Scared to Travel the World?

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Am I scared to leave home and travel the world indefinitely, with no fixed plans? Not really. I can’t wait to go. If I was scared last time we took off round the world back in 2001 on our first RTW, I can’t remember. Maybe I was anxious about finding accommodation or getting off the train at the wrong stop or being robbed. No idea, sorry, too long ago. I know nothing bad happened that time, we had a great year, possibly our best ever, so fingers crossed we’ll be cool this time. too.

We leave to travel the world with our children in under four months. It’s not just a family gap year, we have no fixed date of return nor any fixed travel plans. Adding children to the equation does change things slightly  a lot. I’ll be more cautious, more paranoid and more on edge. I’m not scared as such, but there are a few last minute worries.

Am I scared to travel the world?
A long long time ago I met my husband, Chef, while travelling in Egypt ( with a ridiculously big bag!). We’re both well travelled and we’ve done an RTW as a couple, but this time we’re taking the kids. Scared? NO.

What I’m Not Scared Of.

Stuffing up the kids’ education.

Impossible, it will not happen. I’ve been homeschooling for long enough now to see the learning happening even if we “do” absolutely nothing. They will learn, develop and grow as human beings. I’m far more interested in raising kids with compassion, empathy and global understanding than kids who’ve memorised times tables.

That said, I’m very unlikely to “do” nothing. I’m packing the workbooks and we have a whole bunch of online study courses we can use.

That this is a bad decision

How could it be a bad decision? We’re following a dream, doing something amazing that will benefit our family unit and our kids’ development into wonderful human beings. I know it’s a good choice.

 Theft

I lost my most precious things in a theft at Cairns airport five years ago. I’ve realised that stuff is just stuff, so long as I still have my family, I don’t care. Travel theft is rare, but you should take precautions.

What I Am Scared Of

That we won’t get on

I spend all day, every day, with my children. We only lock horns when they are bored or unhappy, happy kids = easy kids, so no worries there. But, there is a fourth person travelling with us, Dad. Chef’s hours and his triathlon addiction mean we’ve hardly seen him lately, he’s become more and more of a stranger.

If he’s home he’s often tired and grumpy or complaining of a headache through exhaustion. There will be adjustments needed on both sides, us three, and him. I hope it goes smoothly and we become we four again. That’s one of the big reasons for doing this thing, I’d like my husband back.

That my younger child won’t like it

I’ve travelled plenty with my boys already, little Boo has never shown any signs of distress, but he’s anxious this time, we’ve had a few big chats about how he feels. He’s worried about leaving his home, he’s never really known any other.

He was eleven months old when we left the UK for Australia so he only remembers this house. D is all for leaving, he embraces change as much as I do. I know how Boo feels, I was quite traumatised when my parents sold my childhood home even though I was married and living away.

I think the trick will be showing him lots of great things straight away, to let him know how brilliant travel can be before we slowly slip into the daily routine of slow travel. I hope he’ll love having all his family around him, having Dad 24/7, he’s a Daddy’s boy and that will help. I’ll try to get him involved in the planning, let him make a few decisions about where we go.  I hope he realises that home is where WE are.

That we’ll run out of money

It’s going to be a lot more expensive than we thought. We were thinking prices hadn’t changed too much since the last time we did this. We were thinking family accommodation wouldn’t cost much more than couple accommodation. Not so.

We don’t have an internet business or huge savings, we will have, maybe, $20-30 000. Less than we planned. I’m not sure how long that money will last. The blog is becoming profitable,  but not enough to support us.

Health problems

A bit of Delhi belly is par for the course and no major problem, but I’m starting to feel my age. I’ve had a few issues in the last 12 months that I thought would never happen to me, I’ve realised I’m not invincible.

I’m also scared that the kids will injure themselves, they have a knack of doing that. I can’t wrap them in cotton wool 24/7 although I’ll do my very best. My head is full of what-ifs.

That we’ll swap one working reality for a different one

I spend a lot of hours on this blog, too many. I’m worried that Mum will be tied to the laptop frantically trying to make money and neglecting the kids. I don’t want to swap places with dad. Scary stuff.

