Is Traveling with Children Selfish?

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I rarely accept guest posts but Caz and Craig have a story that should be shared. I started my own journey because I thought IF I wanted children it would be my last real opportunity to travel. And then I met these two online who balance a family with their love for adventure. They are proof a family doesn’t mean sacrificing your passion.

Craig and I have chosen a rather unorthodox path in our life. We married and took off overseas to travel, and then had Kalyra and moved overseas once again.

The comments we receive about our life and parenting choices are endless. It often isn’t direct comments, but subtle looks or conversations that always leave us with the feeling that people think we are selfish and aren’t looking after the well-being of our daughter.

She should be at home, so she can make friends….. She’ll be going to school soon…. You have to think of her happiness…” blah, blah, blah-blah-blah. Blow raspberries.

family in fiji

I personally would like to know how people have so much time to be worrying about what I am doing with my life. My underlying thought, however is always:

 

“How do you know if you have never pushed the barriers and tried things yourself?”

 

The negativity we receive about it comes from people who have never done what we do and are basing their judgements on what society dictates. I don’t run my life like that and never will.

I make decisions based upon what I know to be true for myself. I can only know these truths if I first question and then I try.

Of course, as naysayers are apt to achieve, doubts are put into my head and I start to think “Am I a bad mother? Do I not look after my child’s best interest?”

I look at my three-year old daughter, her happiness, and how she has benefited so far from her life of travel. And this is what I see

 

Global awareness and unlimited thinking

• Every day Kalyra asks when are we moving back to America. She knows she has to catch a plane to get there. “I don’t like going up or down in the plane mummy. I’m scared of that. You have to hold my hand.” Her fear does not stop her from going where she wants to go.

• She has no barriers or limiting thoughts as to what she can do. We watch a TV show about a travelling chef cooking amongst the rice terraces of Sapa, Vietnam. “Can I go there mummy and do that? It’s beautiful there.”

• “When I get bigger mummy, I am going to teach the kiddies in Thailand. Just me. Not you or daddy. Don’t worry I will be okay.”

“Will you call me? I’ll miss you.”

“Yes, I will. I’ll miss you too.”

• Kalyra is very aware of her world around her, she knows where she was born, where she has lived and where she has travelled. What a gift this is!

Australia Zoo with reptile

 

Travel Excitement

• Right now Kalyra is saving for Disneyland. She talks about it everyday, she jumps up and down and claps her hand with excitement and plans all the rides she is going to go on. She collects spare change from everyone and currently has $200. (great saving tip-collect your coins)

• Kalyra likes to pack her own bag and she is adamant that she rolls her suitcase to the airport check-in gates.

• We mentioned to her that we might go to Queensland. “Yeah. I want to go. When are we going mummy?” She asks us this a couple of times a week and tells people, “We’re going to Queensland to see where I was born.”

• On road trips, she loves to listen to Carrie Underwood over and over and over again, and eats packets of chips. She misses her road tripping car.

• She loves flying on planes and her excitement is palpable. She wanders up and down the aisle waving at people, she sits still in her chair and faves about all the movies she can watch. She loves pointing out all the great food she receives and she sleeps.

 

Social Interaction

• She has friends that look and sound different to her, and even though she is not with them now she talks about them all the time. These are friends her age and friends mummy and daddy’s age.

• When we travel she talks to anyone, she finds children to play with in the park, she dances in the street. I don’t see her doing this when we are not travelling. She becomes more insular, reticent, and afraid.

• She loves hanging out at Starbucks. When we go to eat out, she grabs the menu, runs her fingers down the page and says what she wants to eat and then tells the waitress.

• She is very kind and caring and considers others happiness.

 

Intelligence and Creativity

• She can look at a tourist map (with icons on it) of Sydney and point out the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and Luna Park. She claps her hands with joy when we say we are going to Sydney for the day. “And can we go to Darling Harbour and I can ride the merry-go-round and the train!”

• She is highly imaginative, creates her own plays, reads her stories, can colour in neatly between the lines, knows her letters and numbers and can read her name and sometimes mummy and daddy. Travelling certainly hasn’t affected her ability to learn.

• She has a curiosity, awe and wonder about the world that is far beyond her years. She often stops to gaze and wonder, “Wow! It’s soooo beautiful.” She drives mummy crazy with endless “why” questions.

Most importantly when she travels she is happy, she glows with happiness. I’m not saying she wouldn’t be the same way if she didn’t travel, but many seem to think this is not possible.

In fact, I am more concerned for her happiness now that we are back in the “real world.”

elmo halloween costume

 

Facing society’s concerns

Am I worried about schooling for her?

Absolutely not. I am a school teacher. I see what happens in classrooms every day. A teacher’s time is taken up with those who don’t want to learn and bureaucratic demands.

Parents will always be the first and foremost educators for their children and besides, schools are everywhere. Why does she have to be limited to one school, in one area, for her whole life?

What about friendships?

Kalyra can easily make friends. She may not make those long-term friendships, but is that really a bad thing? You have to question. What are the good things about it?

She learns that people come and go in your life, and that you can’t hold onto things. She learns how to get along with people who talk, look, believe and think differently to her. She learns that no matter where she is in the world, she can talk to someone and laugh with them and share special memories, even if they are only temporary.

What about her extended family?

This is always a hard one, but I will say exactly what I believe in regards to me and what my parents have always said to me. “This is your life, you have to do what makes you happy. You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness.”

With technology these days keeping in touch has never been easier and more instant.

What about developing her passions and interests?

This is my only major concern. Right now she loves ballet, and has just started classes. The challenge is to work out how to maintain this while we travel.

Considering we usually take the expat/digital nomad travel approach, she can always take classes wherever our new home may be. If not, maybe online classes??

