I grew up imagining the beauty and marvels of the world, from the majestic European architecture to the exotic animals in Africa, through expired travel brochures from the neighbouring travel office.
Then, my first overseas one-way flight was out of necessity, to survive. Thankfully, I did not only survive but also thrive, that’s the beginning of my wandering around the world.
Benjamin Franklin reflected that "there are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self." To discover ourselves and our inner most shrine , one may have to wander through all the outer world.
While I was pregnant with Little Prince, I read an interesting story about a family who decided to sail around the world for a year. Their children, deprived of internet connection in the sea, learned to love books. Since then, I have been dreaming of an around-the-world family trip .
On 20160507, Honey Panda sent me a news about a family of four who spent a year and USD 18,000-22,000 , to travel the world for a year on a backpacking and cycling trip, visiting 28 countries. The wife was a former classmate of one of Honey Panda’s fraternity brothers. They brought their children aged two and five. Honey Panda seems to be impressive.
Personally, I prefer to bring our children when they can remember because toddlers will not remember things well. Perhaps, when our Little Prince and Little Princess are around the age of primary school goers , after have acquired the necessary vaccinations. When I was in a primary school, Dad brought our entire family on a driving trip round the islands.
Moreover, once they reach primary school goers’ age, we can practice minimalism, one bag for each minimalist person. Travel light!
I also remember before we got married, I once told Honey Panda my top 3 dream journeys at a New Year’s Eve, in front of a 5-star hotel holding a bunch of left-over balloons. Two of the dream journeys seem to be possible to be done by a family with young children.
The first is a Trans-Siberian journey, perhaps inspired by Doctor Zhivago and a summer at Tsinghua University, Beijing. It seems possible to spend $1000/person for a month on the world’s longest train ride, based on Derek Low’s experience.
The second one is a Mediterranean trip. Imagine wandering among Gaudi’s modern handiwork in Barcelona, the sun-soaked Iberian Peninsula, the "Basque way of life on the sandy shores of San Sebastian" (once, I chatted with a Basque lady on a budget flight in Europe), the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra, and the mesmerising markets (souqs) of Marrakech. Although I’ve been to Lisbon, I don’t mind visiting Lisbon again and look forward to visiting Granada, Madrid, Barcelona, and Santiago de Compostela.
There have been families doing around-the-world trip. For example, the Colas family has traveled with their 8 year old daughter and altruistically used their trip to raise an education fund via their media-savviness. The family of Heather Greenwood Davis, a travel writer, had digitally documented their travel map.
Before we head for such a once-in-a-lifetime (why not more than once? ) family journey, it’s advisable for everyone of us to know how to:
- remember (at least basic information
- create visual memories through photography or in the forms of videos, visuals and audio
- drive (for the grown-ups)
It will also be fun to know how to:
- roller-blade / ice-skate
- do martial arts
- write well so we can record our family trip experience
- ask and negotiate
What’s your dream family trip? I’d love to hear from you.
Decide. Plan. Travel. Experience. Appreciate. Carpe Diem!
 see Asia2016/dream_family_trip_around_world_20160507.txt
 Dear Universe, may we travel with our eyes wide open and come home with the memories firmly imprinted on our brains, the memories that can transform into better human beings, to serve others with love.
 I really hope that Little Prince and Little Princess can do the family trip again with their beloved spouse and children.
 Looking back at my primary school experience, I think it’s okay to miss an entire year. However, quoting Rabindranath Tagore, "don’t limit a child to your own learning, for s/he was born in another time." There are always opportunities to home school our children while traveling.
 I think this is one of the best gifts that parents can give to their children. There are so many benefits of around-the-world family trips, not only for children but also parents.