Do we have nomads here who have been continuously travelling with their children for 5+ years?
I've been nomadic for the same amount of time but without kids. This topic came up at an event I was attending recently and I was astounded by how many folks were keen to begin their nomadic journey with their young children. Great to hear!
For those who fall into this category, I'd like to learn more about how you navigated passed known obstacles like education, building social networks, finding child-friendly locations and anything less known.
Hey Triv, I did this for a number of years with successes and failures in the process. When we first started the life only child was two years old, then had two more children (the last one while in a host country).
The top recommendation is to find a therapist you like (so you will have to try a few) and keep a regular routine of sessions as children bring a new dynamic into the mix.
It's the best of times and worst of times....to quote Charles Dickens. When it comes to education we have tried most forms over the years but keep in mind 'slomad' is my recommendation and style with kids since slower travel is good for development later in life. We used printed curriculum, teacher traveling with us, local school, international school, online program, and probably leaving one format out.
Our children don't remember much from Chiang Mai, Dubai, London, etc since they were so young...so the frequency of travel and length of trips didn't matter as much as I look back. At at early age I don't feel like scarring is there since parents are the source of strength. We found children for them to play with in these locations, and lots of outdoor activities. Keeping peace between parents brings strength to the kids.
Now that our kids are 21, 18 and 15 I can say that they seem to be well balanced, globally minded, citizens of multiple countries and see the strengths of being raised across multiple continents.
There are phases of development that each child goes through, and no child is like the other. The temptation of comparison is one to avoid - of children, your family vs others, those back 'home', etc. Comparison is the thief of joy.
There may be times where you and/or your children compare their lives to those who have stable/lifelong friends that go to the same summer camp or school for years, and have predictability, but that too is a developmental process. Grieving must be allowed, as there is loss as well as gain in this lifestyle. So, I go back to ensuring you have access to competent cross-cultural therapists (included with plans from Insured Nomads).
Tips: keep relationships going and meet up with people from other cities, online play with those met along the way, and go over pictures and names of people along the way so that they are markers and reenforce memories.
Thank you for sharing your experience with such detail.
For many people in my network with children, the idea of being a 'digital nomad' is no longer just an aspirational thought. I feel there is a large, successful and committed group of individuals who are ready to take that step but just need that extra layer of resources and assurance.
Also, lovely to hear how worldly your children are today. An advertisement for the movement itself.
I'm glad you are raising awareness. It changes everything when you bring kids into the lifestyle.
Hi Triv, looks like you got some great advice already. If you want more, I run a Facebook group for full time travelers and nomads where there are other traveling families who could help you if you want to ask your question there. If you join please answer the question that you met me here so we don’t confuse you with spam. 🙏 facebook.com/groups/fulltimetravelersandnomads
Just submitted my joining request
Just approved! 😁
I've been nomadic with my kids for 7 out of the last 10 years, living on a boat and circumnavigation. (As I type this we are 15 miles from St. Vincent in the Caribbean where we'll cross our outbound path from 10 years ago and close the loop.)
My kids were 5, 9, and 10 when we started, and did most of their schooling from the road. We tried everything under the sun, eventually discovering that hiring teachers directly (not tutors, teachers from elite schools) and having them design and lead courses for our kids one-to-one was the best formula. In fact, it was a complete game changer. (U Chicago educational research Benjamin Bloom proved that 1:1 learning resulted in outcomes two standard deviations higher than classroom instruction back in the 1980s. He labeled it the 2 Sigma Problem because, in the 1980s, how could you scale one-to-one learning?)
Anyway, being a nomad with kids is incredible. At least, for the parents. Yes, it's stressful like Andrew describes. But, so is parenting, generally. Until the arrival of Starlink my kids were on a pretty austere digital diet, which taught them useful skills like how to sit with a book for hours on end or how to hold a conversation at the dinner table. Of course, they've also had pretty incredible experiences worldwide.
We live in a moment of extreme possibility for families who want to hit the road (or water). I feel so passionately about this that I just launched a new startup, called Cicero Learning, that helps facilitate 1:1, portable school for digital nomad families.
We've been on an incredible journey with our children, traveling for well over five years. Our experiences have been a blend of nomadic and traditional-based adventures, giving us a unique perspective from both sides of the coin. As an airline pilot family, we find ourselves in a rather special situation where we can explore the world while still maintaining a full-time job.
Being able to travel anywhere our flights take us has opened up a world of possibilities for us and our children. It's been an amazing opportunity to expose them to different cultures, landscapes, and ways of life. The beauty of our lifestyle is that we can experience both the thrill of exploring new destinations and the comfort of having a stable job.
When it comes to nomad schooling, we've found great support and information within various world schooling parent groups. These communities are filled with like-minded families who are passionate about providing their children with a well-rounded education while traveling. They offer valuable insights, resources, and a sense of belonging that has been incredibly helpful on our journey.
For us, traveling as a family has been an enriching experience that goes beyond sightseeing. It has taught us adaptability, fostered curiosity, and strengthened our bond as a family. It has also made us better traveler's. We're grateful for the opportunities we have to create lifelong memories and instill a love for exploration in our children.
If you're considering embarking on a similar adventure, I encourage you to connect with world schooling parent groups. They can offer invaluable support and guidance as you navigate the world of homeschooling while traveling. I also encourage you to talk to young adults who grew up as nomads and as traditional travelers. I think their thoughts from both sides of the coin could provide a deeper perspective.
yes, most digital nomade visas allwo children to enroll in public education system and atten local schools. However ,many digitial.
This is something I am hoping to be able to do in the future. So many people act as though having a child means the end of being able to have an exciting life but I think it is so great when kids can just come along. I would love to do an RV tour around the US once we have a kiddo. Going to all the national parks and museums would be a great way to learn. I think since COVID there are so many online options for schooling that in the next few years that will even increase. I look forward to seeing how these changes effect people's choices in travel.