In retrospect, I don’t think I am a bad mother or that Kalyra suffers from our life travelling the world. I can only see how much it has heightened her awareness of herself, the world around her, and her happiness.

Caz Makepeace first started travelling and living around the world in 1997. For the last 9 years, her husband Craig has joined her adventures and now their 3 year old daughter Kalyra. They believe life is all about the memories and making your life a story to tell. You can follow their travel stories and tips at their travel blog, or join their facebook community.

 

Join the Conversation

  1. I love it! All the very best for your lil’ family 🙂

  2. Bocas Chick says:

    I think what this family has is something very inspiring. How old is Kalyra? She seems so excited in the photos.

    What a nice family, traveling and making adventures together. Great post 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you! Kalyra is three and a half. She has a high excitability factor. She helps keep my enthusiasm up that is for sure!

  3. You’re an awesome mom, Caz! People thought we were crazy when we moved to the Caribbean to operate a remote off-the-grid resort with our kids when they were 2 and 5. I think it’s bad parenting to *not* take your kids out of your own country. p.s. your photo above is very similar to the one in my latest post. 😉

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Hey, I like your funny faces photos. They are so much fun to create. Kalyra likes to do them all the time now. She has just started taking the camera now to take photos too. They are nice and blurry and lobsided but she pulls the odd good photo off!
      Thank you for your encouraging comment. You are also doing some amazing things with your children. I think it is part of our responsibility as parents to educate them about the global world they live in and help open their minds to it. What better way than travelling?

  4. Not everyone is meant to live a suburban 9 to 5 lifestyle. Don’t let the critics get you down. You should keep travelling for as long as you feel it’s in the best interest for your family. Your daughter is getting a global education that most kids that young don’t have. I think that’s the complete opposite of selfish.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thanks Alouise. It is such a breath of fresh air to hear such supportive comments from people who can really understand the true value that can come from travelling. As a parent, you worry all the time whether you are doing the best you can do for your children. I think at the end of the day, only you know what is best for you and your children and you have to trust in that.

  5. Wow, what an amazing way to raise a child. I can’t think of a better gift you can give a kid than showing them that the world is big, the people are diverse and caring, and the possibilities of her life are wide open. You are raising a smart kid who will have a fascinating life story to tell. If only every child were so lucky!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Kim. It is so nice to hear these positive, encouraging words about what we choose to do with our life. There is so many positive things that can come from travelling with a child.

  6. You have a lot of really good points! There is no need to do the ‘normal’ thing in life! Do what you enjoy and do something meaningful! You are doing both of those and your daughter is getting experiences most 3 year old kids don’t have! You’re sharing memories as a family that you will never forget. Props to you for following your heart!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      It’s funny that you mention sharing memories as a family. Our tagline and motto is “It’s all about the memories” We make choices in our life that ensures we are making the best possible memories, otherwise we feel we are wasting our life. Our memories are the only thing we can take with us no matter where we go. And it is wonderful to always hear Kalyra talk about her memories from other countries at such a young age.
      Thanks so much for your comment

  7. Hey Caz,

    The gift you’re giving Kalyra is more than what most parents give their children. You’re giving her freedom, knowledge, experience,copious amounts of imagination and the can do anythings. Schooling would not even touch the surface with what Kalyra is learning and experiencing. With my own daughter starting school next year, I already feel daunted by the dictatorship of what “they” believe our children should know and the suppression of the imagination and lateral thinking that makes our kids so intelligent.
    Good on you for going against the grain and following what you believe. I am sure a hell of alot of us would love to do the same but may not have the courage. xx

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I think you really spoke some very important truths about education.
      Being a teacher helps me see even more the value of “life” education and the sad reality of our classrooms.
      I only teach casually now and each time I walk out of the classroom it further clarifies to me that we are on the right track and homeschooling looks good.
      Anyway, I could write forever about that topic. As long as you are the foremost educator of your child, your daughter will be fine in school. Just foster and encourage the imagination and lateral thinking at home.

  8. Great post! I’ll echo what the others have said – I think travel is a great experience for a child. I suspect a lot of the grief you are getting is because people are scared to do it themselves and don’t want to see anyone else take it one successfully as it gives them less excuses.

    I wonder how *you* manage it though. Dan and I have been on the road since May 1st and although I love travel, sometimes I find it so hectic and stressful. Seriously lady, if you can make it work with a kid – that makes you A+ mommy in my books because I seriously don’t know if I could do it. 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I think a lot of the grief comes from that as well. And because, unfortunately some people want you to live your life for them.
      It is a lot more challenging and your travel style changes somewhat. We actually received information today about a free family holiday to Israel, which I immediately said no to. The protective fear of mine is too great to take Kalyra there yet. So there is definitely that element to travel now.
      We are really lucky that Kalyra is a great traveller.

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  10. Christine says:

    My best childhood memories are from traveling with my family. Your daughter is so blessed to have parents who understand the value of the world’s classroom.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thanks Christine. I love it that she knows so much about the world already, I think that is such a precious gift. so many of the naysayers seem to think material possessions are far better gifts. I guess I missed that boat!!

  11. Hey Caz! Lovely post. I’d say it gets easier once the child is bigger and people can see how confident they are, how well they cope, what their educational attainment is.

    You’ll also notice how accepting of difference children become with travel.

    I think one thing I’d emphasise is how much family time the travel lifestyle can provide compared to fulltime grind.

    As regards ballet, etc. If you were to look at it as different types of dance, there’s many types of places she could do classes and learn. But a mobile lifestyle does tend to reduce those sorts of opportunities.

    Anywise. Lovely post. Happy for you with number two on the way, too.

