Good-Bye House, Hello World!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

—Mark Twain

Brian and I are convinced that we possess a streak of madness. To seriously contemplate on downsizing our lives, selling our beloved home, and taking our 4 kids with us on a new adventure travelling around the world, seems (I’m sure to many) quite a crazy thing to do.

Our family travelling dream began 10 years ago.  After being married for two months, we soon discovered that we were pregnant.  We were surprised, but overjoyed.  We decided then to purchase two tickets to Bangkok, Thailand, returning from Manila, Philippines 10 weeks later, to live out our dream of backpacking through South-East Asia as a married couple.  It was quite a bold move for a young newly-married couple, who just discovered they were pregnant, to arrive in Bangkok without even knowing where we would sleep that night.

The journey through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines turned out to be quite a life-changing experience for us, and solidified a stronger relationship in our marriage.  It was in the Philippines that Brian and I wrote down our life goals and dreams together and committed to working towards making them come true.  One of them was to have 4 children (preferably 2 girls and 2 boys) and travel the world together as a family. Now, after all this time and hard work (in our family life and business life), the opportunity of travelling the world together has presented itself, and we happily anticipate this new adventure to begin.

We have been researching about this slow travel digital nomadic lifestyle for almost two years now. We feel quite humbled to know that we are just skimming the surface of knowledge in educating ourselves about travelling safely with 4 children in tow.  However, long term travel is about being open to possibilies, of becoming a student of life and of the world.  This requires boldness and a lot of hard work in learning new things, planning, and following through to keep our family healthy, continually growing, and most importantly, safe.  We want to explore and experience this wonderful world.  To continue to grow to know each other and this immensely beautiful world more intimately.

As parents, we are choosing not to be fearful, but instead always careful.  Trusting in God, intuition, and eachother to lead the way.  We want to show the kids that the world is not a scary place.  That there are more good and beautiful people out there than there are bad.  That life is about taking the right kinds of risks, following your heart and always being true to yourself.  Life is too short to grumble and complain about how the way things should be.  We need to take action, learn understanding and tolerance first-hand, and go out to make a difference in the world.  The world God created is an incredibly wonderful and beautiful place.

We want to explore it, marvel in it, and delight in it! 

Our time is now, and we want to make the most out if it.

Sometimes Brian and I are surprised with ourselves as to why we are so compelled to leave everything familiar behind. We sometimes feel guilty for wanting something different instead of being grateful for what we have, which is a pretty sweet life filled with family and friends. However, I think we are in a position in our lives where we want to be intellectually stimulated and challenged by experiencing the world in a totally different and deeper manner.

We are open to expanding our horizons, and at the same time hope to become more aware of the wonderful blessings we have taken for granted in our secure routined life in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We are blessed to have our inspiring children be our travel companions. We are so grateful to have bright adventurous kids who are not afraid of change and are deeply enthusiastic of learning about the world. To us, travel is the best education!

Our family is our home.

As long as we are together as a family, we are at home in the world.

Written by Jennifer Smeenk

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12 Responses to Good-Bye House, Hello World!

  1. marygrace villarisco says:

    your decision INSPIRED me a lot…i’m just curious, how do you finance these travels?…we really wanted to travel a lot but our finances hold us back..please enlighten me..

  2. Pingback: A Look Back: My 7 Links | At Home in the World

  3. Pingback: on the road: nomadic families - The Minimalist Mom

  4. gaijinchic says:

    Hi Jennifer and Brian,
    When Justin at The Great Family Escape, asked me to answer a couple of questions for his post on Nomadic Families, I was interested to see who else would be in the list. It has been a great chance to read about other families having similar adventures. I am enjoying your blog and will be following along too now. I whole-heartedly agree with your idea that family is our home. We remind our boys the same thing, Home is where-ever we are together.
    Keep up the good posts.
    Fay – Gaijinchic

    • So great to meet you and connect with you Fay! I just checked out your site and LOVE what you’ve written so far. Sharing your informative experiences about travel and expat living is right up our alley. We’ll continue to follow your site. We wish you the best!
      Happy Travels 🙂

  5. Just found your blog – WOW! What a spectacular family. I love your sense of adventure and that you’re sharing it with all of us via this blog.
    I have a blog about minimalism and families. Would you be interested in guest posting? I know my readers and I would love to hear more about your decision to sell your home and what items you kept and what you travel with. My email address is rachel jonat at gmail dot com.

    • Hi Rachel!
      Thank you for your comment and we’re so happy to meet you! I’ve had a chance to read a little of your blog and have enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. Awesome! We’d be honoured to write a guest post on your blog! We’ll keep in touch! 😉

  6. nicole and gavin says:

    Hi Guys
    We are following your grand adventure and want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year! Enjoy your amazing journey!
    Nicole and Gavin

  7. Lisa says:

    Here Here …Well said Jenn. You guys are an inspiration to all! Miss you guys.

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