So that’s it, my fears in a nutshell. No, I’m not scared to travel the world, so long as it all goes according to plan. Time will tell.

UPDATE: This post was written in 2012. We left, it was a success, we’re still loving it and making a living online. Nobody got too sick or too injured, nothing much went wrong, the kids, Chef and I are all doing great and very happy that we chose this path. Read more about the how-s why-s and who-s of our adventure, here.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

14 thoughts on “Scared to Travel the World?”

  1. Hi Alyson, I love this. Never seen it before.
    You all seem so young. Sooo much has happened since you wrote this.
    Good to see the early days

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  2. I can’t wait to follow your journey with your children, i’ve got 2 boys and would love to show them the world. I’ve just got ties (animals…couldn’t leave them) here in the UK that will stop me from travelling for long periods of time, so for now we have to settle for 2 week holidays here and there.

    I’m trying to persuade hubby that we need to be more adventurous in our destination choices….last year was disney, florida, kids loved it which was great…but am keen to try them in Asia, maybe Cambodia or Thailand.

    Reply
    • Hi Carly, we find Asia really easy with the kids. But Florida is the best fun ever! We’ve only got a cat, my fingers are very tightly crossed that we can find him a new home. The guinea pig already disappeared, maybe a snake.

      Reply
  3. I really hope it works out for you – inspiring children to travel and learn more about the world they live in is really important.

    Reading your last sentance makes me smile. In my experience nothing ever goes according to plan, that’s one of the joys and nightmares of travel.

    Reply
  4. Sooo excited for you-if you are ever in England and need a place to stay, there’s a freebie here in sunny Sunderland. You’ll have to stay in a tent or on our floor as our house is VERY small, but it would be fun! Just realised I think I’ve invited four families already, hope you don’t all turn up at once! We could always go on holiday I suppose. 😉 oh, and one of the families are The Klafs, don’t know if I could cope with Gabi and you at the same time!

    Reply
    • See you in Sunderland Melanie! I don’t think I’ve ever been to Sunderland. I have friends and family in Wales, Manchester, Cambridge, Bournemouth, all over the place. The UK may be our cheapest place to visit! Thanks so much, I’ll talk to Gabi and make sure we turn up on your doorstep simultaneously 🙂

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    • If you’re reading this comments thread, Hi! Know that Melanie was one of our earliest followers and became a firm online friend. We did eventually meet, and there’s a photo of her family and mine in our Scotland road trip post. Many of our early followers became firm friends over the years. Gabi, of The Nomadic Family, stopped blogging, but hers was the best travel blog out there, back in the day. We never got to meet them but our paths crossed on the road, we use a guest house in Kathmandu that the Klafs used. Their photo is on the wall, Ram, the owner, is a friend to both families.

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  5. Travelling the world will be a true education for your kids and may well mean they will grow up faster.

    I think you have to overcome your fears to reach out and explore. Be cautious but don’t let it ruin a sense of adventure.

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    • Faster and slower really. They’ll have good heads on them, I hope, but I think not being in school keeps them children for longer, no peer pressure to look cool and tough. I’ll be fine, they’ll be fine, I’m sure, but Mum Goggles make you see danger everywhere.

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  6. Hi Alyson
    Thank you for sharing your blog on my wall.
    Wow this sounds like quite the expedition. I am proud of you for deciding to do so though. If you look on my blog under barcelona, you will notice an interview with masha. they have been travelling with their kids as well and have dealt with school issues. 1 dad and 1 kid also a great blog to follow. I wish you well on this trip 🙂

    Reply
  7. Love this post. Love the comment about your kids’ education. From one Qld homeschooler to another, you go for it, girl!
    Despite your 5 concerns, it would be all the more scary NOT to do it – to remain in Port Douglas and keep living that same life. That would be something you would regret.
    And as everyone knows, regrets suck, big time!

    Reply
    • Don’t they just, but I’m not big on regrets, if I hadn’t moved to Port I may never have discovered homeschooling and we may never have done this thing. We would have been trapped in the UK, both working, buying bigger, flatter TVs and buying lots of shoes ( I still miss shoes!) Thanks Thursday!

      Reply

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