    Theodora

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Accepting of difference is so incredibly important and one of the most valuable things about travel for children. Your son is also incredibly lucky for the experiences you are giving him.
      I didn’t think about the different types of dance. She would love all of that as well.
      I hope number two loves travel as much

  12. Thank you for that post! Will be a topic for us soon as well & I love to see when parents travel with their kids – in a cool way!

    Others just go All Inclusive & a kids club. Why should have kids, if I don’t want to see them in my holiday? Strange, right? 😉

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Melvin, I didn’t realize you were having a child. When are you due? We have another one coming in August.
      We love travelling with Kalyra, it adds another element of joy. She makes me enjoy even a simple train ride again. We are heading to Sydney for the day and she is beside herself with excitement.

  13. Jennifer Miller says:

    WAY TO GO!! We are always so excited to see families with kids taking the plunge, living their dreams together as a family and exposing their kids to the great big world.

    We’ve got four kids, aged 8-14 years and we’ve been on the road full time for three years now. We love it. The KIDS love it and it has been the best thing our family has ever done. We have no plans to “settle down” anytime soon!

    Come visit us, as we love making new friends and it’s a rare pleasure to come across another passionate traveling family!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      wow! four kids. I would love to learn more about how you manage with that. I’ve got another on the way and I worry about the extra challenge that will come with that.
      What an experience it is for your family! i know travelling with Craig for years after we married made our relationship really strong, so would be a gift for building a close, and happy family. The world needs that!

  14. The whole world is her school and home. Well, what can I say, she’s one lucky child!

    This is a great read!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      The best school of all! I hate routine so I think she is lucky that every day at school changes and forces her to think out the box and adapt

  15. Peter @ Hecktic Travels says:

    I think it is so cool when I see a family traveling with their children, what an amazing way for them to experience the world. When we first started our travels trip we had an extended stay in Sucre, Bolivia and ran into a family that was traveling with 3 children and we thought how awesome is that. To see the world through their eyes, I would have loved that growing up as a child. I agree with Christine in that my best memories with my family are when we went on trips.

    I especially liked your outlook on the friendships in that people come and go in your life, and you can’t always hold onto things. Extremely valuable life lessons.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I love how you have that memory of the family you saw travelling in Bolivia. hold onto that. When we were in Laos, we met a wonderful family who were travelling with their 3 year old and 9 month old. They were travelling pretty hard core style and the children were so well behaved, calm and outgoing. The memory of that family has always been an inspiration to us that travelling with kids is something very achievable and worthwhile.
      I think so many problems arrive in people’s lives because of their inability to let go and understand that life is transient, things come and go. If Kalyra can learn that early in life then it can only benefit her later.

  16. with2kidsintow says:

    Great points in your post! We’re a new traveling family too with a similar pre-kids story/history as you..-just started on a 1yr trip with our 3 & 5 yr olds. Was very surprised and ‘comforted’ by the many families I came across online who were/are doing the same thing. My 5yr old just asked me today how they made people in heaven with different languages! Terrific! Gave us something to think and talk about for sure, even though we were in a tuk tuk at the time!

    All the best!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Wonderful!! I love your daughter’s comment. It just goes to show the effects the exposure has on her ability to think creatively and try to work out her world.

  17. Nope, not selfish at all. I wish my parents had travelled with me more when I was a kid. I didn’t go overseas until I was 19. We will definitely be travelling when we have a baby. I’m a little hesitant to travel with an infant on a long-haul flight, but I’m sure we’ll take it on.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Take it on. It is only for at most a day. You’ll be okay. If you book early enough, you can get one of those bassinets which the baby can sleep in and you get more leg room. Kalyra loved it and would climb up stand in it and wave to all the passengers. She had them won over!!

  18. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) says:

    Caz, it sounds like your daughter is having an enviable upbringing! With a schoolteacher mom and tons of new cultural experiences, she’ll be ahead of her peers in many respects. Happy travels!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I don’t feel really lucky and a lot more at ease knowing I am a school teacher. That is one less thing I have to worry about. I know I can teach her if need be.

  19. I am not afraid to admit that I do not like to be around children, and this has always applied to my travels as well.

    But over the past few months traveling through Central America when I see the few families traveling around me, I recognize what an amazing experience that child is having. There is a big difference between taking your child on a 1-2 week vacation and long-term travel. You have perfectly summarized the benefits of global awareness, social skills, intelligence, and creativity. I am getting that experience now as an adult, and it makes me wonder how it would have impacted my life if I grew up with these experiences.

    I think you are giving your child the best education, and you are opening up so many doors to her that she may have never even realized were there.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I can definitely see how positively it has affected her life so far. I wish I had the same too, although still really happy that I eventually got that global education.

      And don’t worry about not wanting to be around kids. Different strokes for different folks!

  20. That girl grows up as a true citizen of the world with open eyes and an open mind. How anyone can providing such an opportunity to a child call ‘selfish’ is beyond me.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Totally agree Inka. I feel quite horrified now that we are home and the exposure she gets to materialism and narrow-minded intolerance.

  21. Samantha Bangayan says:

    Thanks for your post, Caz. It really speaks to me, not because I travel with my family, but because I think that many travellers or people who decide to move to another country may have to face judgment from others. Someone once told me that the people who judge me may be those who are actually jealous and afraid to take the plunge themselves. =P

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      You are welcome Samantha! So glad it resonated with you. Judgemental people can really get you down and steal your dreams. One thing I like to always say is “other peoples opinion of me is none of my business.”
      Keep being true to you. It’s your life.
      I think that jealousy and insecurity play a major part in others judgement. I also think some people think that you are responsible for their happiness do they say certain things to rry and keep you around which in the end is the real selfishness.

