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3 Years of Travel. Thoughts

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Shhhh! They’re all asleep. Wiped out like a small pride of lions after a big day on the savannah.  All 4 of us in this little apartment, 2 big beds, happy as can be. Chef has his first day off today, he can sleep in. Boo lost a tooth yesterday, he’ll wake to find 2 pounds under his pillow. D read ’till past midnight, lost in a world of Greek myths, all is right with the world as London sunshine streams in through our windows.

It’s been over 3 years now. We left our home in June 2013. So many adventures, so many memories, such amazing times.

If I were to write something about 3 years of being “normal” at home. I doubt I’d have much to say. A few special trips, birthdays, meals out, Christmases ( I’m struggling already here!) going out to the reef maybe? Walking in the rainforest? But those things would lose their shine because they’d be the same old things, over and over again. I can’t even begin to list the adventures we’ve had in the last 3 years. There are over 400 posts on this website, thousands more on social media. We document most things, good and bad, but it’s just too much to sum up in a short post.

I can tell you without doubt that we’ve never regretted our decision to try this peripatetic lifestyle for size, it’s brought us too many good things.

A close, joyful bond with our kids. We all know each other inside and out, good and bad.

Incredible global educational opportunities for all of us, not just the boys.

A new career and creative outlet for me. I love my job.

A shift in priorities, no more Better-Homes-and-Gardens type lifestyle. We focus on what’s really important now.

Greater financial freedom born out of needing less, enjoying more.

Spiritual freedom. I don’t feel trapped as I used to. My mind can be where it wants to be.

New friends and a new global community. People more in-line with our family philosophies.

It’s been amazing, thank you for joining us and we’re not stopping!

I know of few other family travellers who’ve lasted this long. Admittedly, our travels have brought us “home” to London for now. We are Londoners and it’s now clear to us that this is where we belong. That’s another of the beauties of travel, it allows you to see things and places more clearly. Our other “home” Breb, Romania, brings us all enormous joy, but, who knows what will happen in Europe now? Most of us, we travellers, seem to settle after a while. Sometimes in new countries, sometimes returning to the old ones.  I think our family will continue to travel, but as usual, nothing is planned.

So, some highlights, my highlights, of the last 3 years.

We’ve done it all. Ultra budget backpacking, luxury cruise ships, value hotel chains, luxury villas, trekking adventures, country and city stays.

A Few Highlights From a 3 Year Adventure

Nepal with kids, trekking with kids. Cultural enlightenment near Everest. Prayer wheels and learning about religion and spirituality with the Sherpa people
2016, heading towards Everest at 11 years old.

Seeing Mount Everest as we topped the hill to Tangboche Monastery. Just my elder son and I. That was pure magic. A physical challenge completed, a mother-son bonding experience of monumental proportions and a spiritual joy.

As we struggled to the top, sucking in thin air, the clouds that had obscured the mountain parted and I just stopped, sat on the ground and took photo after photo with tears in my eyes. D, unimpressed, raced off to buy a Snickers. I haven’t yet written about that day ( I have now, here), I will, but you can revisit the white-knuckle flight to Lukla from Kathmandu here.

2nd time on the Khao San Rd for Boo, 2013

Just being a backpacker is a thrill for me too. I love the lifestyle and the mode of travel. I’m rarely happier than when I have a backpack on my back. The ultimate backpacker trail cliché destination has to be Bangkok’s Khao San Rd. When I first visited back in 1999 it was love at first sight. It’s a love affair that’s endured and sharing the fun and craziness with the kids has been wonderful. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been now. Read more about Thailand with kids here.

My first press pass! 2013

Professionally, I’ve grown in so many ways. I was a very bored scientist, not a writer or website creator. I had no clue about websites, social media and all the behind-the-scenes technical stuff that goes with it. Now I can hold my own and it means a lot to be able to help and encourage people through the websites and to be taken seriously as a travel professional.

Being approached for help, advice or to promote a travel business feels great. We’ve had some fabulous work opportunities this year, the Max Wadiya full-service villa in Sri Lanka was very much a highlight.  Regular readers will know that we very rarely do these sorts of promotions. Personal travel usually comes first for us but Sri Lanka is special and we were happy to help in any way.

I’ve taught myself all of this stuff. Everything I do to run this site and support my family is self-taught. Tell me why we need to go to school again?

to change ears (400x300)
Then. Adorable little munchkins! How they’ve grown. 2012 I think.
who reads blogs 2
and now. Greece 2016

What else, well how about just seeing the kids grow from sweet 6 and 8-year-old kids to almost-young-men? I’m so proud of them. They’re smart, funny, kind, just all-round cool and the best bit? I haven’t missed a second of it.

