This month we celebrate 3 years of being location independent, traveling full time. In the past 3 years, we’ve explored 10 countries (11 if you include South Africa) – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia – Bali, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Georgia.
Traveling and Kids
This has been the most incredible journey of our lives. We are so grateful to be able to share this with our daughters, Kayla (9) and Megan (7). Throughout our travels, the girls are doing online school. On top of that, they are learning Spanish, French, and coding. Their general knowledge has expanded exponentially – instead of learning only from books they now get to see and experience and most importantly remember what they learn.
In the past three years, the girls have been involved in pottery, music, ballet, netball, gymnastics, kickboxing, Vietnamese cooking, and skiing lessons. They get to interact with children their own age and build great friendships from all over the world.
They are fantastic in picking up new languages – just the basics as we never stay long enough to properly learn the language.
This is the best decision we could’ve ever made for our daughters and their upbringing.
- The sad longing for pets is always on the table.
- Birthday gifts and toys are always chosen based on size as it needs to fit into a travel bag. What doesn’t fit, needs to be left behind.
- No birthday parties – we try to create great memories by doing something special that day. Cake is ALWAYS part of the celebration.
- Missing Grandparents – we communicate via phone calls and audio notes but we miss them every day and wish we could just give both Oumas and Oupas a huge hug.
- Saying goodbye to new friends – this is always such a sad affair. We have decided to not say goodbye anymore but rather say “See you!”
Where Have We Been?
We lived on the most picturesque Thai islands and walked amongst the ruins of ancient cities. We learned to eat spicy foods and to smile a lot. We learned about respect for others and the elders.
We swam in turquoise blue waters and stayed in bungalows on Malaysian islands. We lived amongst elephants, proboscis monkeys, and orangutans in Borneo’s jungle, most popular amongst National Geographic videographers and researchers. Malaysia taught us about kindness, that it’s okay to get lost, you don’t need money to be happy, and that the “scary” places aren’t as dangerous as it looks.
In Vietnam, we cruised amongst the islands in Halong Bay and cycled through the setting of Kong: Skull Island. We kayaked kilometers through caves in Ninh Binh. We learned to eat fresh and healthy foods on a daily basis, that there is nothing wrong with preparing and eating food on the sidewalk, and the art of moving in a flock.
We explored Bali on the back of a scooter. We lived in a cabin in the jungle, experienced earthquakes, the eruption of a volcano, and stayed amongst the rice fields in the most beautiful villa. We explored the neighboring islands and got to swim with manta rays. Bali taught us that family is everything, to respect nature and the true meaning of gratitude.
Africa called us back – we longed for the African sun and family. We learned some sailing skills whilst sailing along South Africa’s western coast on Eben’s brother’s catamaran for a month. It was good to be back with family and friends and enjoying traditional foods.
We headed to Namibia where we stayed in the authentic coastal town, Henties Bay. We spent our days exploring and playing in the sand dunes in Long Beach. We camped in the desert and in riverbeds amongst free-roaming wildlife. The goosebumps as the roar of desert lions awakes you at night and only the footprints of the gentle African giants as proof of their visit the previous night. Namibia taught us the importance of friendship, being one with nature, how small we are, and how far the desert and openness can stretch. Most importantly, have respect for nature and never venture off unprepared.
In Botswana, we camped between wildlife and experienced hundreds of elephants fighting for a drop of water just a few meters from us. We also got stuck for three days on the dry and deserted Makgadikgadi Pans with limited water and food. Botswana taught us to not take chances when alone. Unfortunately, we learned our lesson the hard way.
We explored the beautiful mountain kingdom of Lesotho and hiked amongst ancient boulders in the grasslands of the Maluti Mountains. We learned to relax and just enjoy our surroundings and breathe.
Swaziland / Eswatini
We traveled through the small Kingdom of Eswatini with the most magnificent highveld scenery with rolling uplands, impressive valleys, and gorges. We stayed in the Piggs Peak Hotel, escaping from the heat of the day in the hotel’s sparkling pool.
We had the privilege of staying in a beautiful “casa” on the beach. We were spoiled with lazy days in the pool, having a barbeque on the beach with an ice-cold 2M beer, freshly baked Pao’s (Portuguese rolls) and fresh seafood. Our time spent here we used to catch up with some school work and do some research on our future travel plans. We actually got to rest a bit and just do nothing, it was a well deserved break from traveling.
We have reached our 11th country, Georgia. We got to experience snow and learned how to ski. The hospitality of the Georgians are out of this world. We are currently in lockdown but we can’t wait to explore the rest of this beautiful country.
In a Nutshell
This has been the most amazing three years and we would recommend this lifestyle to anyone. Don’t wait for tomorrow, do it now. Prepare and do your homework. Do not leave without a form of income. Resolve your relationship issues because a rocky relationship won’t make it. Be prepared to live on a budget.
Thank you to everyone who has been following our journey. We appreciate every comment and message that we receive.