    2. Caz Makepeace says:

      OooYou are welcome Samantha! So glad it resonated with you. Judgemental people can really get you down and steal your dreams. One thing I like to always say is “other peoples opinion of me is none of my business.”
      Keep being true to you. It’s your life.
      I think that jealousy and insecurity play a major part in others judgement. I also think some people think that you are responsible for their happiness do they say certain things to rry and keep you around which in the end is the real selfishness.

  22. Claire (Travel Funny Travel Light) says:

    To pose an understatement, LUCKY kid!
    On another note, I am also a teacher, and you are absolutely correct about the classroom. Mine is no exception. Coincidentally or not, those are the kids whose parents I have to hear from this year, I have yet to meet, and who have been failing since Day 1. Parents are ultimately responsible for modeling life. If what they are modeling is inspiring, there is a good chance that learning will be important to their kid. If not, then we have what you have just described above. Keep up the good work (kudos to you from one non-parent ;))

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I feel your teacher pain Claire. So many parents just leave the education (and parenting) up to the schools. We are so determined to build a solid foundation for Kalyra now. Her travel education has been priceless.

      1. I meant to say parents that I have “yet to hear from,” as in, they have never once contacted me about their child’s failure.
        You are correct-it seems that not only am I educator, I am also supposed to be parenting many of my children. Who knew that is what I signed up for?

  23. Simple answer to the question. It’s no more selfish to travel with children as it is to stay in one place. Assuming you take your child’s needs into account as you plan.

    People who think one choice somehow leads to better parenting over the other clearly have a different life view.

    They’re welcome to it.

    We’ve been traveling with our daughter since she was 3. She’s almosst 7. Works for us.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thanks Leigh. It’s so great to hear of others doing the same thing. Helps to make you realize your on the right track and you can keep going on for as long as you like.
      Only the parent knows what is best for their child.

  24. When my children were growing up, the conventional wisdom was that moving too often was not good for them. Since it did not seem to be true in our case, I just ignored it. So did my sister and, to a smaller extent, my brother.

    I often moved us every year, my sister moved her family every few years until her oldest kids were in high school and my brother moved every several years. All of our children are highly adaptable and, except for the youngest two, have been moving around regularly on their own.

    Usually this has been a result of job situations, but they have no fear of doing this, because it is a familiar experience. Most importantly, though, is that they feel comfortable with all kinds of people in all kinds of environments. I’m sure this helped them to make friends so quickly in each new location.

    This is something that is probably only gained from exposure to many different places. And, personally, I firmly believe that this world would be a much better place if EVERYONE were that comfortable with people who are very different than what they are used to. It is so much harder to be prejudiced, when you have positive personal experience of others.

    This is why I was so happy to learn that some classrooms have started fideo Skyping with children from other countries. If this would become mandatory in every classroom from the earliest grades through high school graduation, it would probably have a huge impact on world peace.

    Don’t EVER let anyone make you feel that traveling with your child is wrong. Just like there is no one right way to travel, there is no one right way to raise your child. There are many fabulous people who have spent their entire lives in one place, just as there are many fabulous people who have traveled as far and wide as they could. And there are many people who fit in at every point along the way.

    And your family seems to be doing great. That is all the affirmation that you need. Best of luck!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      It’s always so great to hear of children who have lived a semi-nomadic life being so well-adjusted and balanced.
      There is no right way to parent, as each parent has different beliefs and comfort levels and priorities.
      That is why I always like to keep my opinions on how others choose to live their life quiet. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters.

  25. Great post! I know so many people who seem to think they can’t travel any more – even for a week or two – once they have kids. I don’t think you’re selfish at all – you’re giving Kalyra a wonderful opportunity to learn about and experience the world!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Katie! Many people seem to think once they have kids travel stops, and many other things they want to do. People always say “You won’t be able to travel now you have kids.”
      Of course I can. It’s just a choice. It’s different travel and a bit more challenging but I can still do it if I want to

  26. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    People home school their kids all the time even when they are not traveling, so why not do this while giving your kids the opportunity to experience the world? I personally don’t know if I want kids, but if we do have them you can bet they will be traveling with us!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Good for you guys! And if you don’t want kids than that is just as good. My brother and his wife have been nomads for 17 years and children just aren’t something they want. I’m sure you probably get tired of people asking you whether you’re going to have them!!

  27. You guys are amazing!! I wish I had grown up with this lifestyle …

    You’re not selfish and have prob made her a better person with your travels. 🙂

    She’ll grow up with an awareness of the world other children and even adults will never have. She also will not be constrained by limits that people think they have and will most certainly become an extraordinary person.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Cheryl!! I so appreciate your words of support. We definitely do not want her growing up constrained by limitations. We really want her to learn that the world is her oyster. She can be, do, have whatever she likes.

  28. I love it when couples that have children CONTINUE to travel!
    You’re right, anyone who thinks negatively of it, only does so because he/she doesn’t know any better. And on the contrary – you’re not being selfish – you’re giving your child one of the best educations out there.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Yes. I want couples to know that it really is possible. People will try to tell you it is not, but it’s not true. It’s a little more challenging but if you want it bad enough you can work through it easy enough. It is a lot of fun seeing the world through your child’s eyes.