It was beyond an honour to be able to take D to Greece for his last birthday. A trip for him because of his own interest born of hours and hours of reading and study.

They don’t go to school. That’s why they have time to do all that research for pleasure. Always learning, always living to the full, always enjoying.

They want to go back to Disney again soon. One of the most educational and fun places on earth. Don’t believe me about the educational? Well, you just need to see things differently. How can we not take them? As always, we’ll find a way to make it happen.

Deep fried tarantulas.Night Market Siem Reap
Chef furthering his chefly knowledge in Cambodia. 2015

My husband isn’t getting much of a mention here but he has heaps of fun too.

He gets to be a dad more often, take care of us all, play with cars, climb mountains, drive all over the word, go scuba diving without us ( that bit’s not fair!), further his Chefly knowledge with global cuisines and just generally have a great time.

He holds this adventure together when I’m having menopausal anxiety attacks and is the muscle and a lot of the brains behind the whole thing. I do websites and kids, he does just about everything else. He’s awesome. He’s also an excellent Chef, still involved in an industry he loves and still furthering his career in one of the very best luxury hotels in the world. We don’t tell people which one 😉

Alyson Long India Travel Blog
Train travel in India. My idea of fun, I couldn’t be any happier than in these moments of actual travel. 2015.

So it’s been amazing, and that’s all I wanted to say. I get comments or emails thanking me ( us) for the encouragement we’ve given other families to live life to the max and that makes every second of unpaid work worthwhile. So thank you for reading and being here. We will continue for as long as we can.

As always, leave me a comment, it helps me to know who’s reading and what they need or want to know.

For you, for Pinterest

3 years of family travel. Most people can't imagine what 3 years of travel would be like, let alone what a nomadic lifestyle with children would involve. We can tell you exactly what it's like, wonderful!

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Sabretoothed Chickens

Wednesday 13th of June 2018

Congratulations on your three year travel anniversary. Being a family of passionate backpacker traveler's ourselves a lot of what you write resonates with us. Wishing you all continued success and happiness.

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Wednesday 13th of June 2018

Thanks, but this post is 2 years old, it's 5 years now and it keeps getting better and better.


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

Congratulations on your three year anniversary Alyson. And what an achievement!

You've done awfully well and have motivated many a young family. My niche isn't the "fully nomadic" experience but rather the "you-can-still-travel-even-if-you-have-kids-and-a-professional-job" thing. I take my tween with me pretty much everywhere lol!

In fact, throughout the summer holiday, we're going to a different European country. Every weekend! We're taking the night train and we're going to stay in hostels. My husband doesn't like the "backpacker route" so it's only going to be my son and I, and then a bit of luxury, with husband in tow, at the end!

I really can't wait as I love the quality time that I get with a now 14-year old young teenager!


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

It's been great to follow your journey over the past few years; you've done so much! I look forward to seeing where the future takes you. As a fellow nomad/traveller/Londoner I know this lifestyle isn't always 'easy' but nothing worth doing ever is, right?

Suzanne Fluhr

Monday 4th of July 2016

I've been enjoying following you and your family around the world virtually. I hope some day our paths will cross IRL.

We did our child rearing mostly traditionally. I do have some regrets, but I don't dwell on them because despite 12 + years of public school and parents who spent too many hours at jobs, our sons managed to come out the other end more or less intact. One of them even became a travel blogger/digital nomad.


Monday 4th of July 2016

There's the thing Suzanne, will they? And who's version of alright? I'm sure my mother thinks I WAS alright ( to the age of 13 she thought I was alright, she kindly told me that) and I've somehow lost my alrightness along the way, where in fact the reverse is true. If they don't come out alright....I'll just quit blogging! Actually, by then I hope they'll be helping me with this site or one of the others to help THEM be financially free. I don't want them to be TOO normal. But what if they decide to be accountants???

Dannielle Thomson

Monday 4th of July 2016

You guys are an inspiration to us. After years of reading your blog, we were all ready to travel....but life takes it turns... my boys LOVE their Steiner school and my son has a lung condition.... so we wait.... luckily we live in the Raiforest near Byron Bay... a nice part of the world Your life adventures sound incredible... I love keeping up with all your going-ons... and to see how your Boys are growing!! Your journey is also part of our own journey... Thank-you XXX

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