jesus! (And this is a wonderful bonus for #7!) This is a place that every Christian, Jew and Muslim should see at least once in their lives, and our land will be happy to welcome you! :) All the best from Jerusalem!

    • Stephanie says:

      Actually, we really do hope to go to Israel. After South America, we’ll go to Europe, then Turkey, and then our tentative plan is to go to Israel, but it just depends on the situation at the time. Back when we were buying our first sets of plane tickets a few months ago, things were a bit uncertain as to the safety of going there, so we’re just waiting to see. But we definitely think that it’s a place that would be incredible to visit, and so meaningful for us as Christians.

  30. Sommer says:

    This is so exciting! I’m so glad that I was introduced to your website at the beginning of this journey. We are expecting our first child this year and a trip like this is high on my list of life goals, but not for several more years. Your reasons for traveling are important and exciting ones and it gives me inspiration to define our trip a little bit more and plan for it with intention.

    I’m looking forward to your updates! Safe travels and enjoy!

  31. Cathi Von says:

    Blessings on your family as you start this great adventure. My family took a trip around the world in 2007. It was wonderful! Here is our blog, if you are interested! http://vonrtw.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html

  32. Breanne says:

    Wow, so excited to read about your family’s trip!! I’ll be following along eagerly (along with everyone else!), we’re hoping to do a similar trip with our girls in about ten years. We spent six months circling the Pacific after we were married and have always wanted to do more.

    It’s also SO fun to read it through your eyes as a Canadian, we’re also Canadian and it does make a difference.
    Kudos to you guys for taking the leap and cheers to you as you continually adjust to the new culture(s).

  33. Stephanie says:

    SOOOO excited for you and proud of you! I’m sure this year will be better and harder than you can even begin to imagine.

    We took our kids on a cross-country trip by RV for almost an entire year in 2011. Exhausting. Crazy. Memorable. Wonderful.

    We’d eventually like to follow in your footsteps and go around the world. Do you have an “itinerary” posted? I can’t wait to follow along.

    P.S. I’m especially impressed that you’re doing this with a baby. Please write more about that – airline travel, bedtimes, jet lag, vaccinations, etc.

    • Stephanie says:

      An RV trip across the country also sounds amazing! I have a map up under Where We’re Going, but I need to update it with a proper itinerary. These first two weeks are more officially our “vacation” (we just needed to rest a little after the craziness of getting ready, packing up the house, etc.) but once I’m back to working more, I’ll put up something a little more thorough.
      And yes, I definitely plan to write more about how we’re doing this with a baby, and just with young children in general. It certainly makes it a lot harder, but we’re finding that it can be still done, and still be enjoyable. :)

  34. This is the coolest idea, and those are 25 excellent reasons to do what you’re doing. Really incredible… I wish my family had done this when I was a kid!

  35. Amanda says:

    I am so excited for your family to have this experience! I can’t wait to hear about your journey. I can only dream, and would so love to do something like this with my family but on a smaller scale. I think our journey will begin with a trip across the US in an RV maybe. My son would love to travel to Alaska, Australia, Brazil and Madagascar. Every country we study about he pleads for us to go visit.

    I can’t wait to keep up with your family and your journey! Be careful!

  36. melanie says:

    This is wonderful! Good for you for just going for it! You are building memories for your family that will last forever… My family and I will be living vicariously through you. And please link to your businesses – maybe some of your new fans can help support your trip!

    Blessings, melanie

  37. Fiona says:

    How fantastic! What a wonderful experience you’ll have as a family. We are hoping to move with our three little kids from Europe to Africa later this year for many of the same reasons. I look forward to following along in your adventures! Hugs from Fiona

  38. Thanks for the inspiration Stephanie! I had no idea this was what you meant when you said “living abroad”. We’ve always wanted to do this. I hadn’t ever considered doing it in one big swoop but I love the idea. I will be following you closely. I love your list of reasons. I almost got teary eyed reading it because it speaks to my heart. Two cheers for a grand adventure!!

  39. jenny says:

    found you thru a friend’s fb wall. LOVE what you are doing! This is my heart completely, to take our family (we also have 4 children-7yrs-6yrs-4yrs and 2 yrs that we homeschool) out of the US for a season. I want my children to see the world and to see that it is so much bigger than where we live. I want them to see more of God’s creation and His people. And I want them to see how others live. It is one thing to hear about or even see videos and photos, but it takes on a whole new meaning to be there and see it. I want that love and compassion for others to just grow and grow in them. I know only the Lord can do this but I believe He will use these things as part of that growth.
    Blessings to you! Can’t wait to follow your journey and to one day be on a journey of our own!
    My heart specifically is for China.

    • Stephanie says:

      I agree, actually going and meeting people where they live makes it all take on a whole new meaning. I hope that you are able to travel one day soon as well! :)

  40. Wow! This is amazing! You guys are amazing! I’m so inspired and in awe of the step of faith you guys took and continue to take.
    We moved our wee family to Uganda almost 2 years ago and now we are moving back (to Canada) come June. It’s been a wild ride and we’re coming back all the better from it.
    It has indeed been hard but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
    Will definitely subscribe to your blog so I can keep up to date with your latest adventures!


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