  29. Whichever way you put it, she’s not making friends, she won’t have common memories with anyone else then her parents and she’s forced to discover things that she could have discovered by herself.
    Still, it doesn’t matter if it’s selfish, you rule your life the way you want to.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I completely agree that you should live your life the way you want.
      I’m a little confused by your other comments though. I won’t touch on the friendships as I spoke about that in the post. Kalyra has already made a lot of friends.
      Craig and I are very social people so she does have common memories with others. We often see our families and we stay in places for long periods of time.
      Besides, I’m not worried at all if the only memories she creates at this time in her life are with us. Because they are full or joy, peace, and a lot of love. There is no better gift for a child, and that could change dramatically when others become involved.
      Being forced to discover things she could have discovered by herself does not make sense to me. Just because we are choosing to travel does not mean we are forcing her to discover things. In fact she discovers a whole lot more on her own because of it. How could us choosing to stay in one place be not considered the same thing?
      I can guarantee when I send her to school she will be forced to discover things she could have by herself, she will be encouraged to rote learn, and learn things she has no interest or need for. Her creativity and imagination will be stifled as will her outgoing nature and curiosity to ensure that she conforms. Kalyra is really creative and smart, so I think she is doing a lot of discovering for herself.

  30. I don’t see why travelling with children would be particularly selfish. One could just as easily argue that staying in one place is limiting for the child and thus selfish.

    I’ve travelled with my daughters since my oldest was 11 weeks (that’s 23 years ago – yikes!) They’ve both turned out to be quite ‘normal’ and they’ve had just as much fun as I have.

    Whenever you do something of the ordinary, you will get flak. But it’s just someone’s opinion – no big deal. In one ear, out the other…

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      That is awesome that you have been travelling for 23 years with your kids. I am sure they are well-adjusted and balanced.
      You have to turn a deaf ear to the nay-sayers and dream-stealers.

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  32. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Seriously you guys are my heroes! I’m nowhere near ready for children, but when they do come I will be bringing them all over the world with me. Your daughter is so beyond precious!!!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      You are so lovely Andi. Thank you. I’m happy to hear that a future mother will take their child on global adventures too. Kalyra is beyond precious!!

  33. Travel with children is not selfish! Travel is the most amazing gift you can give your children. It is the best education in my opinion and it brings your family so much closer together than the 9-5 life. I love seeing more and more families adapt this life style. Bravo to you guys!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Amy. I was just thinking today as we were out exploring the beaches of Sydney and saw how happy Kalyra was. When we travel she gets all of us every day. We are not spending the day at work, we are having fun together as a family. It is such an amazing gift. And it brings us so close together

  34. kara rane says:

    if the parents are truly happy so is the child. Congratulations and well written story from Kalyra’s world,,very cute.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Kara, I think that is so true. The most important thing a child needs is a lot of love and happiness in their environment. I can’t choose to live a life where I am unhappy. This is the worst thing I can do for myself and my family.

  35. Refreshing post guys!
    I think that happiness and curiousity is the best thing to teach your children. Good on you for sharing your passions with your children!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Cam! I really want Kalyra to understand that happiness comes from within her, it doesn’t come from material possessions as we are so often led to believe in “society” I love travel because it shows us how to find happiness in every moment.

  36. Skott and Shawna says:

    A friend of ours, or I suppose more of an acquaintance…just finished a six month RTW with her husband and 3 boys ranging from 12-6…although we do not yet have children, she was an incredible inspiration for when we do have them and how we hope to raise them…Caz n Craig all the power to ya! You too, are an incredible inspiration!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      3 boys!! That would be a challenge, but a very rewarding experience. Just think of all the memories that family now shares together. It is so great meeting people like this on the road, as they give you so much hope for the future.
      Giving up travel is something we never see as being a reality for us. So it so inspiring to see how you can manage to continue it even when the kiddies come along.

  37. South America ME says:

    Whenever my wife and I travel, our 3 & 5 year-old boys come with us. I think it is great for them to discover new places and learn from personal experiences.
    As a parent it can sometimes be challenging though the little bit of extra effort is always worth it.

    I wish my parents could have taken me on trips more though I suppose living in a different city almost every year was about the same.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Living in a different city could definitely be considered about the same. It is a new experience which helps you to adapt and learn new things.
      It is challenging travelling with the kids, and a lot more exhausting. But if you plan it well, it can still be very enjoyable.

  38. Selfish? Definitely not! She’s getting exposed to more than most kids would – and it will most likely mean she’ll grow up with a healthy sense of the world and understanding of and respect for people everywhere.

    Plus, she’s so damn cute – I bet she’s brilliant when travelling, everyone would want to talk to her, so you’d be forever making new friends!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      She does get a lot of comments from people. She was entertaining a few people on the train coming home from Sydney today with her crazy antics.
      We do have some friends who comment on how much older she seems then other kids her age, so the exposure is obviously a good thing.

  39. Michael Figueiredo says:

    I think that Kalyra is very lucky to have two such wonderful parents that want her to learn about the world we live in, first hand! This is the best type of education she could receive. 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you so much Michael. It is so lovely to hear such supportive comments.

  40. Jilianne @ Cotswold Cottages says:

    Hey Caz, Kalyra is super cute! And I love how you balance your passion, being a mother and a wife. You are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this wonderful photos 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Jilianne. Kalyra is super cute and makes my job much easier. I think its so important for your children as much as it is for you, that you do continue to live your passions and your dreams. It’s a hard juggle but a worthy one.

  41. Ken Kaminesky says:

    Absolutely inspirational!
    Caz, Craig & Kalyra, you are living life to the fullest and teaching everyone else how it SHOULD be done. I absolutely love your story and I am inspired by your courage to follow your hearts.

    You are not just teaching your daughter about the world, you are also teaching the world about you and where you come from. As you can see by the comments here, there are a lot of people that are very proud of you, rightfully so 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Ken!! We really appreciate it. That is another part I didn’t think of-that we are also teaching the world about where we come from. That is also very important and helps to break down many barriers.

  42. Huh? What? Selfish?

    I struggle daily with the selfishness of not traveling enough with my son! He has seen a bit of the world, but there is so much more out there!

