When people have kids, their life takes a major turn. Whereas they used to go out or travel, now they stay home. They tell themselves that they’ll start doing these things again when their kids are older or when this happens or that happens.
After our son was born, we didn’t want to get stuck in that vicious cycle of always having excuses for putting things off. We weren’t going to put our lives on hold; instead, we would bring our son with us and make him a part of the journey.
You can’t help but admire the parents who traveled long distances with their children back in the olden days—and by the olden days, we mean the era before smart phones, tablets, and other modern luxuries. How did they do it? How did they maintain their sanity? How did they cope?
People often ask us to tell them about the vacation we took in 2017—and we often offer a gentle correction: When you’re traveling for eight and a half months, that’s not a vacation. It’s a sabbatical. And the difference is more than just semantic. It represents a totally different state of mind.
Note: This is the first article in our series around our travel philosophy, Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E.(Flexible). In this article, we give the overview of what Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. stands for and in future articles, we breakdown each letter at a time.
Before our son, Aarav, was born, we loved to travel together. AJ grew up in Dubai, traveling often with his family when he was young, and then continuing on his own once he left home. Natasha didn’t travel as much as a child, but once we met in North Carolina, she developed the travel bug through AJ, and ever since, we were travelers.
We knew we didn’t want to stop seeing the world when Aarav was born. We made up our minds to continue traveling, taking smaller trips and vacations before deciding to embark on our around the world adventure. We wanted him to see the world with him and share our experiences as a family.
Note: This is the ninth and final article in our series around our travel philosophy, Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. In this article, we breakdown what the 2nd E in Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. stands for. If you want to first get an overview on Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. itself, please click here.
We are big fans of technology. (Then again, we are both software engineers, so we may have a slight bias.) Technology begins with using tools like TripAdvisor and Google Translate to help you with your trip. Planning a trip requires some research, and there are many websites that can help you find your routes, seek out accommodations, and book your trip. When in a foreign location, having apps and resources to help you find your way, decipher a different language, or make alternative plans when weather suddenly changes is imperative.
One of the most often questions we are asked is about taking a gap year with our son. To travel 9 months together meant leaving our jobs and putting our home life on hold. We had to plan a budget, save for the trip, make tough decisions, and have a plan for life at home once we returned. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but was it worth it? Absolutely!
Once upon a time, you used to travel together. Romantic
weekend getaways, relaxing summer vacations. Then you started a family, and
ran out of time to do absolutely nothing. “One day, when the kids are older,”
you say, thinking about when you can travel again. To that, we say, “Go now!”
We may have traveled to over 50 countries each (and over 40 with our child) but that has not cured our insatiable wanderlust. We knew our 9 months of nonstop travel would have to end, yet even while on the road, we were always planning for our next big adventure, saving our list of places we wanted to visit onto our phones. Our list has grown since we have returned home. Some would call it a Bucket List.
Note: This is the sixth article in our series around our travel philosophy, Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. In this article, we breakdown what I in Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. stands for. If you want to first get an overview on Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. itself, please click here.
There are friends who stick to strict schedules for their children but sometimes, those schedules could cause you to miss out on things, or doesn’t always work. We are big believers in improvisation: Improvise and go with the flow with eating habits, eating times, sleep schedules and nap schedules.