Family of Six Travels the World with Friends

I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!

On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include  the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!

Through the blog and our brand new company Wylder Pursuits we have been able to make connections and gain sponsorships for our trip. (To discuss working together, email jess@wonderoak.com for more information.)

Last time we flew for longer than five hours, the people behind us started pushing candy bars between the seats to our three year old, because PLEASE JESUS JUST MAKE HER STOP CRYING. It didn’t work (by the way). But there is hope for humanity in the kindness of strangers.

My current flying with children strategy = order a glass of wine. That is all.

On the blog I will share with you the good, the amazing, the gross, and the ugly. You can either laugh with me or laugh at me, both are welcomed. My guess is that either you will start stalking kayak.com for sweet tickets, or, you will snuggle into your couch after your kids are asleep (in their beds) and THANK-GOD-AND-ALL-THAT-IS-HOLY that you are not traveling.

That’s legit. I’ll face-off with a big ass spider in Thailand just for you.

Graham and I are passionate about a few things:

#1. Coffee should be drunk before words are spoken.

#2. Family and adventure can be done together. I can not tell you the bajillion times people have said to me: “I want kids…but I want to ‘travel, adventure, have fun…’ first.” I totally get it, I do, BUT we are firm believers that life should not END when kids are born. Kids are flexible. You don’t HAVE to do parenting any particular way – you are the parent and it’s your family. Have a normal life. Or don’t. You’re the boss of you.

#3. Having a global perspective. One of our main goals as parents is to raise kids that have a global perspective. We don’t want America to be their only (very limited) worldview. We want the world to feel small and other cultures familiar. We want them to build their lives on compassion and understanding.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Mark Twain

#4. Experience over things. It’s easy to look at travel like an unnecessary luxury, but we think it is invaluable. Sacrifices have been made for this trip. Things were sold, extra hours were worked, pennies were pinched. We’ve never replaced our TV that got karate kicked by a certain 3 year old.

We have often found ourselves sucked into a lifestyle of getting the next new thing, but when we stop and ask ourselves what we really WANT from life, we will always choose experience and adventure over things.

#5. Not making “travel” or “kids” the scapegoat for stress. We don’t blame a stressful day on either of those things. Travel can be stressful without kids. Kids can be stressful without travel. If we blame one or the other then it gives us a reason to either stay at home, or be resentful that we’re parents.

To each their own, but we embrace it because for us, adventure is worth the work and the cost.

#6. Community. We’ve had weekly dinners with some of our closest friends for four years. There’s been weddings, babies, hardships, and lots and lots of laughter. The result is friends that are more like family.

In our opinion, life is just better when it’s done with others. Benji and Aubree are the best kind of people and we are so honored to go on this adventure with them.  Other friends and family plan to meet up with us along the way.

#7. Going to learn, to see, to taste, and to grow. We want to read the world like a book. We want to taste it, to see it, and to feel it. The goal is to be teachable, to soak in all that we can, and to make friendships along the way.

We have done a lot of exploring in the U.S., but have not (yet) traveled to other continents with the kids. Graham and I have been to probably 10 countries between us, but this is next level travel. This is travel with more pull-ups and snacks. This is travel with more potty breaks and coloring books. This is probably (let’s be honest) travel with more tears (mine and theirs).

BUT we want to.

But we need to.

Sooo…tell your friends! April 8th is GO DAY, follow along for the ride here on Wonderoak, Facebook and Instagram as well as @wylderpursuits on Instagram!

Don’t live a certain lifestyle because you think you have to. Stop. Question it. Let yourself think “what if”.  At the end of the day if normal is what you want – then embrace it. BUT, if upon reflection you realize that your heart is full of intoxicating dreams – don’t bury them. Feed them. Wrestle with them. Let them breathe enough to scare you.

We are not all the same, we weren’t meant to be…some of us burn to do something different.

What is your “different”?

Cheers guys, to all of our next adventures!

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Photos by the talented Benji Poffenroth.

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27 thoughts on “Family of Six Travels the World with Friends

  1. annabelle25

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Hi Jess!!! 🙂 I am soo excited for you and your family! I am excited as well that you are going to the Philippines! I’d love to bring you around in case you don’t have any tour guides around! So happy for you and looking forward to reading your next post! Godbless! 

    Bes Regards,  Annabelle Aro-Gudiaga 09274101011

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teri

    That’s awesome! I’m jealous! How do you do it for 4-5 months? Who is looking after your place and paying the bills? Do you have an entire schedule planned out for that length of stay? I can hardly plan for two weeks away, the cost for food/lodging outside a hostel can be $$$ for a family. Best of luck! Looking forward to your adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea D

    You are my kind of people!
    What a breath of fresh air, thank you for this encouragement. I am an adventurer and have been wondering over the past 6 months I guess if (when the man comes) I have to choose between adventure or family. No! I can have both!
    Thank you for these encouraging words. They are like coffee to my tastebuds. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This Mama

    You will never, ever, regret this! My parents backpack packed around SE Asia with me when I was 8 and these are some of my strongest memories. That experience shaped who I am today. My husband and I also backpacked around SE Asia for 5.5 months before we had our daughter. It was the best time in both of our lives. So on voyage and safe, happy travels to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Daniella Joy

    I can’t wait to see where you all go!!! 🙂 So FUN! I have so many amazing memories traveling with my family when I was little (and we still love traveling together)! Enjoy the journey and adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wonderoak

    Hey Teri! We have a unique situation right now because we will be between houses. We are going to put our stuff in storage and sell a lot of it for the trip. We plan to be creative with lodging – but definitely follow along to see how it goes!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wonderoak

    Asaragusa, this has definitely been a dream of ours for a long time – and there have been moments when I thought it would never happen. Your day will come :D!

    Like

  8. itallbeganwithtwo

    Yay!! I love 😍this! I’ve traveled twice out of the country for a couple of weeks with my toddlers. It’s an experience I’ll forever cherish. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures. In the meantime I think I need to talk to my husband about stepping up our travel game 😉 Four to five months??!! Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chris_V

    We did a slice of Australia’s SE coast from Sydney to Kangaroo Island with our then 8yr old daughter. To say this was a formative experience for us all would be an understatement – it’s been the bedrock of our family. Travel tip: go with the flow – some days we had a planned itinerary and some days we let the kid pick (like the day she decided she wanted to learn how to surf – I’ve never been prouder : )
    ~Namaste

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Beatrice Bejanin

    I just joined your mailing list, a friend hooked me up and it was great to read your fresh news.
    We biked across the American continent from Anchorage to Ushuaia, 25oookm over 18 months for our honeymoon 18 years ago. We are now the parents of four and all our choices have been positively impacted by that trip.
    We wish you many beautiful encounters with people of all trades, they are what you bring home with you in the end, with the certainty that we are surrounded by generous, amazing people who all have a story for us to listen to and much in common to share.
    We are always happy to be able to do our share and welcome travellers as we once were welcomed, so when in Europe and if in France, email us, our casa es su casa.

    Bon courage for the last months of planning and organizing

    Beatrice

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Belle Papillon 24/7

    You ate blessed to be able to do this with your whole family and for that much time. Your kids are so fortunate as well for having parents that’s full of a excitement and adventure. I can’t wait to see how it goes. I just took my daughters on a 1 month island-hopping adventure in the Philippines and they can’t wait to go back. I blogged about it, you might want to check it out.

    This year I’m taking them to Europe and I’m going to UAE and Israel by myself next month. Work life balance is key!

    Safe travels!

    Carpe diem!

    Liked by 1 person

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