    One of the greatest gifts I see you giving your daughter is to grow up with parents who are living life to the fullest.

    Best of love and luck to you all,

    – P

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      That is a great way to look at it- selfishness of not travelling enough. I’m sure every bit your son has seen, has really positively impacted his world.
      We truly want Kalyra to grow up knowing that there is so much life to live. I don’t want her wasting it by not following her dreams.

  43. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    I’ll be following your model guys! How can teaching your child to be open-minded, tolerant of different lifestyles and cultures (not to mention KNOWLEDGEABLE about them!) resilient, flexible, resourceful, how to make new friends, enjoy new foods, languages, etc. be wrong?! in a more “conventional” upbringing she may not get there until she gets to adulthood- if ever. i’m sure you’re raising a beautiful human. good for you for doing it your way and thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I think some people in “conventional” models might not be able to look past that for fear of what they might see and learn. There might be that terror of so if this is a better way, what does that then mean for me?
      That is why I think travel is so valuable, it helps to teach you about the transient nature of life- things come and go, and you can so easily let go of one thing and adapt to a new one.
      There is too much struggle in people’s lives because they just want to hold tight onto things they know, as it feels safe and secure, not necessarily because it is the best thing.

  44. Wow, that’s definitely opened my eyes to a different view on raising children and travelling. I always knew I was going to start travelling and that when it came to relationships and having children, it would be an awkward subject. You’ve opened my eyes to the different possibilities, Caz. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Wonderful Ceri! That makes me so happy. I know many women who think that their life is somewhat over when they have kids. They feel they have to give up on their dreams to become just a mother.
      I don’t believe this to be true and I think it’s vital you never do this.
      I’m actually just putting together a new website based on this, as I think it is so important. I want women to understand that they can have it all. It takes a bit more work but there is no reason why you can’t.
      Go for it!

  45. Go for it guys. Nothing better than to be travelling with young kids. You guys remind me so much of our younger days setting out on life’s journey. We always travelled with our kids. OK, couldn’t afford overseas trips when the kids were young, so bought an old caravan and towed it around New Zealand with nappies drying out the window. Took the 3 to Fiji and then Thailand for their 21sts. Now they have all travelled overseas. Intersting that the exposure they had to travel has influenced them all to lives working for others. Rather than corporate careers, they all work in social fields.
    You’re doing the right thing. Admire you.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Jim! It is so great to hear the positive impact travel has had on your children. They have learned the true value of being a global citizen. We are all here to help one another. You must be so proud of them and yourself for being such a great role model. Parenting is not easy and if you can raise children who help others in this way then you have done a great job.
      Sometimes I think Kalyra has a greater awareness of her not being the centre of the world then many adults I know.

  46. I’m absolutely loving this post. I’m a big fan of Ytravel blog and I think it’s a big shame that people will put a negative slant on you showing your daughter around the world.

    However-it doesn’t surprise me. Folk don’t like it when you rock the boat. When kids are learning things such as languages, geography and history from a text book-Kalayra will be learning it first hand! Awesome!

    And very soon you’ll have another little one to add to the experience 🙂

    Crack on
    Anthony

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you so much Anthony. It’s been great connecting with you in the online world.
      You are so right-people can’t stand in when you rock the boat. I think it makes them feel really insecure.
      If everyone just worried about making themselves happy then no one would be worried about boats rocking at all.
      I just hope the new baby loves travel just as much as Kalyra. I don’t think it will have much choice.

  47. It’d definitely be interesting to hear Kalyra’s thoughts on this when she’s older. However, she’ll probably think the grass is greener on the less traveled side because that’s what people tend to do when they haven’t experienced both sides of the spectrum, whereas I look at her and think, “So cool! I wish I had been raised like her!”

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Yeah. I often think about that too. Maybe when she is older she won’t want to travel and will just want the settled life. And I am happy with whatever she wants to do as long as she is happy.
      I would love for her to keep her curiosity and love for the world though.
      I never really travelled when I was young and now I can’t stop!!

  48. My parents traveled a lot with me and my brother and were often criticized for it, too. I’m still not sure why. If we go by the understanding that children develop and learn from observations, wouldn’t we want our children to see us enjoying life, being our happiest and exploring with endless possibilities? I know I would.

    And while I traveled a lot during my childhood, I still have friendships I made with other kids that I only meet during a summer camp or during a trip to Mexico. She’ll have those friendships, too. And, many more. I think you’re doing fantastic!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I totally agree Jade. It is something that adds so much valuable to your child’s development. Way more than the classroom!! And I could get in lots of trouble being a teacher saying that, but it is exactly why I am extracting myself from the profession.
      It is so great to hear the perspective of someone who travelled a lot when they were a child and your love of global adventures hasn’t stopped either 🙂

  49. Like anything in life, there are pros and there are cons to a nomadic lifestyle, with or without children. My husband and I are currently traveling around the world for a year because it was the perfect time before we have kids. Reading about families like yours make me not think in such a limited fashion. The constant nomadic lifestyle is personally not for me, with or without kids, but seeing what others do encourages me to travel as much as possible with our future children, even for extended timeframes. Thanks for sharing your experience, and don’t let the narrow minded naysayers get you down. Happy travels! p.s. your daughter is adorable.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you! We think so 🙂
      The trick is to find what suits you and your family best and then travel in that style.
      We definitely prefer living in a place for awhile, and so travel in that fashion with a few months on the road in between.

  50. We never went on extended trips to far away places with kids but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a life full of adventure. Instead we did tons of backpacking, mountain biking & kayaking. My kids when they were young climbed 14000′ peaks, did open water crossings in a sea kayak and the infamous Slickrock Trail in Moab – without getting off to walk a bike once. Some people would call me crazy too – taking my kids on dangerous outings – but it’s all about managing risk and doing what works for you. I wish I had parents like you. Ignore the naysayers.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Great point Leigh. The travel adventures can be experienced close to home. We are currently at home, but are making sure we are out travelling every week to somewhere new.
      Your adventures with your children sound just amazing. Look at the memories you have created with them and taught them in the process. Hearing stuff like this gets me so excited!

  51. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

    That was really interesting. I always wondered how traveling with a child worked. You’re daughter seems really happy though. She literally has a glow about her in all the photos. You can tell a fake smile when you see it, and that’s not one!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      She really is that joyful! She spends a lot of time laughing and delighting in the world, which makes me so happy.

      1. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

        You have to think too, that all backpackers are quit happy with their lifestyle. And we all get slack for choosing not to be like everyone else.

  52. I think showing your daughter the world and meeting people from all over the globe who have different perspectives and speak different languages is the best gift you could give a child. Kalyra sounds very advanced for a 3 year old as well, no doubt in part to her global upbringing.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I think the global upbringing has definitely had an impact on her creativity, imagination and maturity. She seems so wise to me, but sometimes I’m not sure if that is just mummy’s love talking.
      I really want her to learn about tolerance and acceptance from a very young age. That is half the happiness battle fought then.

  53. This post seriously got me teary eyed. I can imagine how diffficult it can be travel with a child. But this little family has proven that the rewards are much greater. I would love to have that in the future.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Yes you can Lois! It’s all just a choice. It is more challenging but it is really worth it. We take the slower method of travel, and live in places for awhile so it makes it much easier.
      I guess a lot of it depends on the child as well. Good friends of ours were travelling Oz with their 2 year old for 2 years and were having a great time, but then they had their second who hated travelling in the car. She screamed non-stop. They had to make a decision to settle somewhere for a year or two until she gets a bit older and used to the car and then they’ll be off again.
      You just have to work around the challenges.

  54. I like how the people with the judging comments would enver say that if you were moved from base to base in the armed forces. So many kids grow up in a dozen countries while their parents are in the military. Why would that be okay but not your own choice?

    I moved around quite a bit, but all in the States. I went to 5 schools growing up, and I turned out okay.

    Congrats to you and your family for making your own choices on how to live your lives.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Absolutely! People have so many strange pre-conceived ideas and they can’t make connections between two seemingly different situations but really very similar.
      It’s wonderful to hear that going to different schools had no impact on you.

  55. I love you guys! And I loved reading your story. We travel lots with our 2 little girls…but your family is truly inspiring!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Tree!! We really appreciate that.

  56. I think it’s wonderful to expose your children to other countries and cultures. Sometimes we think we’re protecting our children by raising them in a “safe” area in a “good” school district, when all we’ve done is sheltered them, not preparing them well for entering the “real” world once they leave home. Bravo to you and your family!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you Janette. I agree with you about sheltering them. I don’t think this prepares them adequately for the real world either.

  57. We are a family of 4 that is doing the same thing. Currently we live in Costa Rica. I find it funny when people think that traveling with a child is ‘hard’. Seriously? Yes, there are responsibilities, but the experience is even more amazing and rich and my 2 children (ages 2 1/2 and 8 months old) just love all the experiences we are having. Most of all, they love having parents that are so HAPPY AND FULFILLED. That is a great gift to give to your child: parents that love life, people and are not afraid to live out their dreams.

    Most people are STUCK…just stuck b/c of various excuses of why they cannot do what they really want to do. Some have no idea what their interests are anymore b/c they have allowed themselves to sucked into the minutia of life. I call these people survivors…they are just surviving.

    We live in an amazing time where the world IS at our fingertips. It’s too bad that most people have been conditioned to think that our lifestyle is selfish just because we have chosen to take a different, less worn path.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I personally find living a normal life really really hard. Travelling is easy because it is filled with joy, peace and freedom.
      When I get back to the real world, I am usually stuck doing a job I hate, with people around me who aren’t on my wavelength and drain my energy. There are bills to pay, schedules to meet, and lots of stress. I’m definitely not happy nor fulfilled which is so bad for my child!!
      Funny, but most of the people who make the comments, I would say are definitely survivors and are far from happy. that is why they criticise as it takes the focus of themselves.
      Thanks for the supportive comment!!

  58. We just had a baby girl. Her first trip will be to France. Her second, probably New Zealand.

    And and you know what I just asked my husband again? So, wouldn’t it be great to just go and live somewhere we have always wanted to? Someplace beautiful and by the water?

    As for me, I started traveling when I was 8. I spent summers away from ‘friends’ at a bilingual camp. Am I damaged? Heck no! I am better for it.

    Rock on!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Wonderful!! It’s so exciting for you both and your daughter. Definitely go to that dream place and live for awhile. Your happiness will be so great for your daughter. This is the type of environment our children need.

  59. I know I only know you and Craig in the online world but it’s absurd to me that you could ever think you were a bad parent!

    One thing that I’ve learned from my life and from watching other people is that it is important to be comfortable with yourself first and make yourself happy; then you can bring a child into your world and share it’s amazing qualities with them!

    If Kalyra’s photos are a reflection of her personality (as I only assume they can be for a 3 year old) then she clearly has an immense brightness about her and a keen interest in the world.

    It sounds like she’s wise beyond her years and I think that by showing her the world so young you are A. allowing her the information to make her own decisions about travel in the future and B. making her aware of the world and of culture before she even has a chance to realize she how much she knows (a good thing).

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thank you so much Annie. It is so great to hear these comments. It makes me even more frustrated with people who want to make me feel like I am doing the wrong thing for my child. I think some of their motivations may be selfish.
      It think what you said about being comfortable and happy with yourself before you bring children into the world is so so important. I always said my 20’s were for me and the 30’s for kids. I knew that by then I would have done the things I wanted to do and would have more of an idea of who I was.

  60. A great way to live life! And congrats on the new little one coming your way 🙂

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Thanks! We just hope the new bubs is as good as a traveller as Kalyra

  61. Caz, as a mother and grandmother I advise you to live your life your way! Your daughter’s life experience is richer for traveling. Life in the suburbs is BORING and to me, suffocating. It scares me to see what my grandchildren are NOT learning in public schools. Trust your heart and your daughter. If/when Kalyra gets tired of traveling, she will tell you. Until then go for it!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I just think of the mundane of everyday life in the burbs and I just don’t want that for my daughter, or for myself.
      I think Kalyra will let us know as well, and then I will think about settling somewhere temporarily. She is always so excited about travelling so for now we’ll run with it.
      Thank you so much for your sage advice.

  62. Quay Po Cooks says:

    I am so glad you did not let what others think to stop you from doing what is right for your little angel. She is more worldly than many adults in this world because of you. You are far from being a selfish mum my dear. HUGS!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      As my students were rolling around on the floor this afternoon during a visiting talk, I thought of how much more settled and focused Kalyra would be!! A sad reality.
      Thank you so much for your kind comment Quay

  63. Melanie @TravelToast.com says:

    When you choose an unconventional life for yourself (and your children) you’re always going to hear from the naysayers. There is absolutely no “right” or “wrong” in staying home or traveling. I’m perplexed to see how anyone could think it’s their job to find the morality in this particular lifestyle!

    Of course I’m biased. We travel fulltime with our four kids. Our youngest was born in Panama City, Panama.

    Our kids are fearless and the world is their playground… I love that!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      The greatest gift you can ever give a child is for them to be fearless and understand there are no limitations to what you can do. That’s why I prefer to stay away from civilization.
      Travel full-time with four kids must be a great challenge. Think of all the memories you are creating together. Totally awesome!

  64. Caz Makepeace says:

    Great to hear your story Melanie. I’m sure with four kids it must be challenging, yet really rewarding. What a solid family relationship you are building.
    I’m a firm believer that most of the time when people are criticising or judging you and your choices, it is done so as to avoid them having to look at what is missing from their own lives.

  65. What kind of jerks must you encounter, their obviously retarded. Do whatever the heck you want. What must they say about military families that tote their kids all over. It’s a gift to be able to travel. I only wish I could let go of all the material crap that ties me down. I work on it from time to time, trying to give it all away. I can’t believe I have heard so many travel bloggers write that people are mean to them because they travel. I have to know who are these jerks your talking about? Family? Past Friends? People you encounter in other countries? My advice would be to let go of anyone who doesn’t agree, make your own path and push forward, and leave the crabby mean people behind you, it’s not worth the stress.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      You are totally right Angie. I think most people tend to find that the most grief they get from people in their life when they do things that are outside the norm, comes from close family members and friends. I think it is fear on their behalf- as if you are doing something different, what does that then mean for them?
      Instead of them seeing it as being this way and dealing with the real issue, they like to project their imagined realities onto you.
      Thanks for the support!

  66. Justin Hamlin says:

    Blow Raspberries. I love it.

    Great story guys, definitely one that sheds a lot of light on a growing sector of the long-term travelers. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Ha Ha! You can tell I am a mother. Really sometimes, there is just no better way to say something then with a blowed rasberry!

  67. Matt | ExpertVagabond says:

    Some of the smartest kids I’ve ever met were home-schooled by traveling parents. It’s pretty incredible. I’d say it’s probably 20x better for them than public school in the USA.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      I totally agree. Kalyra used to be minded by a beautiful lady who home schooled her son. He was an amazing child, so smart, and worldly and mature. Kalyra loved him!! and he only had to learn for no more than 4 hours a day, as he got the total attention he needed. Trust me, kids at school are lucky to get 10 mins of individual teacher attention.

  68. Can your daughter run for President? Because I’m pretty sure she’s got more foreign policy experience than anyone here.

    1. Caz Makepeace says:

      Ha! Now there is an idea. Although, most politicians go in with wonderful vision, but get sucked into the game of lies and deceit. Not sure if she could handle that path 🙂
      (could make a lot of George Bush jokes but I will refrain)

  69. This is exactly what I want and intend to give to my kids. I’d much rather they experience the world firsthand and with passion than from a textbook.

  70. Lauren Fritsky says:

    I have yet to meet little Kalyra, but I’ve met Caz and Craig several times here in Sydney, and they’re great people. It is fantastic they are spreading their wanderlust, curiosity and creativity to their daughter.

  71. I’m jealous of Kalyra!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yep, best childhood ever.

  72. I don’t think traveling with children is selfish. However, I think the mindset that a child learns more about the world from traveling is a bit misguided. Children learn big lessons from even the smallest of things. If you are a parent committed to teaching life lessons, then just about anything around you becomes fair game.
    Want to learn about a different culture? The neighborhood next door has the power to create just as many meaningful neural connections as the exotic community in a far-flung location. Want to learn about science? Look to the lizard on the ground or the stars in the sky to fill a child with curiosity.
    People say that children don’t get the same experience from traveling as adults do and I believe this is true. However, I think the reason is that the world is so fresh and new to a child, just about any experience can be magical! We adults travel to relive that sensation of childlike wonder and assume our children will feel the same as us in a new location. This is partly true, but mainly because a child feels wonder in just about any place they go! They are just as happy to be taking a trip to the grocery store with you as they are to sit beside you in a Parisian cafe.

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